I absolutely love sharing skills and knowledge and I genuinely do think we don't do it enough. I'm not sure whether this is because a lot of people don't see what they know as valuable or special (it is), or whether it's because we don't want to appear big headed or superior. But here's the thing: if we really do want to build a society that uses its resources wisely, that is truly equal, that is self-reliant, then we have to share!
I'd put food growing up there with the three Rs (both reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic AND reduce, reuse and recycle!) Food is a fundamental and universal need and feeding ourselves well is so important to our health and wellbeing. Food brings us together, bonds our social units, and marks our celebrations. Lack of food, or lack of access to good food makes us vulnerable and makes us feel powerless. And growing your own food, even a small proportion gives you your power, control and often your community, back.
There are lots of growing courses out there - from heavyweight RHS horticulture to single, focused workshops. I wanted to devise a course that stuck with food growing, made it quick and simple (because really, it is) and didn't rely on lots of expensive equipment to get started. I also wanted it to use the home as a focus, because using a space away from where you spend time, like an allotment, is hard. Hard = less likely to happen and to my mind, there is nothing as great as stepping outside your back door and harvesting something fresh to feed your family.
So this is the bare bones - a blurting out of everything that I want to cover in vague sections that are broadly chronological and a good mix of theory and practical. No-dig and permaculture are included (both of which I love because not only do they work, but they make life easier and 'tread more lightly' on the earth) and the whole thing is organic, because there really is no reason to be otherwise.
I'm a meticulous planner when it comes to courses - this will be rewritten to within an inch of its life, with lists of resources, timings and ways of assessing (not that I like testing people, but I wouldn't be doing my job if people left without learning!), there will be slides, handouts, visual aids and workbooks to take home to keep. It's a long road ahead, but when you're moving from this point, to people emailing you pictures of their seedlings sprouting, or their first home grown meal, it's worth every step. This one's going to be good!
Click here for course details - Growing Fruit and Vegetables at Home.
Treading Lightly is simple living, within your means and the means of the planet, and making a minimal impact on the Earth. Find out more here about Catherine, of Barefoot Solutions, does this from day to day.