Stay-at-home orders have been fostering an increased interest in home projects for weeks now, and Slow Food USA, the national good, clean, and fair food advocacy nonprofit, is heeding the call. The organization has launched Slow Food Live, a virtual skillshare series, to help those with more free time at home stay connected to the food community. 

Giselle Kennedy Lord, director of communications at Slow Food USA, says the idea is a bit of a twofer: The sessions give chefs, farmers, and other food system advocates a platform to teach a skill, while everyone with a digital device can tune in to learn. “It’s really heartening the way people have jumped on the opportunity to engage with our community and offer their wisdom, knowledge, and skills to people for free,” Lord says. 

Lord says the idea stemmed from what felt like an urgent need to connect with the Slow Food community during a time that’s, well, really challenging for a lot of people. “We recognize there are a lot of people who are at home alone, very much on their own. We wanted those people to have something to engage with and get excited about,” Lord says. 

Sessions span a variety of topics, from how to make dumplings from scratch to maintaining a sourdough starter or growing your own microgreens. Participants can tune in live at 12 p.m. MT throughout the week or access sessions, which are recorded and posted on the site, at their leisure. If you have the time, though, Lord recommends tuning in live. “The ability to ask questions allows participants to really engage [with the skill that’s being taught]. It makes it more of a conversation rather than a lecture.” 

The sessions will continue through May, at least. “The idea is to keep going for as long as people are stuck at home,” says Lord. A number of lessons star Coloradans, who, Lord says, were eager to participate. So far, the roster of Centennial State teachers has included chef Eric Lee of Acreage, who led a zero-waste minestrone-making demonstration; Lilly Steirer of Slow Food Denver’s Cooking From the Garden program, who gave cool-weather vegetable-growing gardening tips; and Adam Brock of Regenerate Change, who led a discussion on social permaculture. (These sessions have already aired, but are available to watch here.) 

Below are more details on a couple of Slow Food Live’s upcoming sessions; the full roster is available here.

The Magic of Microgreens With Roberto Meza of Emerald Gardens | April 28 
Start your own microgreens with Bennett, Colorado’s very own Roberto Meza, a Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and High Plains Food Co-Op member, and Mile High Farmers chair of membership. Meza will explain what microgreens are, why they’re important, and how you can grow them at home. Materials needed: soil or jute mats, nursery trays or other shallow container, seeds, and a water bottle or hose

Dumplings With Mei Li | April 29 
North Carolina-based cookbook author and former restaurant owner Mei Li will walk you through how to make dumplings from scratch using ingredients found in your pantry. Materials needed: check out the list here.