For those of us who have no land, don’t know anyone who does, and would like to build up our homesteading skills in the meantime, we now have the option of higher education. These schools won’t get you credits, won’t improve your income (in fact, your income may go down), and you will be working at heavy labor. But, for us that is wonderful news. Some of these schools offer a variety of experiences:
Tillers International: Located in Missouri, Tillers offers classes in organic farming, draft horses, oxen, woodworking, fiber arts, blacksmithing and alternative power. Some of these include timber frame housing, logging, maple sugaring, identifying wood and trees, cooking on a woodstove, basket making, bee keeping, barn raising, coopering, and more. Classes range from $20 to $350 and there are work-study options.
Center for Essential Education School of Homesteading: Located in Texas, Homestead Heritage offers a three-day homesteading intensive, gardening, chickens, beekeeping, carpentry, horses, sewing, felting and weaving, dressmaking, bread, cheese, soap, pottery, basketry, blacksmithing and more. They have a beautiful community that they call Brazos de Dios which is open year round for tours. Costs range from $60 to $295.
The Farm School: Located in Tennessee, The Farm has a plethora of classes. The Ecovillage Training Center offers bamboo construction, natural building, peak oil and permaculture design, and apprenticeships. The Leadership School has apprenticeships for appropriate science, solar electricity, organic agriculture, and eco-entrepreneurism. They also have Farm Midwives which offer training. Costs really vary.
Pay Dirt Farm School: Located in Idaho, Mary Jane’s Farm runs a school as well. There is a one week intensive in which you take all the different courses, including organic cooking, gardening, saving seed, food preservation, budgeting, firewood, marketing, animals, agri-tourism, community gardens, organic certification, greenhouses, knitting/crochet and treadle sewing. Geared for women, there are many opportunities for rest and enjoyment so it is more like a vacation. Cost is $2950.
Summerglen School of Homesteading: Located in Virginia, this beautiful intentional community offers apprenticeships, visiting opportunities and formal courses in farming, wildcrafted foods, cooking, food preservation, animals, sustainable building, marketing and more. Cost is $40 for half-day to up to $495 for a week-long intensive. There is a work-study option. EDIT: Gone?