Classes – Houston Urban Farming | Small Places

Classes

Education is vital in working toward changing food culture and living a healthy lifestyle. We are beginning to offer classes on various topics including nutrition, cooking, and gardening. Classes at Small Places are designed for all types of people, those new to gardening and more experienced farmers seeking to learn new techniques. We are continuing to build our curriculum to expand the variety and increase the frequency of classes offered at the farm. Txrxlabslogo We are excited to be partnering with TXRX Labs, Houston’s largest hacker/ maker space, to make these classes accessible to a broader audience. Class registration will take place through their website. Look for our logo to indicate which classes will be hosted at the farm. Over time, we want to integrate the topics and resources already available at the lab into classes offered at the farm. Together we hope to be an educational resource on all things food for the Houston community.  

Upcoming Classes

Farm Members receive a 10% discount on all classes. Register today as a member to get the discount and other farm related benefits.
kombucha-gingerbeer
Kombucha and Ginger Beer
$40
Want to learn to make homemade Kombucha and Wild Fermented root drinks like Ginger Beer, Turmeric Beer, and Sunchoke Beer? They are all fermented to be full of probiotics (healthy gut!), nonalcoholic (less than .5 percent), and simple to make. Kombucha is a fermented tea that acts as an adaptogen, which helps the body maintain homeostasis. The wild root drinks bring wild yeasts and bacteria from your environment into your system, which makes for a happy gut. The main ingredients are simple; water, the root or SCOBY, and something sweet. Leave with a flavored bottle of your favorite drink or a starter culture to make your own.
Date: September 15th, 9:00am – 11:00am
Produce Cyanotype
Produce Cyanotype
$35
Join us to explore the farm on a sunny day, and take home lovely blue images of what you discover! This family friendly hands-on class allows you to creatively play with their vegetables and make cyanotype photograms. We will look at the shapes of leaves, and have scissors available to create new forms from them. The class will emphasize taking time to contemplate how produce looks, while creating images and learning some of the history of photographic process.
Date: September 22nd, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Sourdough Baking
Flour, Water, Salt, Time: An Introduction to Sourdough Baking
$35
Before you could buy yeast at the store – you cultivated it yourself at home. Learn the centuries old technique of cultivating wild yeasts and bacteria to create stunning, healthy, natural, artisanal breads. Using only flour, water, salt and time, participants will learn how to create and maintain their own sourdough starters and leave ready to bake their first loaves of the world’s greatest bread in their own home kitchens. Class will feature discussion of the history of sourdough, making sourdough starters, discussion of tools and ingredients, and a kneading demonstration to get hands on experience with how dough should feel during the kneading process.
Date: September 29th, 9:00am – 11:00am
kombucha-gingerbeer
Kombucha and Ginger Beer
$40
Want to learn to make homemade Kombucha and Wild Fermented root drinks like Ginger Beer, Turmeric Beer, and Sunchoke Beer? They are all fermented to be full of probiotics (healthy gut!), nonalcoholic (less than .5 percent), and simple to make. Kombucha is a fermented tea that acts as an adaptogen, which helps the body maintain homeostasis. The wild root drinks bring wild yeasts and bacteria from your environment into your system, which makes for a happy gut. The main ingredients are simple; water, the root or SCOBY, and something sweet. Leave with a flavored bottle of your favorite drink or a starter culture to make your own.
Date: October 27th, 9:00am – 11:00am
Seasonal Fermented Vegetables
$35
Come learn the ancient art of fermentation! It’s a way to preserve food, harvest probiotics, spread food cultures, and get creative with your food. In this introductory class, we will cover the basics of the fermentation process, taste homemade ferments, and you will make and take home a mason jar of your first vegetable ferment! Your gut is already thanking you.
