We are currently working on the 2013 schedule, but if you'd like to see what we offered last year, take a look below. This year's schedule will be very similar, but there will be different topics.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
8:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
The Natural Home Dairy (Deborah Niemann)With the partnership of a few animals, you can produce all of your family's dairy products while letting mothers raise their own babies as nature intended. Discover how to choose dairy animals, how to share milk with babies, and what equipment you need to make all of your dairy products and soap. Recipes included!
Gardening Basics for Preserving Your Own Food (Cathy Lafrenz)Plan your garden with home preservation in mind. Gather information about growing heirlooms vs. hybrids, seed sources, and square-foot gardening.
Learn to Make Herbal Tinctures (Susan Saniie)You see those little bottles of herbal medicine on the shelf at your local health food store. Did you know you can easily and very inexpensively make those tinctures at home? It only takes three ingredients and a little patience. Learn to make herbal tinctures from fresh and dried herbs. Also, learn the benefits of the different methods.
10:10 - 11:10
Grassfed Beef and Dairy (Donna O'Shaughnessy)Cows cannot live on grass alone, or can they? 100% Grass Fed Beef and Dairy is all the rage in nutrition but what exactly does it mean? This session will clarify frequent marketing phrases as well as the certifying agencies behind them. We will discuss how the homesteader can ensure adequate nutrition for the bovine raised without grain, expected health benefits, grass types and realistic productivity measures.
Backyard Poultry (Deborah Niemann)Whether you want eggs or meat, adding chickens or turkeys to your homestead can be a wise investment. Learn where to buy chicks and poults, how to make a homemade brooder, and what to feed them. We'll discuss breed choices, housing options, and end of life alternatives for layers and meat birds.
Canning Basics (Cathy Lafrenz)Learn the basic equipment needs, as well as the process and best practices of canning. We'll also talk about books, recipes, and basic planning guides.
11:20 - 12:20
Pastured Pork: Doing What Can't Be Done! (Donna O'Shaughnessy)Prior to WWII all hogs spend their lives on pasture, but not anymore. Now less than 1% of the US Swine population is raised outdoors. This session will cover the benefits of raising pastured pork as well as some of the pitfalls. From farrowing outdoors in winter to building the perfect hog wallow in summer, you'll leave with a solid knowledge base for raising hogs under the sun.
Fencing 101 (Richard G. Hungerford, Jr.)Do you know the difference between an H brace, double H brace, and a floating brace? Have you ever heard of a lightening choke coil? Did you know that Illinois and many other states have fence acts that legally define what constitutes an acceptable fence for holding livestock? If any of these questions have you scratching your head, you won't want to miss our session on fencing! Richard will talk about types of fencing, basics of a good fence, fencing mistakes, and government program specifications. You'll learn how far apart you should space posts, based upon whether you're using barbed wire, woven wire, or hi-tensile wire, as well as how many strands of wire, and whether or not you're using stays. He'll also talk about insulators, strainers, tighteners, energizers, and connections and everything else you need to know to use electric fences.
Composting Basics (Deborah Niemann)Stuff rots, right? Well, yes, eventually. In this session, you'll discover the difference between hot and cold composting, and learn the basics of vermicomposting, so you can efficiently create black gold for your garden.
12:20 - 1:30
Lunch (included in your registration)
1:30 - 2:30
Raising Meat Goats (Andrew Miller and Jennifer Miller, DVM)Raising quality meat goats on forage-only is not only possible, it's profitable! Learn how Andrew and Jennifer Miller of Rush Creek Farms became grass farmers and are raising 40-50# slaughter kids on pasture. They will review what works on their farm for vaccines, castrating, forage selection and management, goat selection, recordkeeping and marketing.
Creating a Homestead Business (Cathy Lafrenz)Discuss the creation of a business plan, ideas, legalities, marketing and expectations.
Natural Beekeeping (Tanja Deshida)For those interested in taking a natural approach to beekeeping, this class will focus on how you can add these methods to your regular inspection routine. Hive maintenance, bee social structure, natural pest & disease control, and much more will be taught in this intensive class.
2:40 - 3:40
FAMACHA (Andrew Miller and Jennifer Miller, DVM)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 goats and your card. Additional cost for this class is $25 per person or family.
Selling Your Products at a Farmer's Market (Cathy Lafrenz)Interested in selling at a farmers market? We will be discussing marketing, displays, rules and liabilities. Learn what you need to make your market experience successful.
Solar Power for Today's Homeowners (Ron Cowgill)Ron Cowgill will be talking about solar energy for today, including what’s new in the industry. He’ll discuss costs and Return on Investment (ROI), the benefits of solar in a world where the traditional energy costs keep going up while alternative energy costs are coming down, and what it means for individuals and small businesses interested in incorporating more alternative energy options into their lives. He’ll also talk about federal and state incentives to help both individuals and businesses defray some of the costs of installing solar.
3:50 - 4:50
FAMACHA (Andrew Miller and Jennifer Miller, DVM). . . continued from the last hour.
Urban Beekeeping (Tanja Deshida)So you want to start beekeeping in the city, but don't think it's possible? Think again! Tanja Deshida has been working with bees in Chicago and currently has hives both in her yard and on her roof. She will show you how to get started, hive placement, the particulars of city beekeeping, keeping your neighbors happy, swarms, and much more.
Q&A Panel (Cathy Lafrenz, Deborah Niemann, Donna O'Shaughnessy)If you have any questions left unanswered, now is the time to ask! Want a second opinion, or three? Our panel of experienced homesteaders will be happy to answer your questions about gardening, beekeeping, livestock, canning, and more.
Please note that although we have made every reasonable effort to confirm the speakers and sessions, there is always the possibility that someone may not be able to make it. In the event of a speaker cancellation, we will attempt to replace them with someone who will talk on the same subject, although there are no guarantees.