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An Introduction to Heritage Breed Goats

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An Introduction to Heritage Breed Goats

Goats have many practical uses around the homestead, and their cheerful personalities put a smile on everyone's face. Hear how you can participate in saving biodiversity by adding heritage breeds to your farm. Alison Martin discusses different breeds and the basics of getting started with goats. Speaker Bio Jeannette Beranger is a program manager for the Livestock Conservancy and has more than 30 years of experience working as an animal professional. She uses the knowledge to plan and implement breed conservation programs. At home, she maintains a heritage breeds farm with a focus on rare breed chickens and horses. In 2015, she was named one of Country Woman Magazine's "45 Amazing Country Women" for her work in conserving endangered breeds.

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Extraordinary Equines

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Extraordinary Equines

Whether you are looking for an equine for the plow, driving, endurance, therapy, or for the trail, there’s the right heritage breed equine out there for you! Learn about the variety of choices and how finding the appropriate breed for your skill and needs can make the dream of ownership and delightful reality. Speaker Bio Jeannette Beranger is a program manager for The Livestock Conservancy and counts more than 30 years of experience working as an animal professional. She uses the knowledge to plan and implement breed conservation programs. At home she maintains a heritage breeds farm with a focus on rare breed chickens and horses. In 2015 she was named one of Country Woman Magazine's "45 Amazing Country Women" for her work in conserving endangered breeds.

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Saving Rare Equine Breeds

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Saving Rare Equine Breeds

In most cases, the Livestock Conservancy is concerned with rare breeds that are food producers. In this country, this is not true of horses. Consequently, different justifications are necessary to promote the idea of conserving horses. The purpose of this discussion is to develop ideas to answer the question, “Why save that breed of horse?” Some folks advocate marketing strategies that emphasize the heritage of the breed. Others advocate promoting the breed’s unique characteristics. What other strategies can be found? How important are “strains” of horses to preserving a breed? Another question to answer is how can these breeds be saved? What breeding strategies work best? Do we advocate outbreeding to preserve unique gene pools? How do we prevent bottleneck inbreeding? Finally, how do we get registries and breeders to work together? Speaker Bio Richard Blaney holds a doctorate in biology and retired after teaching for 42 years. He has been involved with preserving Galiceño horses since 2006. Heidi Reinhardt has a bachelor's in environmental science and teaches chemistry to high school students. She is a partner in the Galiceño Ranch in Florida.

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Achieving Complete Self-Sufficiency

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Achieving Complete Self-Sufficiency

Many people are working toward a life of total self-sufficiency, but the road can be difficult and confusing. There are so many options and there is so much bad information that it boggles the mind. Additionally, there are many aspects of self-sufficiency (such as self-health care, personal fitness, and transportation) that people overlook. Dan Chiras, one of the nation’s leading experts on self-sufficiency, outlines the key steps you must take to completely meet your family’s needs for energy, water, food, health care, income, and transportation to thrive during major economic or ecological catastrophe or simply to forge a totally sustainable lifestyle. Speaker Bio Dan Chiras is director of The Evergreen Institute in east central Missouri, where he teaches workshops on a wide range of topics on self-sufficiency and sustainability. Chiras is also author of 32 books and several hundred articles on a wide range of topics, including residential energy efficiency and renewable energy, sustainable communities, green building and natural building. His talks are fun, inspirational and full of useful information.

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Chinese Greenhouses: The intelligent choice for year-round production

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Chinese Greenhouses: The intelligent choice for year-round production

Most greenhouses in the United States are an energy nightmare. We couldn’t have created a worse design. Greenhouses that most of us install are the least-sustainable way to grow food year-round, costing us a fortune in energy. In this workshop, discover a revolutionary new design for year-round greenhouse growing and aquaponics, the Chinese Greenhouse. Learn how to design and build a Chinese greenhouse to grow a wide variety of vegetables without outside energy. Speaker Bio Dan Chiras is director of The Evergreen Institute in east-central Missouri, where he teaches self-sufficiency and sustainability workshops on a wide range of topics. Chiras is also author of 32 books and several hundred articles on subjects including residential energy efficiency and renewable energy, sustainable communities, green building and natural building. His talks are fun, inspirational and full of useful information.

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Is Solar Electricity Right for You?

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Is Solar Electricity Right for You?