Date: November 17th, 9:00 – 11:00am
Sourdough Baking
Flour, Water, Salt, Time: An Introduction to Sourdough Baking
$35
Before you could buy yeast at the store – you cultivated it yourself at home. Learn the centuries old technique of cultivating wild yeasts and bacteria to create stunning, healthy, natural, artisanal breads. Using only flour, water, salt and time, participants will learn how to create and maintain their own sourdough starters and leave ready to bake their first loaves of the world’s greatest bread in their own home kitchens. Class will feature discussion of the history of sourdough, making sourdough starters, discussion of tools and ingredients, and a kneading demonstration to get hands on experience with how dough should feel during the kneading process.
Date: December 1st, 9:00am – 11:00am
kombucha-gingerbeer
Kombucha and Ginger Beer
$35
Want to learn to make homemade Kombucha and Wild Fermented root drinks like Ginger Beer, Turmeric Beer, and Sunchoke Beer? They are all fermented to be full of probiotics (healthy gut!), nonalcoholic (less than .5 percent), and simple to make. Kombucha is a fermented tea that acts as an adaptogen, which helps the body maintain homeostasis. The wild root drinks bring wild yeasts and bacteria from your environment into your system, which makes for a happy gut. The main ingredients are simple; water, the root or SCOBY, and something sweet. Leave with a flavored bottle of your favorite drink or a starter culture to make your own.
Date: December 8th, 9:00am – 11:00am

Classes not Scheduled

The classes below are not currently scheduled but are classes taught at Finca Tres Robles. Click the “Email me the next time this class is scheduled” button on the class page to be notified when a new session is posted. If you would like to schedule a private class on any of these topics you can email classes@smallplaces.org to organize a session.
Tequila Tasting
Tequila Tasting
$50
Join us under the oaks to learn about the history, production process, and tastes of tequila. The event will be led by Dr. Chris Taylor, wine professor and director of the beverage management program at the University of Houston’s Hilton College. We will taste different tequilas and learn about tequila production.
Date: March 24th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Fire Building
Survival Skills: Introduction and Fire Building
$25
Ever wondered what you would have to do to survive if you got lost in the wilderness? This class will introduce you to the backbone of survival- whether you’re backpacking in the back country, hiking at the state park, or evading a zombie apocalypse- this knowledge will help you feel more comfortable with your environment so you can survive and thrive. Practice your skills and learn how to build and light a fire using a variety of methods! We will explore both modern and traditional approaches to survival and fire-building.
Date: March 31st, 9:00am – 11:00am
Green Living: Growing Herbs
$30
The class will cover basic herb growing in the Houston area. Students will learn best practices for soil preparation, growing from seed or transplants, seasonality of various types of herbs, growing in containers vs. garden beds and dealing with our unique climate conditions. Time permitting, we will cover best harvesting practices and easy ways to use herbs in everyday food and beverages.
Date: March 31st, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Photography Series
Photography Series
$175
Come learn the basics of photography with emphasis on portraiture, color, contemplation, and composition. Bring your camera–cell phone, point and shoot, DSLR, holga, instax or any other way you make pictures. While this class will be small enough to get hands on help with how to use your camera, the focus will be on looking at light and elements of art.
Date: April 4th, 11th, 18th, 24th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Tree Grafting
Urban Homesteading: Tree Grafting
$35
Join us at Finca Tres Robles to learn several types of grafting, how to collect and store bud wood, and the tricks and tips you need to know for growing success. See demonstrations of several grafting techniques and have the opportunity to purchase inexpensive and hard to find grafting supplies. Trees grafted on the day of the class will be available for purchase.
Date: April 7th, 9:00am – 11:00am
Meditative Collage
Meditative Collage
$25
Have stacks of magazines lying around? Bring them to this class to turn them into art. Spend some time meditating and enjoying the farm, while making new images out of old ones. It’s a perfect way to relax on a Saturday afternoon. Before class we’ll send you some examples, and a history of collage that we’ll talk about, but mostly we’ll focus on creating something new. This class is family friendly!
