Learning to Grow & Preserve Our Own Food

Learning To Grow Our FoodI started my first garden with my mom’s help when I was a teenager- it was a little square plot filled with salad veggies and Hershey’s cocoa mulch. I loved getting my hands in the dirt and watering my plants in the morning- but, as my mom can testify (and now my husband too), I still had a tendency to inadvertently kill things.

Over time, my husband and I have tried different types of gardening techniques. We started with a failing pot garden in full scorching sun, then moved to a smarter pot/flower-box garden at our next place. By that time my husband was gaining a lot of plant knowledge and experience from working at a hydroponic basil farm, so he took the lead in thinking about soil composition and plant care.

Spring 2013 038(My two cute guys working on spreading composted manure in the main garden bed.)

Over the next couple of years, we tried a few different ground gardens. Tim has experimented drainage systems for our first saturated garden, and swales and hugelkultur beds for our current hilly yard. (Hugel-what?!? I know, that’s what I said too.) He’s learning about proper seed starting, succession planting, natural pest control, and how to build rich soil without tilling. But we’re still only scratching the surface of all we want to know about growing things in our own yard.


And that’s not to mention the other home-grown food sources we want to learn more about. Fruit trees, nuts, honeybees, chickens, and maybe meat rabbits too. There’s so much to read and practice- it can be rather overwhelming at times.

That’s why I’m SO excited about the Homegrown Food Summit coming up this week, from April 6-12. It’s a completely free, online educational event that will cover multiple aspects of growing and raising some of your own food at home- whether you have an expansive homestead or a small backyard. It’s such a “good pick” that it completely replaced Good Pickins’ this week.

The sessions I’m most interested in attending?

  • Youth Gardening by Julia Parker-Dickerson
  • Working with Kids by Joe Salatin
  • Quality Seed Saving by Stephen Scott
  • How to Preserve Food by Fermentation by Wardeh Harmon
  • 13 Wild Weeds by Katrina Blair
  • Permaculture Guilds by Tony Hemenway
  • 13 Tips, Tricks, and Lessons from Homesteading in an Acre by David Goodman

And there’s more too! Topics like growing greens, raising chickens, straw bale gardening, hunting, canning, and aquaponics are also on the list. There’s even a session on eating and enjoying insects! It takes all those things that I really want to learn about and puts them in one place.

Anyway, you get the idea… if there’s something you’re remotely interesting in learning about growing and preserving your own food, you can benefit from attending even part of the Summit. Plus, just for registering, you get four free e-books:

  • How Much Land Do You Need to Be Food Self Reliant?
  • 6 Ways to Keep Chickens
  • Homemade Shampoo
  • Basic Seed Saving

(Did I mention I’m really excited about this event?)

While attending the event is entirely free, you can also choose to purchase the entire content of the sessions (video, audio, & PDF format) to own and watch at any time after the event is over. (The price for this will be 30% off until the event begins on Monday.)

I am thrilled to get the chance to learn more skills to improve our little homestead. Once you register here, the folks at Homegrown Food Summit will send you a schedule of events and your free e-books. Spread the word! Growing your own food is wonderfully rewarding!

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