Workshops & Seminars

Please be sure to review our

WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS GOVERNING POLICIES


FARM & GARDEN  *  TRADES  *  CULINARY  *  TEXTILES  *  HERITAGE

Farm and garden

BACKYARD CHICKENS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Saturday of The Month, February-June & September-November
A beak-to-tail feather workshop on these fine-feathered friends, enough to get you going in this popular urban farming hobby. By the time you leave, you’ll be well on your way to managing a coop in your back yard. And you’ll be able to impress your friends by knowing the difference between a Buff Orpington and a Rhode Island Red.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

BACKYARD FARMING

INFORMATION CLASS
First Sunday Of The Month, March, May, June & September
A fast-paced introduction to growing your own food in your own backyard, just like the pioneers did. This short field course will touch on soil, compost, planting, growing seasons, vegetable types and more — all from our resident Green Thumb. By the time you leave, you’ll be ready to site a backyard garden, how to work the soil for best results
and what and when to plant so you can grow your own groceries.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

FRUIT TREES

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, March, July & October
A primer on everything about fruit trees in Central Texas, from planting to TLC to harvesting. More than just a lecture on fruit trees, this field class will visit small orchards like the one you can create at your home – everything from the gorgeous spring blooms to harvesting fruit in the fall for pies and jellies, an A to Z rundown on fruit trees. You may even help plant, prune or harvest your first fruit tree. Dress for an outdoor tour.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

BEEKEEPING

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, May, September & November
A buzzy introductory course on everything bee, from hives to honey and pollen to apiaries. This oldest of hobbies is hot again, and by the time you leave you should know enough to start your own colony and harvest golden goodies without getting stung —
financially, at least. This practical short-course focuses on urban beekeeping.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

MEDICINAL PLANTS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, May First Sunday of the Month, August
Early-day Texans relied on a variety of native plants as cures and salves for what ailed then, and those natural remedies are making a comeback in this day of high-priced pharmaceuticals. A fast-paced workshop on what plants can be used for various treatments and cures, with some field tour to check out some native plants.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

NATIVE TEXAS PLANTS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, March, June & September
A botanist’s tour of the plants that made Texas famous, from cedars and live oaks to horseweed and butterbrush. Many of these flowering, drought-tolerant these plants are making a comeback now in home gardens and in landscaping themes, and this class will give you a working knowledge of what’s Texas and what’s not.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

ORGANIC GARDENING

INFORMATION CLASS
First Saturday of The Month, February-April, October-November Shrink your carbon footprint and save money in this introduction to organic gardening. Relying on many growing practices from the 1800, before the days of nasty chemicals and before “O” gardening was the only way. Thrift, smart, tasty gardening.  Old is new again. Taught at our historic sites.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

THREE SISTERS: A HISTORY GARDEN

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month April & September.
The Native Texans in this area were the earliest farmers, growing so-called Three Sisters Gardens of Indian maize, tepary beans and cushaw squash —three plants that help care for each other as they grow. An organic gardening lesson is included. Taught at a real Tonkawa Indian site, where they once grew these gardens. How cool is that?

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.    Enroll Now


Trades

BASIC BLACKSMITHING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February to December Fast-paced introduction to blacksmithing teaches you the fundamentals. Basic hammer skills, three of the five basic ways to work metal (cutting, drawing and bending), identification of “found” metals, and even a first project. Safety training included. Come ready to make the sparks fly. Materials provided.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

BLACKSMITHING 2.0

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February-December
Once you learn the basics of blacksmithing, it’s time to expand on that knowledge and learn the other two basic ways to work metal: Upsetting and forge-welding. And that’s exactly what’s in store during this fun, informative class, offering instruction in small projects. Materials provided. PRIOR COMPLETION OF BASIC BLACKSMITHING REQUIRED.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.      Enroll Now

 

KNIFEMAKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Third Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February-November Blacksmithing meets cutlery and weaponry in this specialty class where students apply their skills as a smithy to learn how to make a knife. The hands-on sessions include hammer skills, designs and more. Materials provided. Must be at least 18 years old to enroll. PRIOR COMPLETION OF BLACKMITHING 2.0 REQUIRED.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $150. TIME: 10 hours over 2 days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.     Enroll Now
“Best idea I ever had for a Sunday afternoon . . . A great class.” —Tom Peters, Austin

 

DECORATIVE METALWORK

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Saturday-Sunday Of The Month, February-November.
With the basics under your belt, learn to decorate the projects that you make. This introduction to the decorative side of blacksmithing includes decorative twists, scrolls, finials and sculptural elements to make any project look beautiful as well as functional. Walk away with a sculpted project of your own. Materials provided. PRIOR COMPLETION OF BLACKSMITHING 2.0 REQUIRED.

SITE: Blacksmith Shop. FEE: $150. TIME: 10 hour over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.    Enroll Now

 

PLANES IN THE WOODSHOP

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday in March, May, July & October
A primer on the wood plane, a ubiquitous woodworking tool that has been around since the Romans used a crude version to shape wood. Our current models date to a design perfected about the time of the Civil War, a tool that was a staple with frontier Texas woodworkers. Learn how to make this sharp cutter work for you.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

HAND-TOOL WOODWORKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday of The Month, February-November
Learn the basics of working wood the old-fashioned way. By hand. This short course in the types of hand tools that were used to work with wood in the 1800s shows the proper ways to use them and the way to keep them sharp. A fascinating afternoon of hands-on history. In an historic woodshop.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1-5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

RESTORING ANTIQUE TOOLS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Third Saturday-Sunday of The Month, April and September Learn how to take an old, rusted, neglected woodworking tool, the kind you find for 99 cents at a swap meet, and turn it into a collectable gem – as good or better than a new one. Students can bring an old tool to restore:. Wood chisels, wood planes, axes and blades are recommended. Sharpening and polishing instruction not included.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $100. TIME: (8 hours over 2 days) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

TANNERS PRIDE: LEATHERWORKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Saturdays. By reservation: 837.1215
Working leather was a valuable skill on the Texas frontier, and you can learn how to
treat, trim and turn leather into belts, bags and other items. This four-hour, hands-on class gives you the basics, and our chief tanner will show you several techniques to home your skills.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now


culinary

DUTCH OVEN COOKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, April & May
Say hello to delicious pies, biscuits and more from Texas’ official state cooking pot — the Dutch Oven. Learn the technical and tasty aspects of cooking in this historic cast- iron delight. You’ll leave this demonstration class hungry to try your hand at this truly historic cooking method. Materials provided.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SAY CHEESE

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, March, July & November
Learn how to make cheese from common ingredients purchased from your local grocery store. Workshop includes ingredient lists and principles of making soft cheeses, taught in a fast-paced lesson at an historic homestead. This demonstration class is all about cheese. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

GRANDMA’S PIES: SCRATCH BAKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, March-May & September-November Learn how to build a delicious pie from scratch, from the crust and filling to the baking time and time-saving techniques, just like your grandmother once used in her kitchen. This fast-paced and fun workshop comes with some simple take-home recipes with which you can amaze your family and friends.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now
 

“I learned everything about Dutch Ovens . . . and feel like I’m ready to live on the frontier a century ago when Texas was young.” — Judy Whyte, West Lake Hills

 

HOT OFF THE SKILLET

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, February & June.
Pioneer Texans were masters of this basic skill, and you can be, as well. Learn the basics of cooking on cast iron, a staple of kitchens in yesteryear and a skill that’s making a comeback. As you learn, you can help prepare and serve a frontier meal — on an authentic cast-iron stove with authentic cast-iron cookware. The only place in the Austin area where you can learn original Texas cooking skills like these. After this class, you may not want to go back to your All-Clad and Calfalon ever again.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

CANNING & PRESERVING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday or Sunday Of The Month, October & February. Canning and preserving the harvest from your garden was a pioneer staple, and this hands-on class covers the supplies you’ll need, which fruits and veggies to chose, preparing your space, the types of jars and more. You’ll leave with knowledge to preserve your own harvest, with handouts and samples to boot. 12 students maximum.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

