Friday, July 2, 2010

Urban Homesteading: Returning to the Lost Art of Sustainable Living

When getting started in farming, money can be real tight, even sometimes for the basics.  Here is a great course that can help you learn the "lost art" of being self-reliant.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about homesteading? Do you think about canning tomatoes with your grandmother? Maybe you envision a pioneer woman churning butter or knitting socks. Often times, sustainable living comes to mind. Sustainable living is not just for rural people: Even with limited or no space, you can take steps to become more self-reliant!

In light of turbulent economic times, many Americans are turning to the lost art of self-sufficiency. This is not surprising considering 4.1 million Americans lost their jobs in 2009, and it is estimated that a staggering 15 million Americans were out of work at the beginning of 2010. Pressing times are upon us, and the evidence is everywhere in the form of home foreclosures, brown sack lunches and sacrificed vacations.

The mission of University of Missouri’s Urban Homesteading Program is simple: To empower urban and rural individuals to take steps to become more self-sufficient by providing tools and education on basic homesteading practices. Class topics include container gardening, food preservation information, stretching your food dollars, and tips to help you live on less. No, we’re not going to ask you what kind of vehicle you drive or whether you use paper, plastic or reusable bags. This program will help you determine what’s important to YOU, and provide tools and information to help you incorporate those sustainable behaviors into your everyday life.

Urban Homesteading is a six-week program and will be held on Thursday evenings beginning September 16 through October 21, 2010 at the Mineral Area TCRC located in the Technology Center at Mineral Area College from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration is $50 and includes an 18 hour workshop, an Urban Homesteading Resource Workbook and a Resource CD. Class size is limited, so enroll today by calling or emailing Lynn Heins at the Washington County Extension Office – (573) 438-2671 or Please make checks payable to Washington County Extension and mail to 113 N. Missouri St., Suite A, Potosi, MO 63664.   (Lynn Heins, Agriculture Business Specialist, University of Missouri Extension)

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