Homesteading Courses at A-B Tech Bring Back the Basics

Jan 20, 2011, 12:10 ET from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has created a new homesteading program that taps the desire for self-sufficiency and a return to simpler living.  


"The emerging generation is looking to break the current economic model," said Shelley White, Interim Vice President of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. "People are choosing to make their own clothing rather than buy clothing from China and choosing to grow their own food or buy locally rather than purchase food trucked from California."

Ashley English, who teaches a class for the College on how to raise chickens in the backyard, is one of those people. "We have two hives of Italian honey bees, six chickens, I regularly can, we have a large kitchen garden and I grow a number of herbs that I incorporate into culinary, medicinal, and body care use," she said.   "I make many homemade dairy products, we cook almost all of our meals from scratch and I make many of my own home cleaning products."

English has written books on the subject and embraced the homesteading lifestyle because she finds it empowering.  "It doesn't matter if you live in a condo with no yard to speak of or if you live on 11 wooded acres like I do, there's something to be gained in learning to meet your food, shelter, and other basic needs. Whether it's learning to grow some of your own food and can it for later use, keep a flock of laying hens, make medicine from homegrown herbs, or sew a garment or two, homesteading skills plant you squarely in the driver's seat of your life, customizing it as you see fit in order to best meet the needs of your home and your family," she said.

Students at A-B Tech can learn how to knit, sew, raise bees, quilt and preserve the summer's harvest through canning and other methods. Other topics include gardening, recycling, alternative energy sources and permaculture, sustainable land use design.

"We decided to offer a wide variety of courses related to the homesteading lifestyle, including urban, rural and advanced topics," said White. "The courses can help participants maintain a more sustainable household, rekindle an interest in handcrafts or create their own economic recovery."

SOURCE Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College