Sunday, October 8, 2017

Join us online!

You may have noticed that we did not have the homesteading conference this year. We know it's tough for homesteaders to travel because they have to find a farm sitter, so we've decided to focus our efforts on online education. In March, the Thrifty Homesteader Academy opened with its first course, Goats 101, which includes more than seven hours of videos that cover the basics of owning goats, from purchasing and housing to health, nutrition, and parasite information.

Because copper deficiency is a serious problem for so many goat owners, there is a FREE course on Copper Deficiency in Goats, which includes three videos, articles, and handouts that can be printed out for easy reference. Each lesson includes a discussion board where you can ask questions, which will be answered by me, Deborah, based upon solid research on goat nutrition.

In June, we launched a course in soapmaking called Coming Clean: How to Make Toxin-Free Soap Without Breaking the Bank. Although you could easily spend hundreds of dollars when you get started making soap, this course will provide a road map for spending far less. You won't need to buy soap molds or a $300 soap slicer, and you'll learn how to scent your soap with essential oils without spending a fortune.

Former Homesteading Conference attendees and blog readers can use the coupon code CONF to receive 25% off any of the paid courses. And remember Copper Deficiency in Goats is free.

We are currently beta testing a course on parasites for sheep and goat owners, which includes interviews with the top parasite researchers in the country. And we will also be adding a course on homestead businesses in the near future.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Goat workshops & cheese & soap making classes

Antiquity Oaks Farm near Cornell, IL, will be hosting Goats 101 from 9 a.m. to noon and Goat Breeding & Birthing from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. Goats 101 will include information about housing, fencing, nutrition, mineral deficiencies, parasites, FAMACHA, deworming, dewormer resistance, hoof trimming, and how to give medication to a goat.

In the afternoon, Goat Breeding and Birthing will cover signs of heat, pen breeding vs. hand breeding, pregnancy, signs of labor, birthing difficulties, feeding kids, dam raising vs bottle raising, and special challenges with kids regarding parasites and nutrition. Because much of the afternoon's information is dependent upon knowing what was covered in the morning, anyone who wants to attend the afternoon class must have attended the morning class or must have read Raising Goats Naturally.

Cheesemaking

Stretching mozzarella
Cheesemaking Basics will be held Sunday morning, March 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. You will see a demonstration of how to make mozzarella and queso blanco, and we'll discuss how these cheesemaking processes are similar or different from other types of cheeses. You will also learn what type of equipment you'll need to make more complicated cheeses.

Soapmaking

Learn to make cold process soap in the afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. We will be making goat milk soap, but we will also explain how you can do it with water. You will see every step of the soapmaking process from beginning to end. You will also receive a bar of soap to take home and use.

You can attend classes individually or all four. Click here for more information about the classes and to register.