Solar electricity is more affordable than ever, but does it make economic sense for you? What do you need to know to install a solar electric system on your home? If you can’t afford to buy a system, can you lease one or tap into community solar projects to meet your electrical needs sustainably? Modern Homesteading Stage | Saturday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Speaker Bio Dan Chiras is director of The Evergreen Institute in east central Missouri, where he teaches workshops on a wide range of topics on self-sufficiency and sustainability. Chiras is also author of 32 books and several hundred articles on a wide range of topics that includes residential energy efficiency and renewable energy, sustainable communities, green building and natural building. His talks are fun, inspirational and full of useful information.

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The Scoop on Poop

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The Scoop on Poop

To be truly sustainable, we need to return all nutrients we take from the Earth back to the Earth. That includes the valuable nutrients in human bodily wastes. Learn the basics of composting toilets and how to safely compost humanure. Speaker Bio Dan Chiras is the author of more than 30 books and several hundred articles on residential green building, renewable energy and sustainable living. He is director of the Evergreen Institute, where he teaches classes on these and other related subject.

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Natural Strategies to Manage Your Blood Sugar

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Natural Strategies to Manage Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes is common but, outside of all the emails you get about cinnamon, how many plants and therapies do you know that can help support balanced blood sugar? We tend to focus on insulin and the pancreas, but a holistic perspective requires that we also look at digestion and the endocrine system in its entirety. Dawn Combs discusses strategies to work with your doctor, gain control, and find freedom from the frustration of the ups and downs of daily monitoring. Speaker Bio Dawn Combs is an ethnobotanist with more than 20 years of experience in her field. She is the owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, is a contributor for Mother Earth Living, and the author of Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Health Care and Conceiving Healthy Babies: An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy and Lactation.

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The Road to Health Is Through Your Stomach

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The Road to Health Is Through Your Stomach

Healthy digestion is important to everyone who has a stomach. Every day we hear about food sensitivities, new diets, and fad health foods. Learn how a focus on gut health with simple steps at home can guarantee daily vitality and even help you tackle some of today’s most feared diseases. Speaker Bio Dawn Combs is an ethnobotanist with more than 20 years of experience in her field. She is the owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, is a contributor for Mother Earth Living, and the author of Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Health Care and Conceiving Healthy Babies: An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy and Lactation.

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A Tiny Home to Call Your Own: Living well in just-right houses

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A Tiny Home to Call Your Own: Living well in just-right houses

You can have an attractive, upscale quality-built tiny home that is artistically beautiful, highly marketable, and long-term profitable. Smaller homes can be more livable, cozy, enjoyable, easier to clean and lower maintenance than big houses. But tiny and smaller homes are not for everyone. Learn why and what it takes to live in a small space to make room for a larger life. Explore the many uses of tiny homes and find out why more people are opting for less square footage in exchange for more time, freedom, and money. Speaker Bio Patricia Foreman is a sustainable agriculture author, local foods activist, and popular speaker. She (and her co-presenter, chicken celebrity Oprah Hen-Free) has presented workshops and book signings at major national festivals and conferences across the United States. She is the author or co-author of five books, including City Chicks and Chicken Tractor. To help “Chick Start America,” she developed the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification course (www.ChickensAndYOU.com). Foreman graduated from Purdue University with degrees in animal science and pharmacy. She has a master's of public affairs from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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Chick in Egg: The miracle of incubation

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Chick in Egg: The miracle of incubation

The journey from egg to chick is an awe-inspiring, educational, life-affirming event. This workshop journeys through the entire process of getting fertile eggs (without a rooster), selecting the most likely eggs to hatch and managing the incubation process. Egg to chick in only 21 days! Understand the cycle of eggs to chicks to hens to more eggs. Become a Chickeneer Eggspert! Speaker Bio Patricia Foreman is a sustainable agriculture author, local foods activist, and popular speaker. She (and her co-presenter, chicken celebrity Oprah Hen-Free) has presented workshops and book signings at major national festivals and conferences across the United States. She is the author or co-author of five books, including City Chicks and Chicken Tractor. To help “Chick Start America,” she developed the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification course (www.ChickensAndYOU.com). Foreman graduated from Purdue University with degrees in animal science and pharmacy. She has a master's of public affairs from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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Home Poultry Processing: The art and science of micro-scale meat bird processing ... using tools you already have