CURING & SMOKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, April, September & October
It’s more than just backyard grilling nowadays, and this afternoon class will give you all you need to know about trading up to curing and smoking meats at home. Armed with enough know-how to serve up some scrumptious meats that aren’t a bit black or dry, but are flavorful and just right, you’ll learn about smokers and smokehouses. Straight from the pioneers, in the days when curing and smoking was the only way to preserve meats. Now, it’s become a hip artform.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

RANGE BARBEQUE

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, February & May
You’ll quickly heat up the campfire or grill after this fun, historical lesson on barbeque techniques that are straight from the 1800s, and much simpler and tastier than some modern recipes. From meat to sauce, this speedy lesson in Texas meats is sure to please when the meal hits the plate. With Lone Star recipes straight from the trail.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

“The cheese making class was a fun day for our girls’ group, especially using a log cabin as a classroom. It felt like we were on the frontier. We enjoyed every minute.” — Darla Hutchinson, Pflugerville


Textiles

SPINNING BY WHEEL

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, March, July & November.
For hundreds of years after the spinning wheel was invented in the 11th century, this talent was a staple of home life — and the Texas frontier was no exception. Almost every home had a spinning wheel that turned the cotton and wool into thread and yarn. Come commune with history and learn time-honored skill that now hip again.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.  Enroll Now

 

KNITTING: A STITCH IN TIME

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, March & October Second Sunday Of The Month, June & July
The yarn, the needles, the techniques. This information-packed afternoon will instruct you on all the basics about an historic and traditional skill that is super hot these days. You’ll also get a taste of the history of knitting, right in our 1800s spinning room, from our resident textiles expert.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

QUILTING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, April & November Second Sunday Of The Month, May & August
Quilting has developed from a frugal necessity to a fine art form. Come learn the basics that every pioneer woman learned at her mother's knee. Students will learn basic geometric piecing and various quilting methods. They will leave with two quilted pillow tops and the instructions for finishing them.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

BASIC WEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, April, July & September.
Learn the warps and wefts of weaving, in this introductory class to weaving, the historic production of fabric. This class offers the basics, so you can leave with a hankering to weave. When you leave, you should know the difference between shedding, picking and battening — and get rolling on your first project. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

LOOMS 2.0

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, May & September.
A follow-up class to Basic Weaving, where you’ll learn the skills to polish your new talent as a loom-person. Various techniques and loom types are part of this fast-paced lesson that is designed to expand your knowledge from the basics to you can explore your inner-weaver. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SEWING: PLAIN & FANCY

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, April & August.
The art of sewing is time-honored, a staple of past generations and a hobby for most of the present. Learn about stitches, patterns and techniques in this fast-paced introductory workshop, a must for anyone who would like to sew – either by hand or on a machine. Taught in our historic textile room, with an Old Texas aura added for free.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

RIGID-HEDDLE WEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second and Third Sunday Of The Month, March & September Learn the basics on this easy and most versatile type of loom, the Rigid-Heddle. Two- class instruction includes measuring out the warp, how to warp up the loom and different techniques for weaving on it. Participants will leave with a yard of cotton cloth. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $175. TIME: 8 hours on 2 days, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

CROCHET BASICS

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of the Month, May & September Second Sunday of The Month, February
Used by the pioneers to create a wide variety of goods, crochet is one of the basic crafts that will start you creating wonderful projects. Students will learn the basic stitches and terminology in this hands-on class, and should leave the class with a completed pillow top. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now


Heritage

BASKETWEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday of the Month, May and November
Learn how to make baskets from wood fibers and reeds, to create both decorative and useful containers for your home and garden. Learn the basic techniques in an afternoon, with a take-home project to boot. Make a Market Basket in May and an Oil/Vinegar Basket in November. Materials provided.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

