Home food production class - need ideas/feedback

ChickenPotPie

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I've been asked to teach a class for the local Relief Society (women's organization) in June. The theme for all classes offered that day is Self Reliance. I've been asked to teach a "home food production" class. Those attending are women who live in what I consider a rural town but most of whom live on small lots in suburban neighborhoods.

My goal is to expand the women's ideas of what home food production can be and make it seem a natural thing to do. Here is a very basic outline:

*Gardening on a small lot (integrating food production into your landscape)
*Gleaning
*Home food preserving - small/large batches, finding/buying local bulk food for canning
*Keeping chickens for eggs/meat
*Keeping rabbits for meat/fur/fertilizer
*Ethnic flat breads vs. yeast breads
*Home cheese and yogurt making
*Trading/bartering with neighbors
*Economics - Is it worth it?

I'd appreciate any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, or what have you. Would you leave our or add any topics? How would you teach the class? What visuals/hand outs do you think are important to have? Feel free to get as specific as you like. Thanks.
 

ChickenPotPie

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Good question. It's a 45 minute class so I'm going to have to have to just "cover" most things and choose one two on the things on my list to expound upon. I'll have a written outline for attendees to take home (and write notes on).
 

tamlynn

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So this is not a HFPE, but a just RS meeting? Or is it a Super Saturday? ;):lol:

I wish I could attend your class!

I think you are going to have to pare down your info to fit it in. Plus people will have questions and that will take up time. In addtion to food preservation by canning, I think drying and freezing should be mentioned too.

Is it legal for most people in your area to keep animals like chickens and rabbits?

There is just so much info (all of which I am interested in) maybe you could pare it down to 2-3 topics? You could easily spend the whole 45 min. just on gardening.
 

buckeye lady

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That's a lot to cover in 45 minutes.
I suggest-
square foot gardening method and Container gardening. You have time to plant a container of garden greens as an example. A container of garden greens can provide an entire family with salads for weeks. If harvested by clipping leaves with shears you'll have tender flavorful greens for 3-4 cuttings. If you plant a new container every container 6-8 weeks you'll never run out of greens.

Yogurt making is so easy!!!! I make crock pot yogurt every week or so. I can make 2 quarts of yogurt for the cost of the milk!!!! I use small re-useable 1 cup containers, I place a tablespoon of fruit preserves in the bottom and pour the yogurt on top. Voila-Fruit on the bottom. DH loves these any he is the envy of the lunch table at work.

Simple breadmaking can be a huge money saver. I can make a loaf of bread for 10% of the cost of a store bought loaf!!!

Of course you'll be sending them all to this forum for more information about all these topics.

I think I'd get a feel for my audience before I talked about raising your own meat-ie chickens, rabbits....People have some very strong views about this. A lot of people think meat just comes from the grocery store as is!!!
I'd also check and see if there are any local ordinances against keeping chickens in your area before I encouraged the practice. ( My neighbors complain about my noisy chickens every time I see them. I'm thinking of getting a few Guineas for there listening pleasure!!!)
 

ChickenPotPie

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tamlynn said:
So this is not a HFPE, but a just RS meeting? Or is it a Super Saturday? ;):lol:
I guess it's just called the monthly "Relief Society meeting" now. I wish it was a Super Saturday because that would give me more time to teach. I agree that every topic I listed could take 45 minutes, each.

I think you are going to have to pare down your info to fit it in. Plus people will have questions and that will take up time. In addition to food preservation by canning, I think drying and freezing should be mentioned too.
I'm getting feedback on this from another forum, too. So, the way I've decided to handle this is to have a detailed outline/handout for the class with a list of resources (books, websites, forums, yahoo groups) in the back of it for each attendee. I'll also have books from my own library as visuals to back up for anything I can only touch on. I'll also have copies of the local agricultural publication that lists local farms, U-picks, co-ops, farm share programs, and classes for the women to take home.

If you're familiar with RS I'm sure you can agree that home canning and bread making have been taught to death. lol. Those subjects will be easy to breeze over. I'll include drying and freezing in the notes only.

Oh, just as an interesting point - someone on another forum suggested mentioning wild plants as a food resource. I thought this was interesting. I'll just mention it in the class and have a visual back of via on of my books but we actually do have plants growing here in the area that can be harvested for food even though most people just pass them by with out a thought.

Is it legal for most people in your area to keep animals like chickens and rabbits?
This is one of the things I'm planning on addressing. So many people would never consider keeping poultry and small livestock (rabbits) in a suburban neighborhood because it simply never occurred to them that they could. In our town, you can have both and I'll have the specifics for them at the class.

From the feedback I'm getting from this forum and the other one, I do believe I will only touch on most topics and teach in more detail about space efficiency for gardening (like growing a climbing beans on corn stalks planted along a fence) and keeping chicken & rabbits. I'll end with brief statements about the economics of it and leave a few minutes for questions.

It's still going to be packed with info and I'll have to pare it down as I plan work on it but this feedback and the ideas I'm getting from people is really helpful.

Thank you. :) If anyone else has something to add, feel free. :D
 

ChickenPotPie

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buckeye lady said:
That's a lot to cover in 45 minutes.
Agreed. I think they'll just have to ask me to come back to teach if they want to hear more. ;)

I LOVE your fruit on the bottom idea. I'll have to try it. :) Btw, the refreshments for this activity will be fruits and veggies from local farms. I think I'll offer to add some goat cheese and a yogurt dip to that.

Simple breadmaking can be a huge money saver. I can make a loaf of bread for 10% of the cost of a store bought loaf!!!
Oh, I cringe every time I go to the store and see a loaf of whole wheat bread for 4.50!

Of course you'll be sending them all to this forum for more information about all these topics.
Oh, you better believe it!!! :D
 

tamlynn

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Love the homemade dairy products for refreshments- great idea!

I'm going to try making yogurt for the first time soon.

Many people think everyone knows about canning and breadmaking, but a lot of women really don't.

I do think that small space examples will be great. People have this idea of gardening from their grandma's farm with a huge garden, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Not that you need more topics, but I've been making things like crackers and cereals too, that I previously thought only came from a store.
 
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