The Homesteader's Annual: Our new online course + community
There was a big sigh of relief around here this week. About 6 weeks ago, the team and I had decided not to reopen events here at the farm. At the time, groups of up to 15 from 3 households would’ve been allowed to events like ours. We could’ve just made it work financially and it would’ve been nice to have people here at the farm again. But we decided that the risks of the regulations changing again and the potential of needing to reschedule or cancel events again was too great. We decided that for our business planning and mental health that we would simply hold off on all in person events until March 2021. It was a scary decision. Events like our Meet the Goats farm tours, Forage Your Own Pizza and Sourdough Bread making workshops were the biggest earners for the farm. It covered our considerable feed bill for the animals, keeps the heating on and the roof over our head. However, with the announcement this week that meet ups, inside or out, with groups over 6 or from more than 2 households were banned, we felt a huge relief that we had held off and could find other ways to support the farm.
With events off the schedule, it left a space in our schedules for something * else *. For the last 3 years, I have been talking about pulling together a UK focussed smallholding/homesteading online course. So many our existing online courses were within that realm already and it seemed that a mega course bundle was the logical next step. Every so often I would sketch out what it could look like. I’d talk to my business coach about it. I’d mention it to Kevin.
But I did nothing about it…
It was never the right time, so many other things to juggle and commit to and finish and make and do. And then in one fell swoop, events fell off my todo list and all of the sudden there was space for it.
And so last week, we launched The Homesteader’s Annual.
The Homesteader's Annual brings together current and someday homesteaders, smallholders and small farmers, to learn practical, traditional and hands on skills to turn their households into units of production, rather than just consumption.
It is an online course and communities pulls together our years of experience making, gathering, growing, raising, butchering and teaching at Gartur Stitch Farm and brings them together in a series of online courses, events and a budding community of like-minded homesteaders, small holders and people passionate about growing their own.
The Homesteader’s Annual contains 4 of our existing courses: Intro to Fermentation, Intro to Canning and Preserving, Intro to Poultry Keeping and Intro to Cheesemaking and 6 new courses for 2020/21:
Smallholding Living: Autumn/ Winter (starts 15th September)
Intro to Beekeeping: Part One (starts 1st October)
Soap Making (starts November 1st)
Keeping a Milking Animal (starts January 7th)
The Homestead Garden (starts March 1st)
The Soil Manual - Everything you need to know about regenerating soil, manure and compost to grow food. (Starts July 15th)
It also will have monthly themes, seasonal farm tours and monthly recipes and how-tos. We will have contributions from expert homesteaders, such as Lauren Lochrie from Herbal Homestead, who will be our Permaculture Consultant!!
I want it to be a a USEFUL online course. Something you can come back to again and again and will grow as the community grows. We have set up the Gartur Stitch Farm School, our new course platform, so that we can have greater engagement and build the course and community together.
You can buy The Homesteader’s Annual now, either in full (with a free gift), as a monthly subscription or as full access to the Homesteader’s Annual and all of the other courses available through the Gartur Stitch Farm School.
The first intake for the full Homesteader’s Annual closes on the 20th September.