Homestead Education

| 10/6/2014 4:22:00 PM

Jen UbelakerI first got the idea about some sort of 'homestead education' when a friend of mine called me. She's got her first flock of chickens, just like me, and mentioned that she thought she might need to clip some wings on her city birds. My husband and I had previously researched this very same thing and had clipped wings on the Peeps a week or so before. So when she asked for help I went over with my little kit and held a chicken while she trimmed the wings with my meager instruction. It was wonderful to hear from her a few weeks later that she and her daughter had clipped wings on their second flock of chickens (30+ birds) all by themselves. I thought “Yeah! That's what it's all about!” Learning and sharing our skills helps all of us live a better life.

After sharing this story and talking with other friends in the community, we realized that we all have some modest skill that we can teach one another; soap making, canning, etc., and after seeing that September was Homestead Education Month, we decided to take the month to host small gatherings and have “Homestead Ed” be part of our community life. We could provide education, and further support to encourage more sustainable life for our families.

We love our little urban homestead, but my Hubs put it best when he said: “When we have a bad day on 'the farm,' we can still have pizza delivered.” We're blessed to know a lot of folks with the same lifestyle and lots more who want to make changes and learn new things. We decided to open our home for the weekends of September to teach classes, hold demos and host teachers. It was a fantastic time and we only had to call for pizza once.

I taught the first group of women the basics of canning. We did a small batch of raspberry jam that (thankfully) set perfectly and was delicious. We sat around eating the jam foam on toast and listening for the 'ping' of our jars.

Homestead Education/Jam Pix

Next, V., a local spa owner, taught a class on making cold-processed soaps. We did a lovely lavender-mint soap that is currently curing and making several houses smell wonderful.

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