Hudson Valley workshops this fall

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Guitar lessons, bakery, origami. On six in 10 Americans have adopted a new hobby during the pandemic. With so much leisure time normally spent on social activities, dining out, or vacations, many of us suddenly found no excuse not to try knitting or learning how to build a stone wall, as we do. ‘ve always said that we would like, “if we had the time.”

Now, as life returns to something akin to normalcy, always flexible work schedules not only maintain, but deepen engagement in outside interests, and perhaps take on a new one. if you’ve never started a pandemic project in the first place.

“There are so many ways for adults to learn right now,” says Jim Carden, co-owner and operator of Hillsdale’s Taconic Ridge Farm and Forgather Hotel and Event Property. Hillsdale will host an immersive weekend on September 11-12 with a rich array of workshop options, led by Carden and several other gardening, floristry, writing, history and cooking enthusiasts.

“It’s really an outgrowth of interconnected workshops that have been an integral part of Hillsdale for years,” says Matthew White, one of the event organizers and owner of Hillsdale General Store and HGS Home Chef, who was inspired to give cooking lessons by a local force in the community who taught lessons before him.

And as great as YouTube tutorials are, many crafts are easier to learn in person, when you can ask questions and get feedback on your progress.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the Hudson Valley’s most inspiring workshops and courses. Get excited adults: it’s back to school for you too.

In this Hillsdale Workshop Alliance workshop, participants will create their own dahlia-centric arrangement after a brief hands-on demonstration with dahlia fanatic and Tiny Hearst Farm co-owner Jenny Elliott.

Courtesy of Tiny Hearts Farm

The Hillsdale Workshop Alliance is launching its inaugural event on September 11-12.

Carden, White, Roach and several other local master craftsmen – including Jenny Elliott and Luke Franco of Tiny Hearts Farm; artist Mark Holthusen; and Aubrey Lynch II, the former principal dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – to bring all of their workshops and classes under one roof and create an immersive weekend experience that celebrates the generosity and diversity of the Hudson Valley.

Participants choose the courses they want to take. (Some unusual and notable options: Deciphering the Meaning of Graveyard Symbols with Allison C. Meier, and Life on the Farm: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, with Kristin White.)

Some courses are free and others are priced from $ 25 and up. Many reflect the interest and commitment of the organizers in the natural world, and in particular, the Hudson Valley itself.

Not around this weekend? Classes will continue throughout the year.

The Hudson Valley House Parts architectural salvage store in Newburgh hosts a variety of preservation workshops, including this one on how to restore old windows.

The Hudson Valley House Parts architectural salvage store in Newburgh hosts a variety of preservation workshops, including this one on how to restore old windows.

Courtesy of Hudson Valley House Parts

Hudson Valley House Parts (HVHP) is fascinated by the city of Newburgh: history, fascinating architecture, opportunities for preservation. In addition to helping home and business owners preserve and maintain their building facades, owner Reggie Young is dedicated to teaching residents how to do the difficult but rewarding work of restoration on their own.

Workshops are updated frequently on the HVHP site and sell out often. A few upcoming workshops include one that will teach the basics of repointing historic lime mortar masonry, repairing and resurfacing (lime mortar class: August 20); and another course on plaster restoration (September 17and 18), in which participants learn about the benefits of plaster and alternatives, basic surface preparation and how to repair historic plaster walls.

Courses vary in price, but typically start around $ 175. For the latest offers, check out Calendar of HVHP workshops.

The Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park offers hands-on cooking classes, more intensive cooking and baking boot camps, as well as wine classes and family-friendly cooking experiences.

The Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park offers hands-on cooking classes, more intensive cooking and baking boot camps, as well as wine classes and family-friendly cooking experiences.

Courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America

The Hyde Park CIA doesn’t just produce stellar professional chefs like Davide Burke, Grant Achatz and Anthony Bourdain, it offers a range of cooking classes for the hobbyist. Classes fill up quickly, so book well in advance.

Upcoming courses include Waterfall in the Hudson Valley (September 11), a course dedicated to learning how to use fresh farm produce and a range of classic and innovative cooking techniques to create delicious dishes; and All Chocolate (September 25), which will teach the art of making sweet and savory chocolate.

Courses vary in price, but typically start around $ 250. The CIA website offers a full program of events.

The wooden boat school at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston offers courses in carpentry, boat building and crafts.

The wooden boat school at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston offers courses in carpentry, boat building and crafts.

Courtesy of the Hudson River Maritime Museum

The Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston offers a school of wooden boats, with the aim of preserving the traditions of maritime crafts of the Hudson Valley.

But the museum also offers courses adapted to terrestrial people. Upcoming courses include Build your own Adirondack chair (September 4 and 5) and Remote controlled pond yacht (August 30 – September 4), during which participants build and sail on a remote-controlled sailboat.

Course prices start around $ 240, and hardware kits are often additional. The museum offers a complete list of courses.

Who says becoming an adult has to be boring or difficult?


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