Monday, May 28, 2012

Registration now open!

The schedule is finalized, and registration is now open! We have sessions on gardening, composting, canning, grassfed beef, the home dairy, pastured pork, fencing, meat goats, and even how to turn your homesteading passion into a business! You'll get six full hours of instructions plus lunch for only $75 if you register by July 31, although our space is limited to only 90 people, so you don't want to wait too long. If space is still available after August 1, registration will be $89.

FAMACHA training is also being offered for those who raise sheep and goats, so that you can learn more about internal parasites and how to avoid the use of dewormers unless absolutely necessary. The FAMACHA training costs an additional $25.

We also have a post conference workshop on Sunday from 8:30 to 5:00 for those of you who are interested in producing your own dairy products with a small herd of dairy goats. You'll learn the basics of goat care, housing, fencing, breeding, and birthing, as well as how to raise kids. And you'll learn how to make several dairy products, as well as goat milk soap. The workshop is held at Antiquity Oaks Farm, which is a little less than an hour south of the college where the conference is being held. The goat workshop is $75.

Registration fees are refundable if cancellation is received by July 15. No refunds will be issued on cancellations after July 15. 

Click on the tabs above to get more details on the conference schedule and goat workshop and to register.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Beekeeping sessions confirmed

For those of you who are interested in beekeeping, we've confirmed Bronx beekeeper Zan Asha! Here are the sessions she will be presenting:

Organic Beekeeping 101 ~ For those interested in taking a natural approach to beekeeping--this organic beekeeping class focuses on caring for bees "the way grandpa did it." Zan Asha will teach the same pesticide and medicine free principles that her WWII grandfather practiced -- which relies on the laws of the hive and the bees' own structure to work for you. Hive maintenance, bee social structure, organic pest and disease control, and much more will be taught in this intensive class that has been featured from the East coast throughout the Midwest.

Urban Beekeeping ~ So you want to start beekeeping in the city, but don't think it's possible? Think again! Noted organic and urban beekeeper Zan Asha will show you the steps to getting started with hives, no matter what your space or situation. Particulars of city dwelling and keeping are discussed including: zoning for bees, keeping possibilities in various situations including rooftop keeping and community garden keeping, keeping your city neighbors happy, swarms and other trouble shooting in the city, and much more. Plus, we'll learn to do it all organically! Join us for this interesting and informative beekeeping class.

Swarms And Other Beekeeping Buzz ~ For those keepers who are interested in the more "exotic" or puzzling beekeeping conundrums, this class is for you. Worried about catching your first swarm, or looking to keep your bees from swarming altogether? What happens when your hive goes queenless? Is there a way to foster more honey production? What's the latest or best hive and equipment for your bees? These questions and more will be answered in this class. Bring us your toughest questions and you'll find an answer here!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

FAMACHA training confirmed!

If you have sheep or goats, you need to attend FAMACHA training at the conference. I'm so excited to confirm that we'll have this session because I know what a positive difference it has made in the long term health and sustainability of my sheep and goats. Homesteaders don't want to use drugs unless we absolutely have to, but at the same time, we don't want to see our animals die either. And who wants to be running to the vet for a fecal every couple of weeks?

Here's the description of what you'll learn and why it's so important:
The barberpole worm is the number one killer of sheep and goats. Unfortunately, past recommendations of deworming protocols have led to worms that are resistant to available dewormers. The FAMACHA© system provides a tool to identify anemic animals (assumed to be caused by the barberpole worm), so only affected animals are treated. This will reduce the number of dewormer treatments given and slow the development of resistance in the parasite. During this class, you will learn about the barberpole worm biology and the development of drug resistance, Smart Drenching and use of the FAMACHA card. Lecture is 1.5 hours followed by hands-on training with your card. Cost for the class is $25 per card - you are welcome to share a card between a family or a farm to save money.

I attended this training several years ago and have been singing its praises ever since. Hope you'll be able to make it!