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Home Poultry Processing: The art and science of micro-scale meat bird processing ... using tools you already have

Learn how to humanely, safely, sanitarily and skillfully process your birds. What to do with those roosters and older hens? Get healthy, high-quality meat, and bone broth from your backyard flock. This workshop covers topics including the power of knowing your meat source, how it was raised, fed and processed; the sacred significance of taking a life ... so that you can live; the science and chemistry behind skilled meat processing; processing equipment that you have ... or could easily borrow; hand-plucking made fun; super simple evisceration and an educational anatomy lesson; nutritional differences of meat from heritage vs. commercial breeds; and cold shorting and effective freezer packaging for long-term storage. Processing your own chickens for family food is a lost art in our culture. It’s time to bring back this old tradition and combine it with new techniques, so that poultry processing becomes common knowledge in homes and communities. Speaker Bio Patricia Foreman is a sustainable agriculture author, local foods activist, and popular speaker. She (and her co-presenter, chicken celebrity Oprah Hen-Free) has presented workshops and book signings at major national festivals and conferences across the United States. She is the author or co-author of five books, including City Chicks and Chicken Tractor. To help “Chick Start America,” she developed the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification course (www.ChickensAndYOU.com). Foreman graduated from Purdue University with degrees in animal science and pharmacy. She has a master's of public affairs from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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Herbs for Family Health

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Herbs for Family Health

Everyone in the family from infant to elder can benefit from the health-giving properties of herbs. In this practical and informative workshop, Rosemary Gladstar discusses creating an herbal apothecary for your home; 12 popular herbs and their uses; popular remedies for health and well-being; safety issues concerning herbs; and books and references to guide you in your herbal studies. Gladstar also looks at kitchen medicine, local backyard remedies, and how to prepare herbs, as well as the importance of ecological herbalism. Speaker Bio Rosemary Gladstar has been studying and teaching about herbs for more than 40 years. She is an educator, activist and entrepreneur, serving as director of the Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center, the International Herb Symposium, and the Women’s Herbal Conference. Gladstar is the founding president of United Plant Savers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of native American herbs. She was the original formulator for Traditional Medicinal Herbal teas and currently leads herbal educational adventures around the world. She is the author of many books, including Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, as well as Herbal Healing for Women. She lives in East Barre, Vermont.

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Herbs for Longevity and Well-Being: Adaptogenic and tonic herbs

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Herbs for Longevity and Well-Being: Adaptogenic and tonic herbs

Experience well-being and celebrate every stage of life. Using herbs and simple, common sense practices, you can restore and maintain vitality, whatever your age. Rosemary Gladstar discusses herbs used around the world that have earned a reputation for improving and maintaining energy, vitality and health. The adaptogenic and tonic herbs are also the foundation of many health protocols for both acute and chronic disorders. Gladstar shares some of her favorite herbs and recipes for longevity and well-being. Speaker Bio Rosemary Gladstar has been studying and teaching about herbs for more than 40 years. She is an educator, activist and entrepreneur, serving as director of the Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center, the International Herb Symposium, and the Women’s Herbal Conference. Gladstar is the founding president of United Plant Savers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of native American herbs. She was the original formulator for Traditional Medicinal Herbal teas and currently leads herbal educational adventures around the world. She is the author of many books, including Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, as well as Herbal Healing for Women. She lives in East Barre, Vermont.

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Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms for the Rest of Us

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Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms for the Rest of Us

Do you like mushrooms, but are not sure what to pick, grow, or propagate? Join John Holzwart for this basic overview that is sure to inspire you to become that special "funguy"... or gal. Speaker Bio John Holzwart is a naturalist, permaculturist, educator, beekeeper, wild forager, and maker of traditional brooms. He has his design certificate in permaculture and applies these principles to his daily life. Holzwart teaches and demonstrates the many traditional skills he practices at events across North America. You can often find him in the woods looking for broom handles or mushrooms and other wild edibles.

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Grow Your Own Broom

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Grow Your Own Broom

Historically, many farmers grew broom corn and crafted their own farmstead brooms. Join broom maker John Holzwart as he illustrates this lost art from seed to sweep. Speaker Bio John Holzwart is a naturalist, permaculturist, educator, beekeeper, wild forager and traditional broom maker. He has his design certificate in permaculture and applies these principles to his daily life. Holzwart teaches and demonstrates the many traditional skills he practices at events across North America. You can often find him in the woods looking for broom handles, mushrooms and other wild edibles.

