Summer Food Course Photos 2010

Summer Food Course Photos 2011

Summer Food Course Photos 2012

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

The postings most appropriate for you have the label, "Resilient Farms."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Global Learning: Intensives in the United States and in Switzerland

Summer in Switzerland is a tremendously enriching time. Our destination is invariably a most mystical place -- Dornach, Switzerland. To prepare for the Europe trip in general, students read and then respond to questions in a classroom at our university, Western Washington University. This, and potlucks, is how we begin to form our learning community. In Dornach, we study the mysteries of the universe, as manifest in the social life of bees, as well as develop the social community of cooking, as seen in the glorious images below.

My intensive teaching-learning programs all begin with a first-exam (much like a final or last exam, but in reverse; students take it on the first day of class and are asked to respond to questions on all the readings). This way, we know that we are on the same page in terms of mastering the material that will provide a foundation for our studies.

Master teacher and practitioner Johannes Wirz, lecturing on anthroposophical (phenomenologically-oriented) beekeeping.

Johannes gently adding smoke to the hives, calming the bees as he interrupts their daily routine.

A most unusual beehive in which the frames are rounded.

Our 2016 group in front of the Goetheanum, built in the 1920s according to specifications from Rudolf Steiner. The large hall/theater was built to perform the works of Goethe, in particular, Faust, Steiner's mystery plays, and more.

The group, in front of the Glass House, our lovely classroom, enlivened with Norwegian shake, rounded forms, large windows -- and serious esoteric study.

In our comfortable residence, the beautiful, Begegnungszentrum

In the common rooms, playing music or chatting
Cooking at Bz, Goetheanum potatoes
Tristan, head chef, at the Goetheanum

Most beautiful raw milk cheeses
With sheep milk
With goat milk

Obviously, these esoteric scientists are waiting for lunch...

...which they were well-rewarded with, after an invigorating hike.
 This year, we will spend several days agains in this very beautiful spot -- home to anthroposophical medicine, Weleda preparations, and biodynamic farming on all scales. Sign up is with the Italy program: Switzerland-Italy program 2017

Italy Ecogastronomy 2019!

This is our tenth year for the program, which to date has hosted over 100 student. We are taking 13 more this year.
Pre-departure session dates: Finals week, spring quarter 2019 
Travel dates:
  • Florence: June 30 - July 31, 2019
  • Includes Switzerland excursion

Program Details
This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study heritage food cultures. Students also study in the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department, with the renowned gastronomy/sensory taste scientists, Caterina Dinnella and Erminio Monteleone.  Italian family home stays, Tuscan countryside excursions, cultural tours, and hikes. Museum visits included. The cost of this program provides most meals in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as conversational Italian and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience.

Additional credits are available through independent study.

Enrollment is limited to 13. 
  • Experience Italian farm- and home-cooking with Italian families and in hands-on culinary intensives in Italy, the home of the “Slow Food” movement
  • Visit Fiesole (with its Etruscan sites and ruins)
  • Visit San Gimingiano (Tuscan countryside)
  • Visit Il Palagio (Tuscan countryside)
  • Italian cooking classes
  • Museum visits included, e.g., The Uffizi (the Louvre of Italy) and the Accademia (where Michaelangelo's David is housed)
  • Study sensory taste science with European experts at the University of Florence (4 days)
  • Study natural animal breeding and biodynamic farming at Camporbasso in Tuscany
  • Observe cheesemaking
  • Participate in carbon-offsetting 
  • The cost of this program provides most meals in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as conversational Italian and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience

Our classroom in Switzerland

Pre-departure cooking

One of our classrooms in Florence

One of our cooking classes in Florence

Italian culture, etiquette, language

Under the Tuscan Sun -- last day reflections on our university, language, and travel studies

Last meal in Italy, at Il Palagio

Return to the U.S., more meals


Gigi Berardi, Huxley professor, received her B.A. in Biology from John Muir College, University of California San Diego and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Natural Resources, Policy, and Planning from Cornell University. She holds an M.A. in dance from UCLA.
Gigi has held four tenure-track positions and has taught at over a dozen colleges and universities – but she has saved the best for last: Western Washington University. Gigi’s research focus is on community vulnerabilities and food. In addition, she is an avid cook, gardener, student-of-languages, and fitness/dance enthusiast!
Gigi co-founded and served as interim director of the Resilience Institute at Huxley and currently serves as Resilient Farms Project co-director. Her current book projectis  entitled FoodWISE.