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Living Off the Land

July 5, 2011

By Brianne Harrison Moore

The locavore movement has been gathering steam for a while now, but for some people, just shopping locally isn’t enough. They want to be able to live off their own backyards—or at least be able to toss a few of their own herbs and veggies into a salad. Whether you’re ready to be a dedicated radical homemaker or just want to pick up some tips to keep your kitchen garden healthy, there are a couple of great upcoming events that are perfect for you.

Have you heard the buzz? Beekeeping’s catching on, and if you’re curious about what it takes to foster a hive, you should check out Genesis Farm’s Beekeeping for Beginners event on July 9. The demonstration will cover the basics of beekeeping for even the greenest novices, using a live hive that will be opened so the inner workings can be explained. Attendees will also learn about the medicinal value of the hive’s products. The event is $25 and runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Genesis Farm in Blairstown. For more information, visit genesisfarm.org.

Also on Saturday, those willing to venture across the river to Bucks County can check out the Smallholding Festival, which starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Presented by Canal House Cooking, the festival will feature demonstrations that range from raising animals and curing your own meat to foraging and building an earthen oven. Learn how to make your own bacon, can fruits and vegetables, and make homemade cheese and yogurt. When you need a break, relax while listening to some live music and tuck into the delicious food. Cost is $12 per carload. The festival will be held at Linden Hill Gardens on Easton Road in Ottsville, PA. For more information, visit thesmallholdingfestival.com.

Water bill too high? Find out how to build your own rain barrel on July 14 at The EARTH Center in South Brunswick. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex will teach participants how to build and install a barrel to harvest rainwater (which cuts down on water bills and reduces flooding in local rivers and streams). Cost is $45 and includes a barrel and all building materials. Registration and payment are required in advance. To register, call 732.398.5262.

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