Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

What skills would you want to include in a HOMEGROWN 101

It's time to create a place here on HOMEGROWN.org that is a welcoming place for newbies: people who are looking to dip their toes in the activities that we talk about here. Would you like to help?
A few of us have been discussing it, and I think it makes sense to have a library of  easy-to-follow how-tos so that people can try something out without getting discouraged by some of the more "advanced" discussions that happen here. There could also be discussions where people are free to ask ANY question - no matter how elementary. Judging by the sad state of my last tomato growing efforts, I sure could use some basic guidance.
So...where do we start? How about a list of topics? What do YOU think should be part of a HOMEGROWN 101?

As an example, some general topics that come to mind:
  • Gardening 101
    • Container gardening
    • Building a raised bed
    • How to test your soil

  • Composting 101
  • Food Preservation 101
    • Canning
    • Dehydrating
    • Lacto-fermentation

  • Cheese Making 101
What else?

Of course, the other part of this is who wants to help build it? :) Don't feel any pressure if you suggest a topic that you're not able to create a 101 for, but please consider taking on a part of the project and - together - we can make this happen! Much of the material already lives on HOMEGROWN! (Type a topic in the "search" field in the top right of the page and you'll see). All you would need to do is aggregate it into an introductory article on each topic.
Leave a comment here with your suggestions or shoot me an email if you'd like cornelia at farmaid dot org.
Thanks everyone - you're the ones who have made this such a rich resource - let's widen the circle!

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I can help out with lactofermentation, canning, wild sourdough wrangling, animal husbandry (chickens, dairy goats - care and milking), cheese making, gardening.... Let me know

I'd like to do the soil testing. But can I suggest to newbies that they will need to use a lab to do the actual testing or are you looking for something to do at home (which I've never had luck with even though soil science was part of my college curriculum - just no reliable home tests out there).
More suggestions:

Food preservation: pickling, smoking, curing, root cellaring

Knitting 101
Sewing 101
Chickens 101
Energy Efficiency 101
Natural Cleaning 101
Frugality 101
Natural Building 101
Food Foraging 101
natural pest/disease control
Oh yes! As a newb I would love something like this!

I am very interested in the art of sourdough and conventional yest free bread making.

Something on tea making and even the medicinal use of herbs and other plants would be nice.

A sewing tutorial on how to make bulk food and produce bags for storage.

That's all I have at the moment but I do think this is a wonderful idea!
How about re-purposing 101? (Always looking for clever ways to reuse stuff)
Beekeeping 101
Hey There,

Thinking back on what I would have liked to have known more about when starting out gardening, I came up with a couple things that could be added to your "newbies" list. Crop rotation and cover crops for starters. Also, using row covers helped a lot. I've had the pleasure of studying fermented foods for a week with Sandor Katz and would be willing to help anyone out if I can. It seems that any topic covered in the magazine "Mother Earth News" would be interesting to talk about... Keep in touch
I second cheese making and would love to see more topics on home preserving-canning, make your own dehydrator,etc.

Also, chicken tractors and how to build one would be something we're interested in.

Simple ways to treat plant diseases, problems, insects and critters. A lot of these things can be treated with products we have in our homes that are not toxic to the environment.

Another is how to diagnose plant and garden problems
I'm a newbie at gardening & still working on tilling my first community garden plot! I'd like to see info on organically treating disease & fighting pests & diagnosing the problems in the first place.

Connie Watts said:
Simple ways to treat plant diseases, problems, insects and critters. A lot of these things can be treated with products we have in our homes that are not toxic to the environment.

Another is how to diagnose plant and garden problems
How about a segment on how to make the most out of the space you've got. Most people think you need acres of land, but I own a 1 acre property and on it I have, a five bedroom house, a huge double shed, a chook pen, duck pen, quail pen, rabbit cages, an enormous vegie garden, plus a small orchard and we run sheep. We have also just finished building a modest hothouse, in which I start all my vegies and herbs, plus strike cuttings of various fruit trees. People can do this even with a small backyard. You don't need to have a massive place.

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