Learn How to Have a Homegrown Lifestyle

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a course, Homegrown Lifestyle, for folks who want to reconnect with the land, grow food for their own use, and create a sustainable landscape. Homegrown Lifestyle will be offered at 11 Iowa locations beginning March 29 and ending June 14.

Homegrown Lifestyle is a 12-week spring short course for people living on a large lot or small acreage who are interested in producing food for their own use in a way that sustains their natural environment. Weekly sessions will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The webinar portion of each session will be taught by extension educators with expertise in the topics. They will bring the science of getting started to the class. Each session also will include locally organized activities for a hands-on experience. For details on session topics and instructors go to www.homegrownlifestyle.org.

In addition to the weekly Thursday sessions, three half-day local tours or workshops give course participants the opportunity to experience small-scale food production and resource conservation practices first hand.

“Increasing interest in eating locally has some folks wondering if they could grow their own food,” said Andy Larson, ISU Extension and Outreach small farms specialist and Homegrown Lifestyle co-coordinator. “The Homegrown Lifestyle course combines basic information on a wide range of topics with practical application, local tours and workshops for a complete educational experience.”

Topics covered during the course include edible landscape design; soil and water conservation; growing and preserving vegetables, fruits and wild crops; backyard poultry; beekeeping; grazing and ruminants; and wildlife management. It is not a farm business planning class for commercial growers. Homegrown Lifestyle focuses on fundamental, scale-appropriate food production techniques and conservation strategies that smallholders and modern homesteaders can quickly put to use.

Locations of 2012 Homegrown Lifestyle course

  • Adel, Dallas County Extension Office, 28059 Fairground Road
  • Algona, Kossuth County Extension Office, 1121-B Hwy 18 E.
  • Fairfield, Jefferson County Extension Office, 2606 West Burlington Ave.
  • Fayette, Fayette County Extension Office, 201 East Clark, Suite 101
  • Iowa City, Johnson County Extension Office, 3109 Old Highway 218 S.
  • Marion, Linn County Extension Office, 3279 7th Ave., Suite 140
  • Marshalltown, Marshall County Extension Office, 2608 S. 2nd Street and Meswaki Nation
  • Montezuma, Poweshiek County Extension Office, 114 S. Third Street
  • Mt. Pleasant, Henry County Extension Office, 127 N. Main
  • Nevada, Story County Extension Office, 220 H Ave.
  • Ottumwa, Wapello County,214 E. Main Street

The course fee is $179 and includes a comprehensive resource guide of carefully-selected publications that support the content of the webinars and workshops. Register online at www.homegrownlifestyle.org. Registrations must be completed by March 22.

For more information about Homegrown Lifestyle visit www.homegrownlifestyle.org, contact your local coordinator or e-mail homegrown@iastate.edu.