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Honey Bee Removal: Catching swarms and performing cutouts

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Honey Bee Removal: Catching swarms and performing cutouts

Swarms are nature’s way of increasing the honey bee’s numbers and replenishing the bee population that died off. During this presentation, beekeeper John Holzwart shares tips on catching swarms and/or removing bees that have established themselves in an unwanted location (such as walls, barns, and tree stumps) as well as how to relocate them to your apiary. Speaker Bio John Holzwart is a naturalist, permaculturist, educator, beekeeper, wild forager and traditional broom maker. He has his design certificate in permaculture and applies these principles to his daily life. Holzwart teaches and demonstrates the many traditional skills he practices at events across North America. You can often find him in the woods looking for broom handles, mushrooms and other wild edibles.

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Essential Oils for Health and Well-Being

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Essential Oils for Health and Well-Being

Connie Jacoby provides information on the usage of essential oils in daily life and history; flashpoints; vital information on safety, blending oils, precautions, ingestion of oils, and overall knowledge of maladies; as well as basic and advanced treatments and benefits derived from usage. Speaker Bio A 17-year nursing professional who became disenchanted with the medical profession and pharmaceuticals, Connie Jacoby chose to use the elements God had supplied for health and well-being. Essential oils, aromatherapy, herbal supplements/tinctures and touch therapy became her focus. Those areas combined have given her the availability to provide answers for the maladies and health-care issues people face each day, affordably.

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Peeing on the Electric Fence and Other Shocking Truths (About Fence)

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Peeing on the Electric Fence and Other Shocking Truths (About Fence)

Learn how to successfully use electric fence to contain poultry and protect your flock from predators. Joe Putnam's workshop answers a variety of questions: What is electric fence and how does it work? What happens when grass touches the energized wires in a fence? What about when an animal touches the wires? How do you succeed (or fail) with electric netting? Is it safe to use electric netting in the backyard? How do you reduce risks and liabilities? What are the pros and cons of rotational grazing? How often should you move your fence and flock? What are the issues to consider before buying any energizer? And what are the risks of not energizing a fence? Speaker Bio Joe Putnam works as a marketing copywriter and occasional shepherd for Premier 1 Supplies. He frequently appears in Premier's instructional how-to videos on YouTube. Putnam can be found at farm industry events, where his gentle, hands-on approach makes even the most complex farming topics simple. When not at work, Putnam spends time on his family's 40-acre farmstead in southeast Iowa. There the family raises cattle, sheep, poultry, multiple gardens, corn, hay, and oats.

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Adding a Cow to Your Family

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Adding a Cow to Your Family

This introductory workshop prepares the homesteader for a useful bovine addition to the family. Topics covered include breed selection, purchasing, infrastructure, feeding, breeding, milking, processing, and more. Speaker Bio Callene Rapp graduated with a degree in animal science. After a short stint at a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) hog farm, she and her husband, Eric, moved to the Wichita area, where she became the senior keeper of the Children’s Farms at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Upon getting hired, she discovered that her education was a little incomplete: A whole world of livestock never once got mentioned in school. Since then, she’s worked hard to make up for that lapse, and enjoys working to educate people about rare breeds of livestock. Today, the Children’s Farms houses one of the largest collection of rare breeds of livestock of any zoo in the country, and features 28 breeds from the Conservation Priority List. When she’s not at the zoo, Callene and Eric own and operate the Rare Hare Barn, a successful heritage rabbit meat enterprise, and their rabbits have been served at some of the finest restaurants coast to coast (but especially in the Kansas City area). She has also published several articles on livestock husbandry in Grit magazine.