Date: April 7th, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Nature Awareness
Nature Awareness: Landscape
$25
Humans leave a major footprint on the earth’s landscape, leaving us feeling disconnected and separate from our natural surroundings. In this class, you will immerse yourself in the environment of the farm by learning to read the landscape with all your senses. Play games and learn traditional Nature Awareness philosophy. These skills will help you learn to become “invisible” in nature! Birders and wildlife enthusiasts will benefit greatly from this class. Please wear natural colors and no scents- it will be to your advantage!
Date: April 28th, 9:00am – 11:00am
Kombucha
Kombucha 2.0 – SCOBY’s, Flavoring, and Tonics
$40
Are you brewing kombucha, but not sure how it’s going? Are you wanting to take your brewing skills to the next level? Come out under the oaks at Finca Tres Robles and take a deeper dive into brewing kombucha. It is a remarkably simple process, but a more rounded understanding of it’s quirks and processes can help you achieve the beverage you so desire.
Date: May 19th, 9:00am – 11:00am
Ice Cream Making with Chocolate Wasted
$30
As the summer heat descends, come join us to learn how to create a perfect cool treat: Ice Cream! Learn the basics of ice cream making with Suzan Sahwani-Garcia, owner of Chocolate Wasted, a small-batch creamery and food truck recently named Houston’s Best Food Truck by Edible Houston and Texas Lifestyle Magazine.
Date: May 19th, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Urban Homesteading: Seed Saving 101
$25
Seeds don’t come from shiny packets on the shelves of Home Depot. They are complex biological histories. So how do we get them? How should you store them? Will they be like the parent plant? Come learn the basics of seed saving on the farm; how to save them, keep them from season to season, and protect the heritage or cross breed. We’ll go through the processes of seasonal seed saving (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, and beans) leaving with some of the farms biology to take home with you.
Date: June 2nd, 9:00am – 10:30am
Kombucha Beer, Quick Country Wine & Wild Homebrews
$35
Love the taste of Kombucha and homebrew? Why not combine the two? Love a good sour lambic, and want to brew like Cantillon (a monastic brewery in Brussels)? Ever think making beer takes too much fancy equipment and time sterilizing? In this introductory class, learn a method of brewing that encourages wild probiotics to join your brew, increasing its health benefits and allows you to shape the taste to your liking. In this class we will make Kombucha Beer, Country Wine and other homebrews. Kombucha Beer (Booch Hooch) – This is kombucha that has been converted to beer. Beer yeast, hops, and sugar are added to finished kombucha to increase the alcohol content, but keep the characteristics of the kombucha.
Date: June 2nd, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
growing food
Urban Homesteading: Growing Your Own Food (Spring)
$40
Want to build your own home garden but don’t know where to start? Asking the right questions can make all the difference. Come learn the basic design principles that go into building a cost-efficient, fun, and productive garden. Begin learning about important decisions such as bed location, bed construction, and costs involved. Walk away with the problem solving skills to get your garden built in time for the oncoming Spring.
Date: February 24th, 10:00am – 12:00pm
heirloom tomatoes
Fresh is Best: Growing Heirloom Tomatoes at Home
$35
Love fresh tomatoes but had a tough time growing your own in Houston? You’re not alone. Growing tomatoes in Houston’s climate can be a challenge to say the least. But, a consistent productive harvest is possible here. Come learn the basics about the heirloom tomato (planting times and varieties most suitable for Houston) and learn hands-on techniques for planting and trellising this popular garden fruit. Lastly, walk away with a few of La Finca’s farm grown heirloom transplants to get your home garden up and running for the spring!
Date: March 3rd, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
intro to juicing
Healthy Eating: Introduction to Juicing
$30
Join us at Finca Tres Robles out for an introduction to the world of juicing. Radicle Fresh Juice co-founder, Clark Neumann, will share his story, share some tips for getting started, as well as provide a hands-on look at some fruit / vegetable juicing using produce straight from the farm.
Date: Not Scheduled
Knowing your Wines: Tastings from Italian Vineyards
$40
Join us for an evening of Italian wines paired with fresh food. The event will be led by Dr. Chris Taylor, wine professor and director of the beverage management program at the University of Houston’s Hilton College. We will taste wines from Italian vineyards and producers.
