AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a course called Homegrown Lifestyle for folks who want to reconnect with the land, grow food for their families and create a sustainable landscape. The 12-week course will be offered at several Iowa locations beginning March 14 and continuing through May 30.
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 6–9 p.m. The webinar portion of each session will be taught by extension educators who are state experts in each topic. They will bring the science of getting started to the class. Each session also will include locally organized activities where participants will meet local resource people and learn from one another. For details on session topics and instructors go to www.homegrownlifestyle.org.
In addition to weekly Thursday sessions, local tours or workshops will let course participants experience small-scale food production and resource conservation practices first hand.
“Increasing interest in eating locally has some folks wondering how they could grow more of 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 and local workshops for a complete educational experience appropriate to the area.”
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; composting; and wildlife management. It is not a farm business planning class for commercial growers. Instead, 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 $149 if registered by Feb. 21. Register online at www.homegrownlifestyle.org. Late registration will be $179. Registration fee includes a comprehensive resource guide of carefully-selected publications that support the content of the webinars and workshops.