Frequently Asked Questions

Our sliding scale gives you the option to pay what you feel you can afford along a scale of what the teacher thinks reasonable for their work. It is an honor system, so please honor the teachers by being as generous as you can. As a guideline, the bottom end of the scale is for folks who regularly scramble to come up with their rent. The top end of the scale is for those who regularly spend more than $40 on a meal or travel outside the country. If neither (or both) extremes describe you, please pay somewhere in the middle. To register for a class and submit payment, simply click on the “Take this class” button on any class page. You will be taken to a page where you can type in the tuition amount of your choosing.  The “suggested amount” is the high end of the sliding scale, and the “minimum amount” specified below is the low end of the sliding scale.

We do our best to offer our classes at times most working people can attend (weekend days and weekday evenings). That said, if enough people request a class at a time it is not already offered we are glad to try to arrange it. Alternately, most of our teachers are for hire and we are glad to help facilitate arrangements for a private class for you and a group of friends you organize. Contact us to inquire about prices for private classes.

We generally handle this on a class-by-class basis. If you inquire, please be sure to include the age of your kid(s), how many you would be bringing and whether you are hoping to have them participate or observe, as well as the specific classes you are inquiring about. Our main concerns are space (most of our “classrooms” are small and just barely fit paying attendees) and safety.

While we think it is a great idea (thanks for your offer!), we don’t have the personnel to facilitate connecting individuals with volunteer opportunities or for managing volunteers ourselves. Your best bet is to ask individual teachers when you attend their class if they welcome help.

All of our teachers are generous people, and are generally glad to give you information and advice even after the class is over. However, we ask that you be considerate and conscious about how you take advantage of this. If your need for information and support extends past a few minutes, please consider offering something in exchange for the time and energy given you. All our teachers are available for private lessons and consultations.

You can message instructors directly through the IUH website, either through the instructor’s profile page or through the class page of any class they teach. Alternatively, you can contact us and we’ll be happy to forward your email to the instructor you’re trying to reach.

Yes, but you will still need to pre-register for the class (as we can’t accept payment during class).  Just contact us for a mailing address or to arrange a time to stop by and drop off a check. You won’t be able to complete your registration online, but we will manually add you into the class after we receive payment.

Many of our classes require a significant amount of preparation on the part of our teacher, as well as having a specific limit to class size. Registering and paying in advance guarantees both you and the instructor of your participation. If a class is not listed as full, you can register until the day before using our online registration and payment system. You can even try for a same day registration by contacting us, but it will be dependent on us getting your email on short notice before the class (so we can’t guarantee same day registration). If we can accommodate you, we always will.

Please see our information on Class Location for a thorough answer to this question.

Call or contact us to get on a waiting list for a class and we will notify you when it is offered and give you first dibs on registering before we officially add the class online. Also, sign up for our monthly newsletter, which announces new classes as they are added.

IUH is a very small organization with no additional grants or funding beyond what we take in as tuition. Our sliding scale tuition is our attempt to keep things affordable while still paying our bills and our teachers. Work/study on a per class basis is rare and given on a class by class basis. Some teachers are willing to trade you labor in exchange for a reduction in their pay, others are not. You may inquire using our contact form Our scholarship program is temporarily suspended, but we hope to offer scholarships again in the future.

The full answer to this question can be found on our teaching page.

The Institute of Urban Homesteading

Featuring small class sizes and experiential learning, IUH offers the best in Bay Area sustainability and urban farming education with classes in gardening, urban animal husbandry, food preservation, brewcraft, foraging, fermenting, and much much more!

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