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Homesteading Academy

Rutgers Cooperative Extension introduces the "Homesteading Academy"—a once monthly lunchtime webinar series for anyone curious about home-grown sustenance and self-sufficiency. We invite you to join us on the second Tuesday of each month for live sessions with our invited speakers. The webinars will take place from noon to 1 p.m., so bring your lunch!

The series will be ongoing, with potential future topics of sheep/beef/goats, seed saving and heirloom varieties, troubleshooting for two-cycle engines, fruit and nut crops, cut flowers, food preservation, small-scale grain milling, and more.

Have a topic idea? Need help with Zoom? Send all your questions to Kate Brown, Program Associate in Commercial Agriculture with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Burlington County: kbrown@njaes.rutgers.edu or 609-265-5050.

Missed a session? Webinar recordings will be posted below when they become available.

Upcoming Webinars

  1. June 14: Preventative Practices to Support the Health of Small-Scale Poultry
    Presenter: Dr. Linda Detwiler (Field Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA-APHIS VS, New Jersey)

Webinar Archive

  1. Getting Started with Backyard Poultry (10/12/2021)
    Hank Bignell, Senior Program Coordinator with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Warren County, discusses the basics of getting started with backyard poultry including housing, care, nutrition, breed selection, and raising chicks.
  2. Fun with Fungi: Grow Your Own Mushrooms! (11/9/2021)
    Brendon Pearsall, Program Coordinator with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, shares insight on mushroom production at home including common methods for indoor and outdoor production as well as the types of mushrooms that can be cultivated.
  3. What to Do to Get Started Keeping Bees On Your Property (12/14/2021)
    Tim Schuler describes the basics of preparing to keep honeybees including the ideal location for hives, the resources bees need to stay healthy, and the expectations for upfront costs and honey output. He shares advice on how to keep bees in a residential area and provides many resources for beginning and continuing education essential for successful beekeeping. Tim Schuler is the owner of Schuler’s Bees and Honey and a former State Apiarist with the NJ Department of Agriculture.
  4. Woodland Management for Private Landowners in NJ (1/11/2022)
    Brian McDonald, a regional forester with the New Jersey Forest Service, discusses opportunities for woodland owners to qualify for reduced property taxes through woodland management and forest stewardship plans. Brian also provides an overview of practices that can fulfill the requirements for income generation or ‘active devotion’ such as tree planting and reforestation, hazard tree removal, invasive brush control, wildlife habitat improvement, and more.
  5. Planning Your Backyard Vegetable Garden (2/7/2022)
    Cecilia Diaz, Program Associate with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Passaic County shares insight on the basics of planning and designing for the installation of your small-scale vegetable garden at home. Including site selection, methods to maximize space, and crop production to make the most of your garden space.
  6. Beginner's Guide to Sheep and Goats (3/8/2022)
    Dr. Michael Westendorf, Rutgers NJAES Extension Specialist in Livestock and Dairy, provides an overview of feed, water, housing, and space requirements for sheep and goats. He discusses the most common breeds for meat, dairy, and fiber production and marketing considerations for each type of enterprise.
  7. Introduction to Solar Photovoltaic Systems: Feasibility and Economics (4/12/2022)
    Solar electric systems are increasingly popular due to dramatic price declines in recent years and robustness of the technology. Solar electric systems can work in tandem with the electric grid or part of an off grid system. Our special guest speaker, John Hay, an Extension Educator in Energy with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, covers overall solar electric terminology, components and basic design elements.