upcoming workshops

November 30 2019 10:30am - 1:30pm

Birch Bark Ornaments with Penny Hewitt


Join us for a late autumn morning around the woodstove learning to weave traditional birch bark star and bird ornaments with special guest teacher Penny Hewitt. Enjoy the simple pleasure of creating a decoration or gift from materials responsibly harvested on Penny’s Northeast Kingdom farm utilizing techniques common to the Scandinavian and Russian style of basketry. We will craft birds and stars using strips of inner bark from the paper birch in this three hour workshop, and also learn how these materials are harvested and prepared.

We’ll share in learning this beautiful traditional skill and one another’s company, all with a side of warm, seasonal sourdough pastries and hot drinks in my cozy home in the hills of southern Vermont.


Penny Hewitt is a craftsperson, teacher, homesteader, and homeschooling mom living with her family on a diversified farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Penny works with responsibly harvested and hand-processed materials from the forest surrounding her home to create objects of beauty that are useful in everyday life.

As a longtime follower and admirer of the work of both Penny and her husband Ben Hewitt, (as well as a reader and collector of their books - I love The Nourishing Homestead and Home Grown, and Henry is a big fan of The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything), it is truly an honor to host Penny at our home and share in her knowledge and craft. Read more about Penny and Ben here: https://lazymillhillfarm.com/

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Cost: $55 per person

Location: Sandgate, VT

Date/Time: November 30 from 10:30am-1:30pm

To register, email sugarhouseworkshop@gmail.com to sign up and for location details. Payment can be made via PayPal, Venmo, or check by November 15. Class size is limited to 12 people, so sign up soon!

If you’d like to schedule an individual or small group baking, dyeing, or quilting class, please write to sugarhouseworkshop@gmail.com. It is a great joy of mine to spend time baking and making with kindred folks, and I’m happy to make special arrangements for us to work together.



March 23 & 24, 2019

Farm & Home: Sugar + Spice

at Wing & a Prayer Farm in Shaftsbury, VT

Join us this sugaring season for another special offering from our Farm & Home Workshops series with Wing & A Prayer Farm’s Tammy White at her beautiful farm.  We’ll be sharing classes during Vermont’s Maple Open House Weekend with a special trip through the woods on Saturday to visit  a working sugar shack. We will offer three workshops together over the course of the weekend, and participants may sign up for one, two, or join us for all three.

The workshop weekend will begin on Saturday morning with a day-long workshop on homestead sourdough pan loaves (taught by me), with a break midday for a walk through the woods to a working sugar shack. We’ll focus on rustic and inventive pan loaves you’ll be able to recreate, reinvent, and rely upon at home for delicious, nutritious, and versatile sandwich bread. And to celebrate the sugaring season in Vermont, we’ll be incorporating maple into each wholesome loaf. We will discuss how to use day-old (or a few days old!) bread to create beautiful new loaves as we make maple rye loaves with sprouted wheatberries, and we’ll get into enriching sourdough breads with butter and eggs to make a maple-cinnamon swirl loaf that could make any breakfast table feel like home.


For folks new to sourdough, we will cover basic sourdough starter maintenance (and starter will be available to bring home). For those with sourdough experience, this class will be an opportunity to learn new ways to make staple breads, and a lesson in feeling empowered to play with ingredients and inclusions, as well as a discussion in how these different elements affect rising times and preparation methods. Recipes will be provided.

In the evening, Tammy will offer a hearthside natural dyeing class using seasonal forage including barks, spices, and maple leaves. An intensive class, this session will introduce participants to all of the steps of dyeing your own protein and plant-based fibers using easy-to-obtain materials for a rainbow of color. 


On Sunday, using fabrics dyed together around the hearth and Wing and a Prayer Farm’s well-loved wool for insulation, I will lead a simple and meditative workshop to create beautiful and useful quilted wool potholders for your kitchen. Look through my collection of vintage quilting design books for pattern inspiration, or improvise and see where the colors take you. You will piece together and hand-quilt the potholders, and gain the skills to replace or mend them as they age, or to make some for your friends and family.


Simple Sourdough at Home 

April 29, June 24, August 26, October 14 2018

Join me at my home in Vermont for a day of learning the magic of sourdough baking. Offered four different days throughout the spring, summer, and autumn, choose which day and technique suits you best and we'll convene to bake bread and pastry, take walks, and share a beautiful afternoon in the kitchen and fields. 

April 29: Sourdough Viennoiserie (Croissants and Danish)

Perhaps we'll take a forest walk to harvest some nettle or ramps or chickweed to add to our bakes, creating croissants and danishes together using wild yeast. Learn all of the basic techniques needed to prepare beautiful, delicious sourdough croissants, pain au chocolat, and danish at home for memorable Sunday brunches. 

June 24: Basic Country Boule

Learn to bake a loaf of classic sourdough bread, how to tend your starter, and other tips and tricks for successfully incorporating sourdough into your home kitchen. Perhaps a wildflower walk down our quiet dirt road (with beautiful mountain views) will find us harvesting red clover for tea or maybe some fragrant white yarrow to make a summer salve while classic country loaves proof on the counter.

August 26: Basic Country Boule

Another session of the basic sourdough workshop described above. With good luck, this August afternoon will have us harvesting pears and blueberries right outside to make a delicious pie while the bread rises.

October 14: Sourdough Viennoiserie (Croissants and Danish) 

We'll be surrounded by the bright, vibrant foliage here on the mountain as we learn the techniques of sourdough viennoiserie (see above) and we'll enjoy those flaky pastries by the woodstove with coffee,  tea, and all the best things about Vermont in autumn. 

Each afternoon will allow for lots of room for conversation and connection in the casual atmosphere of my tiny cabin kitchen. 

All materials, a sourdough starter from my kitchen, recipes, and a handmade, naturally dyed linen bread bag (plus snacks and tea!) are included. 


Email sugarhouseworkshop@gmail.com to register or with questions. Each session limited to 5 participants. 

Read about our June 24 workshop here


september 10 2017

Sourdough + Apple Butter at Wing and a Prayer Farm

Using homegrown wild yeast, learn to bake wholesome, rustic loaves of sourdough bread in your own home kitchen. Learn how to tend a sourdough starter, choose your tools and ingredients, and develop the skills you need to foster a bread baking practice.

While the bread is rising, Tammy White of Wing and a Prayer Farm will teach us to make and can apple butter from her heirloom varieties just outside the farmhouse windows.

Workshop attendees will leave with bread and apple butter, recipes, sourdough starter from Jessica's kitchen, and a naturally dyed linen bread bag.






july 23-28 2017, JUly 22-27 2018

Slow Fashion Retreat with A Gathering of Stitches

During this weeklong beachside retreat in Maine, I will teach participants how to add love and color to their handmade and upcycled garments using natural dyes. Alongside pattern-drafting workshops with Cal Patch, and Katrina Rodabaugh teaching her beautiful and useful mending techniques, this retreat is a special week of making and learning in community in the name of more personal, more thoughtful, and more sustainable wardrobes.