Date: Not Scheduled
Urban Homesteading: Fall Garden Series
$100
Join us for this 3-part Fall gardening series designed to support you throughout the stages of the season: Session 1 – Growing Your Own Food (Fall), Sept. 16th, 9:00 – 11:00am Session 2 – Perennial Herbs and Trees, Oct. 14th, 9:00-11:00am Session 3 – Trouble Shooting, Maintenance, & Harvesting, Nov. 11th, 9:00-11:00am
Date: Not Scheduled
drip irrigation
Urban Homesteading: Drip Irrigation
$30
Join us Finca Tres Robles to learn the steps for installing your own drip irrigation system. No digging required! You will leave this class with knowledge about the benefits of drip irrigation, hands-on experience for installing your system, and a shopping list. You can find all your materials at big-box stores. With a bit of gumption, you can have your own automatic drip irrigation system installed by the end of the day.
Date: Not Scheduled
Food Truck Experience
Healthy Eating: Food Truck Experience
$40
Join us at Finca Tres Robles to get the full food truck experience. Students will learn tips for preparing fresh, healthy meals while using Chef Guhl’s food truck to prepare and cook the food. Not only will students use produce harvest directly from Finca Tres Robles, but they will learn about the unique joys and challenges of cooking in a food truck
Date: Not Scheduled
Green Living: Bokashi Composting System
$40
We’ll be focusing on the Japanese anaerobic composting system known as bokashi. A unique system that ferments your compost using beneficial microbes in an oxygen free environment. No smell, no rodents, and no flies. It’s a great system for those home gardeners who would like to put all food and garden wastes to use. There’s almost nothing you can’t add. We”ll also briefly discuss some other ways to compost and how they match up to the bokashi system.
Date: Not Scheduled
handmade chocolate
Healthy Eating: Handmade Chocolate Treats
$45
Come join us with your son or daughter at Finca Tres Robles to learn about the wonderful health benefits Cacao brings to your body. Try a new take on chocolate and sweetener and enjoy a hands-on cooking class with your kids. Try delicious coconut chocolate donuts, cacao nibs snack bars, truffles and more surprises. Instructor Brenda Tapia launched her career as a lawyer and used her interest in nutrition and yoga to become a Health Coach and a Yoga Instructor.
Date: Not Scheduled
Urban Homesteading: Perennial Herb and Trees
$40
Seasonal vegetables aren’t the only plants to plant out as the weather begins to cool off. There’s an incredible palette of plants to choose from that have longer life spans, unique flavors, medicinal values, and sweet fruits. Come learn about a number of perennial herbs and fruit trees that will grow great in our climate and how to incorporate them into your home spaces. We’ll be demonstrating fruit tree planting and discuss seasonal maintenance.
Date: Not Scheduled
Urban Homesteading: Trouble Shooting, Maintenance, & Harvesting
$40
Once your garden is planted for the season, it doesn’t mean your work there is over. Come to Finca Tres Robles to discuss, see and walk-through best-practices when maintaining and harvesting from an organic home garden. Learn the proper ways of harvesting to help encourage further growth season long production. Finding pests, discoloration, stunted growth… we’ll talk about that too. The home garden requires a good eye and care over the course of the season to provide a seasonal bounty!
Date: Not Scheduled
healthy breakfast
Healthy Eating: Breakfast Ideas
$35
Come join us at Finca Tres Robles to get some healthy breakfast ideas! Learn how to make homemade tortillas and to prepare your omelets filled with tons of organic vegetables while learning the healthy benefits of eating eggs. You will also learn how easy it is to prepare your own delicious sauces like tomatillo and avoid the toxic ingredients and refined sugar added in commercial brands. In addition, we will have something for those with a sweet-tooth as we prepare sweet potato pancakes with a delicious jam!
