Best of Columbus 2015: Classes for Aspiring Homesteaders

Columbus Monthly Staff

As awareness of industrialized agriculture's harmful impact on the environment and our health grows, traditional skills like vegetable gardening, canning and composting become ever more appealing. Fortunately for aspiring homesteaders, Columbus brims with classes to make you more self-sufficient.

Preserve Nature's Bounty

Set on five acres of farmland in Sunbury, Glass Rooster Cannery feels a world away from the city, even though it's only 30 minutes from Downtown. Here in the cannery's licensed kitchen, homesteading enthusiast Jeannie Seabrook teaches classes on canning, dehydrating and fermenting with a focus on the process and principles behind each technique. Every class starts with a tasting and a tour of the garden (where many of the ingredients used in the classes are grown), and you get to take home a jar of whatever you make.

Become a Better Backyard Steward

Get hands-on instruction in sustainability with Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' robust class offerings. Topics covered include collecting rainwater, composting and pollination, and classes are led by experts from the conservatory and the wider community. All materials are covered in the class fee (members get a discount). Bonus: Make the most of your garden harvest with the plethora of cooking classes led by local chefs.

Make Your Own Natural Remedies

For help navigating the vast world of herbal and natural remedies, head to Boline Apothecary in Clintonville. Shop owner and herbalist Lily Kunning teaches courses and workshops on making herbal medicines, including salves, tinctures and more, while guest instructors teach classes on wild edibles and lead wilderness medicine hikes. For classes that take place at the apothecary, Kunning is growing a demonstration garden to teach students to identify plants by sight year-round.