Full Circle Education’s next sustainable living workshop will focus on big game hide tanning. To celebrate the hunting season on Saturday, primitive skills practitioner Kevin Taylor will teach a workshop on how to make the most of the entire animal after an ethical hunt or humane slaughter.
Full Circle’s Executive Director Cindy Riegel said Taylor would focus on traditional methods with modern tools. No toxic chemicals will be used.
Taylor is on the board of directors for Full Circle Education and is a local expert on tanning hides. Taylor studies, practices and teaches ethnobotany (how people use plants) and ethnozoology (how people use animals). Riegel said they like to use locals who want to share their knowledge of sustainable living practices from their every day lives. She said they hope these workshops will then help people live more lightly on the land and depend less on fossil fuels for food and clothing.
Riegel said the hide-tanning workshop has been something they’ve wanted to do for a while. She said with hunting season in full swing in the Valley, people often kill elk or deer but leave the hide behind.
“It’s important to try to make the most of the animals,” she said. “One way to do that is to use the hide.”
Hides are used in their most basic forms for blankets or floor and furniture coverings. They can also be used for clothing, gloves and jackets. The workshop will address the different uses for a hide, but will focus on the multi-day tanning process. Riegel said Taylor would have different hides that are already in the different stages of the process. Taylor will also talk about the proper way to field dress an animal to preserve the hide.
“The idea is to take the workshop then be able to do it yourself,” she said.
Participants will learn the entire process start to finish and should bring a pocketknife, apron, rain gear, extra layers and even a trash bag to wear since it is a labor-intensive process. Participants are also asked to bring a lunch. Registration is required in advance and the cost is $45. To register, visit tetonfullcircle.org. The workshop will be conducted at Snow Drift Farms in Victor and runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The next workshop will be on Monday, Nov. 11 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. will focus on preserving the harvest with fermentation. Participants will learn from a local expert about the chemistry and health benefits of fermented foods while preparing your own fermentation project. Participants will gain first hand knowledge of how to ferment locally grown food to maximize nutritional value and shelf life. Cost is $25 per person.