Date: Not Scheduled
Green Living: Home Composting
$35
Tired of throwing away your compostables in the garbage? Not sure what to do about the pesky flies in your compost pile? In this class, you will learn about the basic science of compost and the different ways you can incorporate it into your home life and garden. Learn about the composting strategies and the ways to trouble shoot any problems that may arise. Be ready to keep organic material out of our landfills and turn it into beautiful fertility for your yard, ornamentals, or home garden.
Date: Not Scheduled
discovering spices
Healthy Eating: Discovering Spices
$35
Come join us at Finca Tres Robles to learn about the versatile ways to use fresh spices in your cooking! Enjoy your morning coffee with the delicious smell of cardamon seeds, ginger and homemade vegetable milk. Learn natural ways to boost your Immune System to prevent illness and know how to increase your energy levels with aloe vera, cloves and more. Discover how easy it is to prepare a delicious turmeric brown rice and coconut milk roasted vegetables full of delicious spices.
Date: Not Scheduled
Seasonal Eating: Warriors of the Houston Summer Garden
$30
People are always excited about Houston’s year ground growing season, but what do you do in your garden when there’s no rain and it’s 105 degrees outside? Come learn about the preparations necessary for the oncoming summer. Learn about what you can grow, what to remove, and how to keep your garden happy and healthy throughout the Summer heat.
Date: Not Scheduled
Fermentation Frying Plan: Sourdough Pancakes, Dosas, & Chutney
$40
Grains developed with the advent of agriculture and fermentation was right in step. In this introductory class, come learn the magic of sourdough pancakes, dosas (lentil pancakes), coconut chutney, and soured oats. These delicious treats are healthier than most of their off-the-shelf alternatives as fermentation breaks down the enzymes which release the full nutritional value of the grain or bean.
Date: Not Scheduled
Farmacy Food
$35
How does food help us become healthier? Collard Greens are rich in nutrients like vitamin C, folate, magnesium, calcium and many others. Magnesium supports you in detoxifying your body and minimizes damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins. Folate is an original and natural version of folic acid, and a lack of it in pregnancy can lead to growth and neurological problems. Beets improve digestive health due to its high amount of fiber and radishes contain high levels of zinc, the most important antioxidant mineral. Dill is delicious and is effective for the relief of colic, gas and indigestion.
Date: Not Scheduled
Designing & Building the Home Garden
$30
Want to build your own home garden, but don’t know where to start? Come learn about the design process and considerations that go into building up your garden. Learn about where the best places are for your beds, how to build them, and the costs involved. Walk away with the tools to get your garden built just in time for the oncoming Fall.
Date: Not Scheduled
Using Herbs in the Kitchen
$25
In the class, we will demonstrate how to harvest herbs, prepare them for use and then talk about and demo various simple ways to use herbs in every day meals. This will include herb vinegar, vinaigrettes and marinades, adding herbs to baking recipes as well as main dishes such as soups, stews, vegetables and more.
Date: Not Scheduled
Seasonal Eating: Bountiful Spring Gardens
$30
Eating seasonally has many benefits: cost, flavor, and health. But many new gardeners often discover that gardening can be a lot harder than it looks. Like other skills, it takes many seasons of trial-and-error to become a master. Luckily for you though, you can hit the fast forward button on your gardening skills and come learn some hard-earned lessons from one of Houston’s top farmers. Prepare for important decisions such as seed varieties and timing while getting your hands dirty with lessons on bed preparation, planting, thinning, and plant spacing. Walk away with a farm transplant to get your garden started. This is a must for any new gardener or newcomer to the Houston climate.
Date: Not Scheduled
Composting II: Tumbler Design & Construction
$115
During this class we will discuss different design options and each student will build their own tumbler based on the pictured design. We will also cover ways to improve or customize the design if you’re interested and willing to invest a little more time and effort. All materials and tools for the build are provided. Join us on the farm to build your own tumbler and begin turning your organic waste into useful fertilizer.
