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Article updated: 8/13/2013 1:48 PM

Suburban Homesteading Workshops Offered at Educational Organic Farm in Grayslake

Learn to can fruit at the August 24 "Preserving the Harvest" workshop at the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm in Grayslake.

Learn to can fruit at the August 24 "Preserving the Harvest" workshop at the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm in Grayslake.

 

Erin Cummisford

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By Erin Cummisford

You don't need to own acres of land to dabble in the heart of homesteading. The Prairie Crossing Learning Farm in Grayslake offers a series of adult education workshops featuring several popular homesteading topics.

Traditional skills such as canning, composting, and caring for chickens are becoming increasingly popular with city and suburban residents. The Learning Farm staff has been practicing these skills for many years both personally and professionally, and look forward to sharing their expertise during this series of Saturday morning workshops.

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According to Sharon Gaughan, Learning Farm Education Program Director, "as a farm set in the suburbs, the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm is uniquely positioned to serve as a resource for suburban homesteaders -- those looking to explore new homesteading topics or to further hone their existing skills."

The first Suburban Homesteading Workshop, "Preserving the Harvest", is from 9 a.m. -- 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 24. Learn how to preserve some of the luscious fruit that is available during the summer, so you can continue to enjoy it throughout the year. This workshop is timed to take advantage of the delicious seasonal fruit that is available right now at local farmers markets.

Participants will learn about home canning through demonstration and hands-on involvement as they make chunky applesauce and another seasonal treat. Each participant will bring home a small jar of the preserved fruit they help make during the workshop. No prior experience is necessary, only an interest in learning. The $40 workshop is for adults and requires advance registration at www.prairiecrossing.com/farm/learning.php.

The second Suburban Homesteading workshop, "Growing and Using World Grains", is from 9 a.m. -- 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 14. In this hands-on workshop adults will learn several methods of threshing, winnowing and milling winter wheat. Other topics will include pollination, seed-saving, wheat-grass juicing, and much more.

Future Suburban Homesteading workshops include "Small Scale Composting" on October 5, "Backyard Chickens" on October 26, and "Homemade Yogurt and Granola" on November 16. Workshop costs range from $30-$40, and advance registration is required.

Register for all workshops in the Suburban Homesteading Series and receive a gift certificate for vegetables grown by the Prairie Farm Corps, the Learning Farm's youth development and farming program. Gift certificates can be redeemed at the Prairie Farm Corps booth at the Libertyville Farmers Market on Thursdays from 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. until October 17.

"The Learning Farm staff share a love of this homesteading lifestyle, and hold a wealth of knowledge and experience for the suburban homesteader," Gaughan said. "Through these workshops, we can share our passion with those seeking a similar lifestyle."

The mission of the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm is to educate and inspire people to value healthy food, land and community through experiences on the farm. Information about Learning Farm programs is at www.prairiecrossing.com/farm/learning.php.

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