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Hopping for Fun and Profit with Heritage Rabbits

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Hopping for Fun and Profit with Heritage Rabbits

Rabbits can be easy, versatile and quiet animals to raise on your small property. Heritage breeds offer a chance to set yourself apart from other rabbitries and provide value-added product for both home use or sale. Get acquainted with the breeds and the basics of raising rabbits. Speaker Bio Callene Rapp graduated with a degree in animal science. After a short stint at a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) hog farm, she and her husband, Eric, moved to the Wichita area, where she became the senior keeper of the Children’s Farms at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Upon getting hired, she discovered that her education was a little incomplete: There was a whole world of livestock that never once got mentioned in school. Since then, she’s worked hard to make up for that lapse, and enjoys working to educate people about rare breeds of livestock. Today, the Children’s Farms houses one of the largest collections of rare breeds of livestock at any zoo in the country, and features 28 breeds from the Conservation Priority List. When she’s not at the zoo, Callene and Eric own and operate the Rare Hare Barn, a successful heritage rabbit meat enterprise. Their rabbits have been served at some of the finest restaurants coast to coast (and especially in the Kansas City area). She has also published several articles on livestock husbandry in Grit magazine.

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Carbon Gardening: How to mimic nature's best food ecosystems

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Carbon Gardening: How to mimic nature's best food ecosystems

The answers to increased food production are as old as the forests and as ancient as the prairie. Heather Rinaldi, founder of Texas Worm Ranch, coaches how gardeners can harness microbes and contribute continuous organic matter as a foundation for productive soil and profitable foodspaces. By following nature's best examples, carbon gardening can increase yields, reduce costs, decrease workload, manage water conservation, and heal the planet. Speaker Bio Raised in the farm and ranch lands of Oklahoma, Heather Rinaldi's earliest memories include gardening and raising livestock with her parents and grandparents. Her lifelong connection with the soil led her to research soil microbiology in an effort to improve her family’s organic gardens and yard maintenance. Rinaldi founded the Texas Worm Ranch in 2008, and she and her team process more than 100 tons of organic material a year into living worm castings, and garden more than 4,000 square feet of organic garden space. Today, The Texas Worm Ranch is a full-service sustainability consultant company that provides customers with the tools to be organic, affordable and successful.

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Carbon Gardening: How to mimic nature's best food ecosystems

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Carbon Gardening: How to mimic nature's best food ecosystems

The answers to increased food production are as old as the forests and as ancient as the prairie. Heather Rinaldi, founder of Texas Worm Ranch, coaches how gardeners can harness microbes and contribute continuous organic matter as a foundation for productive soil and profitable foodspaces. By following nature's best examples, carbon gardening can increase yields, reduce costs, decrease workload, manage water conservation, and heal the planet. Speaker Bio Raised in the farm and ranch lands of Oklahoma, Heather Rinaldi's earliest memories include gardening and raising livestock with her parents and grandparents. Her lifelong connection with the soil led her to research soil microbiology in an effort to improve her family’s organic gardens and yard maintenance. Rinaldi founded the Texas Worm Ranch in 2008, and she and her team process more than 100 tons of organic material a year into living worm castings, and garden more than 4,000 square feet of organic garden space. Today, The Texas Worm Ranch is a full-service sustainability consultant company that provides customers with the tools to be organic, affordable and successful.

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Benchmarks of Truth

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Benchmarks of Truth

How do you know you're on the right track? What common elements show up when a model honors truth? In this fast paced typical Salatin performance, the farmer identifies ten characteristics from his own experience that offer a compass of right decision-making. Speaker Bio Joel Salatin is a third-generation, beyond organic farmer and author whose family owns and operates Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. The farm produces salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry and forage-based rabbits, and direct markets everything to 5,000 families, 50 restaurants and 10 retail outlets. A prolific author, Salatin's nine books to date include both how-to and big picture themes. The farm features prominently in Michael Pollan's New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma and the award-winning documentary Food, Inc.

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Salad Bar Beef

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Salad Bar Beef

Herbivores not only built the world's deepest and best soil, they provided the foundation for nutrition in most areas. Building soil and eating well are symbiotic activities, but many today view the herbivore as an enemy ... a direct result of misusing animals. In this workshop, Joel Salatin introduces the concepts and high-tech infrastructure that allows modern farmers to duplicate the symbiotic choreography of ancient herds. This system also increases yields and offers the most tasty, nutritious food. Speaker Bio Joel Salatin's family owns and operates Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, producing salad bar beef, pastured poultry, pigaerator pork and forage-based rabbits. The farm services 6,000 families and 50 restaurants. Featured prominently in countless media, documentaries and books, the farm offers many educational opportunities for people wanting to learn these pasture-based systems. He has written 10 books about food and farming, both how-to guides and broad cultural works.

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Kids Kraut!

