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.
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.