Basics of Frugal Backyard Chicken Raising 2-12-2011
Many folks these days are considering, or have followed through on, pursuing a long time desire to raise backyard chickens for fresh eggs or even meat they know the origins of. I've had chickens on and off since the mid 90s, and can share how to raise happy, healthy, antibiotic-free chickens and eggs VERY frugally. I am teaching this well-received class again on February 12th, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Q & A session after. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. Please bring a note pad and pen as we will cover many points. You will receive a pack of winter greens seeds to sow now to provide raw green plant matter VITAL to having healthy backyard chickens. 813 839 0881 or e-mail to RSVP. See you then! John Starnes
Urban Farmsteading Basics 101 2-20-2011
There is no security more reassuring than daily harvesting fresh meals from your front and back yard, just feet from the kitchen, even if just potted arugula or snow peas or cherry tomatoes for starters, or a fresh chicken egg or meat. But don't know where and how to start? Learn easy ways to deeply cut your water use, to insure fresh salads and root crops and fruits year round, a super cheap solar shower, and more. You'll get a lesson sheet of 15 topics to be covered; please be sure to bring a notepad and pen. Feel free to shoot pics and video. You will receive two free packets of cool weather veggie seeds, plus instructions on their culture, harvest and use. I've taught this class many times and folks say it it thorough and intense. It addresses a way of life and a mindset vs. being just a gardening class. I am teaching this class again on February 20, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Question and Answer session after. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. Happy Gardening! John 813 839 0881
Fermented Foods 101 2-19-2011
Many folks are realizing the wide spectrum of health benefits of eating probiotic fermented foods, but that also they can be very pricey in the health food stores and grocery stores. Garden writer John Starnes (Fine Gardening, St. Pete Times, Florida Gardening) loves to grow and cook and prepare foods for friends and himself, and in this class will show easy very affordable ways to make your own kefir, natto, tempeh, kimchee, and cheese. There will be samples for tasting too. Be sure to bring a note pad and pen to write down the simple steps and ingredients, some of which can come from your own garden. The class will be held on February 19, from 11 AM until 1:30 PM, and the cost is $20 per student. The address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa 33611 813 839 0881 Please park along the south side of Paxton to spare the lawns of my neighbors on the north side. Thanks. Come hungry!
Growing Food, Cultivating Freedom and Harvesting Joy 2-13-2011
Growing and raising much of your own food can free you from an unsatisfying job and addiction to the New Serfdom of endless debt as a "consumer". Celebrate this new year by taking this class to learn three basics of successful gardening in central Florida, see the ease of a few backyard chickens for fresh eggs, plus, primarily, get two handouts with 30 key techniques, attitude shifts, and resources that can allow us to discover what we REALLY want out of life, how to live frugally, and ways to shed old, restrictive thinking and living habits and replace them with pleasurable, expansive ones to create a self-perpetuating positive feedback loop of habitual joy and gratitude. People say my trippy livingroom exemplifies "thinking outside of the box that the box came in" so most of the class will be held in there after we tour my urban farm. I feel that happiness is a choice we can make daily, and that we can create our lives vs. them just happening to us, with productive gardening as the key. I will offer this class again on February 13, from 11 AM until 1 PM here at 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa, FL 33611 813 839 0881 to RSVP. Please park on the south side of Paxton. The cost is $20 per student. Each student will receive 1 free packet of easy-to-grow seeds with instructions on their culture and harvest and use. See you then! John
Plan Now for a Productive Organic Spring and Summer Food Garden 2-5-2011 2-27-2011
There is an unfortunate widespread myth that summers are too hot, muggy and buggy to grow a successful organic garden here, but nothing could be further from the truth. Healthy soil and choosing subtropical and tropical crops that LOVE the heat is the key to fresh abundance from your yard for that long hot half of the year when so many folks let their gardens go barren and weedy. You will receive a handout with a long list of heat-loving crops, plus I will give you seeds of two kinds that utterly thrive each summer here. Growing these crops organically is easy as very few pests attack them, but we will cover those few possible problems and how to deal with them cheaply and without using poisons.
The class will be offered twice in February: on the 5th and the 27th, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Q & A session after, to give you time to plan the summer garden, prepare the soil, and acquire the needed seeds and soil foods. The cost is $20 per student, and my address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa FL 33611 813 839 0881 JohnAStarnes @msn.com RSVP is helpful in my planning how to best teach this class.
Just think....as your winter garden fizzles out each spring, you can phase in six more months of adundant home grown food with a whole new range of tastes, textures and nutrition! See you then. John
Tropical Fruit Crops 101 2-26-2011
We have SO many choices for fruit crops for our landscapes beyond citrus, especially if we live and garden in warmer areas closer to the coast. You will learn how to improve the soil, where to grow the respective crops discussed, and receive a detailed handout with a very lengthy list of fruiting plants you can seek out for your edible landscape. Not only do these plants bless us with tasty nutritious fruits, they add visual lushness to any yard. Local and mail order sources of them will be covered too. The cost is $20 per student, and the class will be held here at my home on February 26 from 11 AM until 1 PM. John
Perennial Food Crops 2-6-2011
Crops that need to be planted just once and that bear food year after year is a central aspect of permaculture and urban farming. Thankfully, our balmy climate allows us a great many such plants, often easily propagated by cuttings and root divisions. The handout provided lists many of these perennial food crops and I will add to them throughout the class. As usual, the class is $20 per person, held here at my home at 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL33611, and will be taught on February 6 from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute. Each student will receive a free start of a perennial food crop. See you then, John
"This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. . . . We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." - President Dwight Eisenhower The "Chance For Peace" speech April 16, 1953