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Kids Kraut!

Kids love to make and eat sauerkraut. Vegetable fermentation is one of the oldest, and perhaps the most healthful, food preparation (and preservation) methods. This rediscovered culinary art is easy and safe, making it a wonderful, accessible way for even the youngest “chefs” to begin participating in the preparation of their family’s nourishment. And that is empowering. This workshop is a hands-on program in which kids can taste some fresh raw sauerkraut and then make their own small batch to take home and ferment. This is a drop-in-style session, so stop by and join us. Speaker Bio Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey got their start in fermenting foods with their farmstead food company, where they created over 40 varieties of cultured vegetables and krauts. Their current focus is on teaching the art of fermenting vegetables to others through classes and workshops at their farm. Kirsten blogs at www.fermentista.us. They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon.

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Mastering Vegetable Fermentation for Fun, Flavor and Health

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Mastering Vegetable Fermentation for Fun, Flavor and Health

Vegetable fermentation has moved beyond sauerkraut into an entirely new realm of flavor, culinary art and adventure. Kirsten K. Shockey discusses the benefits of making and enjoying fermented vegetables. She demystifies the process by discussing these ancient methods and modern techniques of preservation. She explores herbal pastes, chutneys, and other condiments through demonstration. Speaker Bio Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey got their start in fermenting foods with their farmstead food company, where they created over 40 varieties of cultured vegetables and krauts. Their current focus is on teaching the art of fermenting vegetables to others through classes and workshops at their farm. Kirsten blogs at www.fermentista.us. They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon.

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Preserving Your Harvest Through Fermentation: From A to Z

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Preserving Your Harvest Through Fermentation: From A to Z

For your harvest of garden veggies why not use one of the safest, easiest, most flavorful and healthiest techniques known to preserve and keep all the nutrients alive (and even increase health benefits)? Learn how to ferment your vegetables when they are in season for flavor all year. This demonstration includes a special question-and-answer session: Stump the Fermentista! Along with other questions, attendees can list some of the veggies in their gardens and hear Kirsten K. Shockey come up with recipe ideas on the spot. Speaker Bio Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey got their start in fermenting foods with their farmstead food company, where they created more than 40 varieties of cultured vegetables and krauts. Their current focus is on teaching the art of fermenting vegetables to others through classes and workshops at their farm. Kirsten blogs at www.fermentista.us. They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon.

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Chickens in the Garden: Natural insect and weed control

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Chickens in the Garden: Natural insect and weed control

Avoiding using chemicals on your lawn and garden is not only better for your family and the environment, but a necessity when you have chickens roaming about. Lisa Steele discusses some safe, nontoxic weed and insect control methods that won't hurt your chickens, children, or pets but will keep your yard and gardens from becoming overrun with weeds and bugs. She also covers natural fertilizers and plant food (including all that wonderful chicken manure) as well as other ways to get your chickens helping in the garden. Speaker Bio A fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele returned to her rural roots after doing a short stint on Wall Street after college. Now, back in the country living on a farm in Maine with her husband and their flock of chickens and ducks, she encourages others to raise their own flocks naturally without using antibiotics or chemicals. An aspiring herbalist and avid gardener, she incorporates herbs, weeds, and edible flowers into the daily care of her flock and shares this advice on her blog Fresh Eggs Daily, which has been named one of the Top Ten Gardening blogs by Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In addition to writing best-selling books, she is also a writer for Backyard Poultry, Chickens, and Hobby Farms magazines and regularly appears on national television and radio programs advocating natural chicken keeping.

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Herbs for Hens

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Herbs for Hens

Learn how to incorporate ordinary herbs into all aspects of chicken keeping, including feed, coop, nesting boxes and more for optimal flock health. Speaker Bio A fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele returned to her rural roots after doing a short stint on Wall Street after college. Now, back in the country living on a farm in Maine with her husband and their flock of chickens and ducks, she encourages others to raise their own flocks naturally without using antibiotics or chemicals. An aspiring herbalist and avid gardener, she incorporates herbs, weeds, and edible flowers into the daily care of her flock and shares this advice on her blog Fresh Eggs Daily, which has been named one of the Top Ten Gardening blogs by Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In addition to writing best-selling books, she is also a writer for Backyard Poultry, Chickens, and Hobby Farms magazines and regularly appears on national television and radio programs advocating natural chicken keeping.

