Resolve to Become more Self Reliant in the New Year

Resolve to Become more Self Reliant in the New Year

With a new year comes goal setting, a slew of good-intended resolutions and maybe even a list of projects and activities you’d like to get done next year. If you’re like me, it’s not only a good time to take stock of what you’d like to accomplish on a personal level, but also within your home life and your community.

Understanding that time is a limiting factor in our lives, the new year provides us with an opportunity to begin incorporating everyday practices and techniques that help us develop and maintain more sustainable and self-reliant lives year round.

I’ve found that education is at the forefront of developing a sustainable lifestyle, and because of that, the Sustainable Living Association has developed a series of year-round workshops featuring diverse, educational programs and activities.  These workshops provide people with the latest technology, products, tools and information to work toward sustainable lifestyles, empowering people to fully become aware of their choices and ultimately to act on developing a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ashley Haas, who participated in the Soils & Three Methods of Composting workshop had this to say after her experience, “Awesome, I now have a much better understanding of the whole system and I can’t wait to get home and start composting!”

The association offers several workshops that may lend themselves to projects on your 2014 wish list, including food preservation, eating locally and healthy, gardening and composting, energy efficiency, green building or remodeling, and eliminating chemicals from your home and personal care products.

With the Winter Solstice passing on December 21st, now is the time when garden catalogues begin to arrive and folks start getting antsy about Spring projects in the yard.  This brings me to the association’s Abundant Backyard workshop series, which teaches people how to use backyard gardens more productively, including fruit tree grafting, raising chickens and goats, the benefits of organic gardening and providing information on soils and composting.  Here’s a testimony from one of our participants Kathleen Logh. “I am glad I attended the class before I brought any chickens home. The chickens will be much happier now that I know how to meet their needs.”

Even before the ground begins to thaw, these are great workshops for spring planning so you can map out your backyard plans in advance as well as begin thinking about starting your own seedlings and other new exciting projects.

In addition, urban agriculture is a growing trend, and according to the USDA, around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. Not only does urban agriculture provide a great food source for your family and the greater community, but it also improves air quality and increases biodiversity.

With growing concerns about what is in our food, where it comes from, how it arrives on our plates and how it is regulated, we are experiencing a rising movement of people and communities across America who are re-inventing our food system. These workshops engage people in understanding and supporting the vision of a new food paradigm and consumer access to it.

The year-round workshop series offers greater opportunities to experience hands-on learning, making the idea of sustainability a reality in individual lives. Other workshop areas include the Wise Kitchen, Healthy Home, Sustainable Building, and Renewable Energy series.  The complete 2014 workshop schedule will be available in January, at Happy gardening!

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