Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Preview: HOMEGROWN Skills Workshops at Farm Aid 2012

The HOMEGROWN Village at Farm Aid 2012 in Hershey, PA promises to be a wonderful celebration of the vibrant agricultural life in Pennsylvania. The HOMEGROWN Village is a place for food and farm organizations to exhibit the good work that they are doing to assist farmers, inform eaters, restore the land, clean the waterways and build a sustainable food system.

Within the Village, The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent is where concert-goers have the opportunity to learn specific agrarian skills like those you’ll find in the HOMEGROWN 101 library. The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent is curated by Farm Aid’s in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and The Good Food Neighborhood™ through its Sustainability Schools.

We’re thrilled to share the lineup with you and hope to see many of you there!

How To Cook with Local, Seasonal and Organic Ingredients on a Budget

Presented by Margot Bradley and Diane Diffenderfer, Pennypack Farm*

A hands-on workshop

1:15 pm

Using seasonal ingredients grown organically on our nonprofit farm, participants will learn proper vegetable cutting techniques and create a “stoop” (that is a soup/stew) that is nutritious, delicious and inexpensive. (Sharp knives will be used so workshop is not designed for children.)

Heirloom Seed Saving

Presented by Tim Mountz, Longview Center for Agriculture / Happy Cat Farm*

A hands-on workshop

2:15 pm

Learn how to save your own seeds in this hands-on presentation.  Tim will show you his time-tested seed saving techniques, while turning those fine tomatoes into heirloom sauces.  Get your hands dirty!

DIY Mushroom Farm in a Bag

Presented by The Eastern PA Permaculture Guild*

A hands-on workshop

3:00 pm

Explore small (home) scale mushroom cultivation options: Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of growing edible and medicinal mushrooms and make and take you own edible mushroom bag to grown and enjoy! Explore small (home) scale mushroom cultivation options: Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of growing edible and medicinal mushrooms and make and take you own edible mushroom bag to grown and enjoy!

Backyard Chickens 101

Presented by Jennifer Brodsky, Longview Center for Agriculture*

At the presenters’ table

3:00 pm

Have you wanted to raise chickens but were not sure how or where to start?

Come learn the wonderful benefits of keeping a small-scale backyard chicken coop for your all-natural fresh egg supply throughout the year! Join us for an informative talk about how fun and simple it is for the whole family to raise chickens in your own backyard. Workshop will include slide show, coop designs, breed selection and chicken care basics.

Compost 101 and Worm Races

Presented by Jenn Halpin and Matt Steiman, Dickinson College Farm*

A hands-on workshop

4:00 pm

Composting is easy!  Come and learn how to turn table scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden.  Participants will learn the fundamentals of building and managing piles in addition to a closer look inside the pile and the biology at work.  Not interested in backyard composting?  How about indoor vermicomposting made easy?!  Participants will gain hands-on experience with what it takes to raise red wigglers and harvest their nutrient-dense castings.  Come and get your hands dirty with us!


Make Refrigerator Pickles!

Presented by Robyn Jasko, Homesweet Homegrown

At the presenters’ table

4:15 pm

Robyn Jasko, the author of Homesweet Homegrown and founder of Grow will show you how to pickle any vegetable in just 10 minutes. Learn how to make your own crunchy homegrown pickles—no canner required!

And here folks thought they were coming to just a concert. Happy skill sharing!

* Farm Aid and are grateful to PASA’s Good Food Neighborhood™ Sustainability Schools partners who donated their time to present today. Sustainability School partners are farms, organizations and individuals providing homesteading, homemaking and backyard conservation workshops across the Commonwealth and throughout the mid-Atlantic United States. What drives these partnerships is a strong desire on the part of the farming community for meaningful engagement with everyday folks who care about the health of our food systems. Food is the common thread and we all play a vital role at the table!

PHOTO: Shriya Manian


The workshops and presentations were jam packed all day! Thank you to everyone who participated. We all walked away more informed and inspired by the event. Here are some photos courtesy of our very own Jennifer.


Find more photos like this on HOMEGROWN


Leave a Reply