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Just Add Water: Tips for adding ducks to your backyard chicken flock

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Just Add Water: Tips for adding ducks to your backyard chicken flock

If you already keep chickens, adding a few ducks to your flock is often as simple as just adding some water! Learn how to integrate ducks into an existing chicken flock by making some simple changes to your existing coop and run, feed mix, and water setup. Lisa Steele also covers favorite duck treats, information on duck eggs, duck health, and some reasons why ducks might actually be a better choice for your backyard. Speaker Bio A fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele returned to her rural roots after doing a short stint on Wall Street after college. Now, back in the country living on a farm in Maine with her husband and their flock of chickens and ducks, she encourages others to raise their own flocks naturally without using antibiotics or chemicals. An aspiring herbalist and avid gardener, she incorporates herbs, weeds, and edible flowers into the daily care of her flock and shares this advice on her blog Fresh Eggs Daily, which has been named one of the Top Ten Gardening blogs by Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In addition to writing best-selling books, she is also a writer for Backyard Poultry, Chickens, and Hobby Farms magazines and regularly appears on national television and radio programs advocating natural chicken keeping.

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Family Adventures in Vermiculture

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Family Adventures in Vermiculture

This hands-on, child-friendly workshop delves into the wonderful world of worms. Learn how worms benefit your soil, your garden and the world! Play with worms and learn how to sift your own worm castings. Learn all about how to set up a vermicomposting bin in your own backyard. The first 20 families to participate get to take home a small container of worms, a small bag of worm castings and seeds. Play worm trivia and win a worm prize. Speaker Bio Crystal Stevens and her husband, Eric, are the farmers and resident artists at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi in Godfrey, Illinois, where they enjoy the rural life with their two children. Stevens blogs for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, has contributed to Grit and Permaculture Magazine, and is a columnist for FEAST Magazine. She is the author of Grow Create Inspire, an Earth Stewardship Manifesto.

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Grow Create Inspire: Be a change maker in your community

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Grow Create Inspire: Be a change maker in your community

Learn strategies for educating your community about an array of eco-topics. Host plant walks, meet-ups, workshops, and more. Learn basic tools for increasing eco-awareness and making changes in your community. Grow for the greater good. The simple act of gardening can be a catalyst for positive change, Earth stewardship, and the art of low-impact living. Discover ways you can be an advocate for the Earth in your own community. Speaker Bio Crystal Stevens and her husband, Eric, are the farmers and resident artists at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi in Godfrey, Illinois, where they enjoy the rural life with their two children. Stevens blogs for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, has contributed to Grit and Permaculture Magazine, and is a columnist for FEAST Magazine. She is the author of Grow Create Inspire, an Earth Stewardship Manifesto.

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Grow More, Work Less: Expert tips for your vegetable garden

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Grow More, Work Less: Expert tips for your vegetable garden

Simple tips and techniques for adding self sowing annual, perennial and biennial vegetables to your garden. Learn how to save time and money in your edible landscape, permaculture beds, or any vegetable garden. Speaker Bio Ira Wallace is on the board of the Organic Seed Alliance and is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, where she coordinates variety selection and new seed grower contracts. Southern Exposure helps people keep control of their food supply through seed saving and sustainable gardening.

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Growing Great Garlic and Perennial Onions

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Growing Great Garlic and Perennial Onions

Learn about heirloom garlic and perennial onion varieties, from planting to cultivation and harvesting at home. Ira Wallace covers soil preparation, weed control, and disease prevention, as well as curing and storage requirements. Add these culinary essentials to your garden! Speaker Bio Ira Wallace is on the board of the Organic Seed Alliance and is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, where she coordinates variety selection and new seed grower contracts. Southern Exposure helps people keep control of their food supply through seed saving and sustainable gardening.

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Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling

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Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Learn about geothermal heating and cooling technology, how it works, and what makes it better. Tim Wright discusses various applications for home and farm, how it works with off-grid technologies, and how geothermal compares to traditional systems. Speaker Bio Tim Wright has been with Enertech Global since 2011. He oversees the company’s training, customer service, sales, and marketing departments. He began his career in the geothermal industry in 1988, working to educate homeowners on the technology and to train installers and contractors. Wright serves on the board of directors for California GEO and the Michigan Geothermal Energy Association.

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