MU Extension series hopes to popularize urban homesteading

Northeast News

September 7, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Who says residents of the urban core can’t produce their own food?

On Thursday, September 22, the University of Missouri Extension will begin an eight-part series of classes focused on urban homesteading, which is roughly defined as the practice of sustainable living techniques.

From September 22 through November 17, participants will meet each Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the MU Extension office (105 E. 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106) in the River Market. An introduction to Urban Homesteading will kick off the series, which will then move on to topics like proper composting techniques, they keys to successful vegetable and fruit production, the options available in raising urban livestock, and some important tenets of food preservation and waste reduction.

Matt Brillhart, the Urban County Program Director for the MU Extension in Jackson County, said that the extension has received many calls from Northeast residents who are interested in sustainable living practices. Brillhart says this series is designed for people just like them.

“We really thought of the Northeast area, as well as Midtown and the urban core, when we started discussing this series,” said Brillhart. “That was definitely a focus.”

The cost for the entire eight-part series is $90, and pre-registration for all classes is required by September 15. Reservations can also be made for $15 on a per-week basis; registration simply needs to be completed one week ahead of the preferred class. A full schedule of classes can be found at extension.missouri.edu/jackson.

Brillhart also noted that a limited number of scholarships will be made available for those who wish to participate, but don’t have the financial means to do so.

“There’s not a very concrete basis for that. It’s kind of a case-by-case basis,” said Brillhart. “They can just contact us directly, and they can work with me or one of our staff members.”

To inquire about a potential scholarship, the MU Extension’s River Market office can be reached by calling 816-482-5850. For those unable to attend the series this fall, Brillhart said that the extension is planning on running a similar program in the spring of 2017. In some ways, Brillhart added, this series could inform what topics the Urban Homesteading Series covers in the future.

“Our hope is that from this, we’ll discover through interaction with the participants what additional topics we should include next spring,” said Brillhart. “Maybe there’s some advanced level class that we need to do on a specific topic.”

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