Date: Not Scheduled
Basic Culinary Skills
$15
To become a good cook you have to start somewhere. We will cover fundamental cooking principles including knife skills and familiarity with common cooking kitchen tools and equipment. Together, we’ll start with the basics and get some hands on culinary experience preparing a small meal.
Date: Not Scheduled
Brown Rice and Quinoa
$45
Have you heard good things about Quinoa and Brown Rice but don’t really understand why they are so good? Why Brown Rice instead White? What’s wrong with white? Why does cooking Brow Rice take so long? How do I cook Quinoa? Are you tired of plain dishes and want to add delicious homemade dressings? Join us to learn different options of cooking Brown Rice and Quinoa and together we’ll cook a meal incorporating seasonally available produce.
Date: Not Scheduled
growing-peppers
Basic Gardening: Growing Peppers
$45
The Pepper is the one of the most used fruits around the world. Whether you prefer sweet, spicy, or any color of the rainbow, learn how to grow your own productive pepper plants in pots or in the ground. Learn about best planting dates, good varieties, and how to organically maintain them over the course of the year. Walk away with a few of La Finca’s farm grown pepper transplants to get your home garden up and running for the spring.
Date: Not Scheduled
Kids Class: Seeds, Flowers, and Fruits (Ages 6-8)
$25
Have your kids come out and study the various stages of the plant life cycle by walking amongst the farm’s rows studying up close unique vegetables, dissecting live plants and of course tasting the parts we love to eat. Let you child learn where food comes from through a hands on morning at a working-farm time right here in the city.
Date: Not Scheduled
Kids Class: Seeds, Flowers, and Fruits (Ages 9-12)
$25
Have your kids come out and study the various stages of the plant life cycle by walking amongst the farm’s rows studying up close unique vegetables, dissecting live plants and of course tasting the parts we love to eat. Let you child learn where food comes from through a hands on morning at a working-farm time right here in the city.
Date: Not Scheduled
Kids Class: Bacteria, Beetles, and Borers (Ages 6-8)
$25
The soil is alive with critters and creatures that create an amazing ecosystem of life and fertility. Get your kids outside, get their hands dirty, and learn the basics of soil by studying some of the creatures who make it happen. Walk home with a small pot and seed in the farm’s live soil for your child to care for.
Date: Not Scheduled
Kids Class: Bacteria, Beetles, and Borers (Ages 9-12)
$25
The soil is alive with critters and creatures that create an amazing ecosystem of life and fertility. Get your kids outside, get their hands dirty, and learn the basics of soil by studying some of the creatures who make it happen. Walk home with a small pot and seed in the farm’s live soil for your child to care for.
Date: Not Scheduled
Growing Your Own Food: Crash Course for Young Adults
$30
Come learn the basics of growing food here in Houston. Determine what to consider when choosing seed vs. transplant, containers vs. beds, compost vs. potting soil. Leave with the knowledge needed to get started growing your own food. (Ages 13-17)
Date: Not Scheduled
Taking Over the Backyard for Young Adults
$40
Come learn the basics of garden design and construction to give your parents’ yard a new look. Learn the basics of bed construction and placement, what to plant when and get your hands dirty planning and planting a small raised bed on the farm. Walk away with some plants or seeds to get the process going. (Ages 13 -17)
Date: Not Scheduled
Intro to Houston Urban Farming
$45
Like anything, there’s more than one way to start a farm. This class will be a guided bike tour of three urban farming operations; Finca Tres Robles, the Last Organic Outpost, and Sown & Grown Nursery all less than 2 miles from TX/RX Labs. We’ll meet the farmers behind each organization, tour their operations, and learn about their different growing philosophies. Participants must bring their own bicycle and helmet. A portion of the proceeds goes to support each of these farming projects.
Date: Not Scheduled
Wattle Fence Construction
$30
This course will cover the basics of wattle fence construction including preferential wood types and design and construction considerations. We will build a sample wattle fence on the farm as part of the class. It’s a great way to add some character and definition to your garden or yard with reusable materials.
Date: Not Scheduled