PYSANKY: DECORATED EGGS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, March-June & September
Learn to decorate eggs using the wax-resist method brought to America by Ukrainian settlers. You will be shown how to draw a pattern on an egg and how to plan out the color order for dyeing while being taught about the history of this ancient Ukrainian tradition. Using a candle flame and a writing tool known as a “kistka,” you will melt beeswax and build up your designs while moving your eggs through a succession of dye baths. When completed, you will melt off the wax to reveal the jeweled tones of your finished eggs. Eggs will be blown before leaving class. Decorated eggs can be displayed and enjoyed for many years to come. Mininum age: 13 years. Purchase supplies at class.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

LINTKNAPPING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, February, May, September & October
A beginners guide to the art of working stone, from flaking to shaping and arrowheads to gun flints. This is ancient skill that dates back hundreds of thousands of years, and was used in frontier Texas by the Native Texans and the settlers. A taste of cutting stone, taught at a Native Texan site. Students must bring gloves and protective eyewear.

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SOCIALS

LECTURE SERIES
Second Sunday Of The Month, February-November
In the late 1800s, Victorian-era Texans often gathered on Sunday afternoons for conversation and enrichment — read that lectures on a variety of genteel topics. Our Sunday Socials feature historical authors, topical lectures and perhaps a few Texas characters who are feeling a bit Victorian. A two-part program with light refreshments.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $10. TIME: 2 hours, 2 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SACRED SPACES, HISTORY PLACES

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, April, June & August
Explore your inner artist in this introductory sculpture class with a Texas history lesson woven into it. Find out about the lifestyles of the Tonkawa Indians in this part of Texas before the arrival of white settlers, and how they developed sacred, restful spiritual areas that you can recreate in a garden at your home. Materials provided.

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

BUILDING WITH LOGS

INFORMATION CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, September & November
Before the Civil War, logs were as common a building material in much of Texas as pine studs are today. Learn the basics of this architecture and construction in this hands-on workshop. Taught by our expert on all things log, this class is a primer on early-Texas history. Not the Lincoln Logs briefing you might get online.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

OWNING OLD HOUSES: A PRIMER

INFORMATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, February & March.
A step-by-step guide to historic preservation, from architectural styles to what to look for in buying to how to properly repair and restore your Dream Home — and keep it from becoming a Money Pit. Learn about building techniques from Texas’ past. An informational class taught by our restoration team.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

GIRLS OF GRIT

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday of Month, September-November, February-May Women and girls changed the face of Pioneer Texas. Come walk through the pages of Lone Star history and learn about the lives of women and girls who helped settle Texas. See early-day costumes, get a take-home history booklet. Great for mothers, daughters, Girl Scout and Brownie groups.

FEE: $10 per participant. TIME: 2 hours, 1 to 3 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

CANDLEMAKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, February & May Second Sunday Of The Month, October & November
Learn how the pioneers made their own candles, for lighting, ceremonies and more. Students will leave with their own hand-dipped candles, as well as the information needed to produce candles at home. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.    Enroll Now 

 

CROCHETED RAG RUGS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Saturdays. By reservation: 512.837.1215.
Learn how to make rugs from cloth scraps and a colorful assortment of other materials, just like the pioneers. Rag rugs, once a staple on the Texas frontier, are making a comeback today. Learn the basic techniques, then practice and finish your rug — in class or on your own. Taught by our expert rug weaver.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SOAPMAKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Third Saturday of the Month, March, April & May
Soap has been around since ancient Babylon, and this short course brings you into the modern world on how to make this lathering cleanser. Everything you’ll need to know is covered, from ingredients to methods to the finished product, is covered. When you leave, you’ll be able to make your own scented or unscented soap with flourish.

SITE: Cotton Farm FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE IN THE 1800s

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Saturday of Month, February, June & September
Learn about historic home design and construction in Texas during the 1800s, from
Greek Revival to Sunday House to Victorian Eclectic. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll know the difference between Dog Trot and Dog Leg, and Board and Batten from balusters and a balustrade!

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

PRESERVATION 101: A PRIMER

INFORMATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, February, June & September
A step-by-step guide to historic preservation, from architectural styles to what to look for in buying to how to properly repair and restore your Dream Home — and keep it from becoming a Money Pit. A hands-on class taught by our restoration team.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.     Enroll Now