Kalamazoo Valley Community College Urban Homesteading Class Explores Simple Techniques to Build Self-Sufficiency

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Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Innovation (FIC) Center instructor Lee Arbogast moved from an organic farm in Bangor to Kalamazoo three years ago. He’s teaching an urban homesteading class this spring to encourage students and remind himself to use small scale farming and food preservation techniques – no matter where they live.

Urban Homesteading instructor Lee Arbogast in the greenhouse at the Food Innovation Center.

“It’s all about learning new things and learning how to master self-confidence and take care of yourself even when you don’t know what you’re doing yet,” Arbogast said. “For some of the instruction, I’ll be a co-learning leader. It’s an opportunity for all of us to perfect our techniques.”

Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Innovation (FIC) Center instructor Lee Arbogast moved from an organic farm in Bangor to Kalamazoo three years ago. He’s teaching an urban homesteading class this spring to encourage students and remind himself to use small scale farming and food preservation techniques – no matter where they live. “Part of me wants to renew my own commitment to urban homesteading,” he said. “I want to refresh my own habits in the context of urban production in general.”

The class, “Urban Homesteading: At Home Production for Health, Community and a New American Ecology,” runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from March 22 to May 10 at the FIC, 224 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49001. Although he’ll tailor his class sessions to his students’ interests, Arbogast plans to offer instruction on a variety of topics including growing mushrooms, composting, gardening, foraging for wild edibles, and caring for livestock.

“The resources here are perfect because they’re adaptable for home use and students will be able to see the processes in play,” Arbogast said of the FIC. “We’ll have ongoing demonstrations and every class will include something to take home.”

Arbogast said two of his goals for class participants are self-empowerment and self-care. “It’s all about learning new things and learning how to master self-confidence and take care of yourself even when you don’t know what you’re doing yet,” Arbogast said. “For some of the instruction, I’ll be a co-learning leader. It’s an opportunity for all of us to perfect our techniques.”

Arbogast will demonstrate indoor mushroom and sprout growing and hydroponic techniques. Participants will leave class with plants to transplant into their own gardens. He expects the class to appeal to all ages. “You just need a willingness to learn and move your body,” he said.

The course fee is $140 and registration is open now. For more information or to register, go to http://www.kvcc.edu/community or contact program coordinator Melody Woods at mwoods(at)kvcc(dot)edu or call 269.353.1290.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College has a number of course options for those who’ve made a commitment to eating healthy and conserving resources. Fitness Center Basics, Aqua Zumba and Zumba classes are available through the Wellness and Fitness Center at the Texas Township Campus.

For the complete schedule of classes, which includes professional development offerings like Spanish for the Medical Professional, cooking classes for youth, and Master Rain Gardening, go to http://www.kvcc.edu/community or contact program coordinator Melody Woods at mwoods(at)kvcc(dot)edu or 269.353.1290.

Media Contact Elizabeth Bernhard
Manager of Career and Continuing Education
abernhard(at)kvcc(dot)edu, 269.353.1289

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