Homegrown Lifestyle

Homegrown Lifestyle, a 12-week course through Linn County Extension and Outreach, begins Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Besides an awesome name, I’ve heard good things about Iowa State University Extension’s Homegrown Lifestyle course.

Homegrown Lifestyle is a 12-week spring short course for folks who want to reconnect with the land, grow food for their own use and create a sustainable landscape.

Find out more about the program and how you can get registered, from Linn County Extension & Outreach:

ISU Linn County Extension & Outreach
383 Collins Road NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Thursday evenings
6:00-9:00 p.m.
March 14 – May 30, 2013.

People living on a large lot, small acreage, or in an urban setting who want to take full advantage of their space to collect rainwater, make compost and learn how to grow small fruits and vegetables.

Homegrown Lifestyle focuses on fundamental, scale-appropriate food production techniques and conservation strategies that smallholders and modern homesteaders can quickly put to use.  It is not a farm business planning class of commercial growers, rather for homeowners with space to play with.

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
• wildlife management.

Each weekly class includes an educational session taught by extension educators through a live-stream webinar; plus, each class offers locally organized activities for a face-to-face and sometimes hands-on experience.

In addition to weekly Thursday evening 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.  Linn County offers participants the added benefit of membership in the Homegrown Lifestyle Network. (http://isulinncoext.overblog.com/) This network offers members continuing education through monthly events, tours, networking, online resources, and access to the local speakers during future courses.

“Increasing interest in local foods has some folks wondering if they could grow their own food,” said Michelle Kenyon Brown, Linn County Homegrown Lifestyle 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. Rain water harvesting, growing small fruits, and tree pruning are other topics to be covered.”

Get Registered: The course fee is $179. Register online at www.homegrownlifestyle.org.  Linn County Extension along with other sites throughout the state are listed on its website. For more information about Homegrown Lifestyle, contact Michelle Kenyon Brown at (319) 377-9839 or mkenyonb@iastate.edu or visit www.homegrownlifestyle.org.

“This course gives hands-on experience in a wide range of topics.  I know my garden will thank me this year because of the tips and new ideas I picked up from the course!” – Phil Shaff, a 2012 participant http://www.extension.iastate.edu/linn/news/learn-how-have-homegrown-lifestyle