WOODBURY – Anyone looking to learn a new craft or skill, whether it’s the art of goat soap making, fly fishing or how to make a pork crown roast, will find a class at Nonnewaug High School next month.
The popular adult education program through the Woodbury FFA is returning after a two-year hiatus, with some new offerings and tried-and-true fan favorites.
Registration is now open, and classes are filling up fast, coordinators said.
There were no classes offered in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19 since there were limitations on visitors to the school and most courses are not optimal for virtual learning.
Program Coordinator Tyler Cremeans said he got approval to offer the courses this year and has been busy recruiting instructors and setting up the website, as instructors and participants are eager to get back to the programs.
“I’ve gotten tons of emails, and one class, welding, already sold out,” Cremeans said. “I expect a lot to sell out.”
Class sizes are smaller this year, with a limit of 14 students compared to 20 in years prior.
Nearly all courses are taught by locals who share their skills and craft.
The popular fly fishing course is back, along with several new fishing classes taught by a graduate of the Ellis Clark Agricultural program who had some success on the professional fishing circuit. He is now offering new instruction on bass fishing, saltwater fishing, and boating and electronics.
A local farmer from Bethlehem who makes yogurt and cheese will teach dairy farming course, with a tour of the farm on the last day.
The program depends on locals willing to sign up for instructions, and new course ideas are still accepted.
Cremeans said he just added a new class on mushroom cultivation when an instructor stepped forward.
The course fee of $20 plus materials costs is a bargain considering the amount of expertise students will take home, Cremeans said.
The bee keeping course instructor, Alphonse Avitabile, is a world-renowned expert and retired UConn professor.
“You get a wealth of knowledge for $20,” Cremeans said.
The program is not intended to be a money maker, but instead it “increases awareness for the agricultural industry and all its diversity.”
“Our goal is to not only educate our students, but to also educate and connect with the members of our community,” he said.
Anyone who wants to teach a course can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-266-4038 ext. 6.
Other course offerings include aquaponics/hydroponics, floral arrangement, wool felting, parts of a chicken, Ukrainian egg decorating, microgreens production, pesticide certification and more.
The classes take place at Nonnewaug High School’s agriscience building on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m. beginning in March and through April 7.
Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Class size will be limited to 14 students.