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Re-skilling Courses

Reskilling and Resilience cources are experiential courses designed to engage community oriented action and immerse students into project based work. Below you can find course descriptions for recently offered courses. 

EXPR 140 The Antioch Harvest: Seed-saving, Canning, Fermenting, and Preserving

This course will utilize the Antioch Farm and surrounding environs to glean, forage, and harvest a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and herbs and learn how to preserve the harvest, prevent food waste and explore community engagement and food justice.  Students will learn about the importance of regional seed-saving and stewardship. Activities may include: press apples and make cider, can fruit and preserves, gather herbs and make teas and medicines, ferment vegetables, sauces and pastes, and learn about other forms of food preservation such as root cellars, dehydration, etc.

EXPR 242 Resilience in the Anthropocene:

In this course, students will engage in various reskilling or resiliency practices that people of hope and intention are exploring in order to live sustainably, equitably, and harmoniously in a changing world. Students will work closely with the instructor and guest speaker(s) to experience an innovative practice or idea up close through hands-on, physical work. Students will develop knowledge and skills related to the featured innovative practice or idea and create a project to benefit the College or the greater community.

EXPR 341 Seed Sovereignty and Citizen Action

Over 75% of the world’s commercial seed is owned by three agrichemical companies. How did we get here? This course explores community seed-saving as a resilience tool, including relocalizing seed, seed sovereignty and stewardship. It covers the history of seed patent law in the U.S, the Plant Variety Protection Act, the Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, seed politics, and citizen seed movements from Seed-Savers Exchange to the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and the Open-Source Seed Initiative. This hands-on course also covers cross-pollination prevention methods including hand-pollination, isolation cages, bags, netting, and distance planting as well as selection, germination testing, seed starting, harvesting and storage, and seed libraries. Every student will build their own winnowing screen.

EXPR 240 Food, Farming and Resilience: Integrative Learning on the Antioch Farm

Why do we eat what we eat? Where does our food come from and how is it produced? What are the costs and benefits- human, environmental, social, economic, political—of food production and consumption today? Are our methods of food production and distribution sustainable? What are positive solutions to the global food crisis? Using the Antioch Farm as a learning lab, students will engage directly in sustainable food production and integrative learning. Sample topics include but are not limited to community seed-saving, small livestock production, wildcrafting, permaculture, farm-to-table, bio-dynamic farming, food access and stewardship and food byways. This course will take place predominantly outside, rain or shine. 

EXPR 241 Reskilling, Sustainability and Community

This is a course, in the words of David Foster Wallace, about “adjusting our default setting”; using reskilling as a tool for mindfulness and community-building. One of the consequences of increasing specialization and monetization of the economy is that skills that were once common among the general population, skills that by their nature contributed to a sense of community, skills that could not be accomplished without thought and intention, are now shared by few.Phillip Barnes describes it as “the acquisition of skills essential to satisfy basic needs in a localized and carbon-constrained future… Reskilling is a process, ongoing and never-ending, that evolves as conditions change and contexts change. It is first and foremost a community-oriented method….While one can learn reskilling by watching a video or reading a book, it is the face-to-face interactions that build community….where a talented and knowledgeable individual or group teaches other people what they know.”

Together with essays and reflections on the nature of home-based work, presentations by innovators tackling difficult problems we face as we move in to a time of uncertainty, and hands on skill-building in each session, this course offers tools for increasing awareness, self-agency and community-building.

EXPR 340 The Antioch Apothecary: Teas and Tinctures, Syrups and Salves

In this course students will gain an overview of the history of medicinal plants, the role of women in traditional healing practices, and an introduction to plant communication. The course includes: study of the Doctrine of Signatures, indigenous and enslaved herbal traditions, and the decolonization of herbalism. We also learn of the significance of Ohio to herbalism in America; from the 19th Century Eclectics to the current work of United Plant Savers and the establishment of medicinal plant sanctuaries in a time of extinction.

This is a hands-on course where students will make teas, tinctures, balms, vinegars, tonics, syrups, salves and poultices for treating many common ailments.  They will also visit the idea of the use of anthropogenic invasives as “resilience teachers” in crafting plant medicine. At the end of the hcourse, students will walk away with a variety of remedies made from common plants.  Prerequisite: One of any of the following: EXPR 140,240,241, 242 or GS170Food, Farming and  Resilience or permission of the instructor.