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Mother Earth News Fair

Fun-filled, Hands-on Sustainable Lifestyle Events

Workshops

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Living Off-Grid, Really?!

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Living Off-Grid, Really?!

With more than 18 years of off-grid living, Aur Beck provides a humorous presentation of the nontechnical and realistic ways of living completely off-grid and empowers you to get energized with renewable energy. Learn real, fun, interesting and low-cost ways to start living the off-grid mentality now. Start simply; start now! Speaker Bio Aur Beck is an energy efficiency advocate and is double NABCEP-certified with his company, Advanced Energy Solutions (www.AESsolar.com). He is a founder and is on the board of the Illinois Renewable Energy Association (www.IllinoisRenew.org). He has a weekly radio talk show, "Your Community Spirit" (YourCommunitySpirit.org), but he would like to be known mostly for Oil Addicts Anonymous International (a real 12-step program).

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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 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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Heritage Hogwash

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Heritage Hogwash

The flavor of heritage hogs is a hot topic for chefs and consumers interested in the culinary delights these pigs offer. In this talk you would learn about the basics of keeping these animals, about the breeds themselves, and how to tell them apart from the numerous "imposters" that can be a costly lesson to new pig owners. 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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Top 10 Homestead Hacks for Beginners

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Top 10 Homestead Hacks for Beginners

Are you looking to save time, money and your sanity as you embark on your homesteading journey? Expert Jessi Bloom coaches folks who are getting started, and she shares her top 10 tips, tricks and wisdom for anyone looking to make their life easier in the garden, on the farm and inside home! Speaker Bio Jessi Bloom is a best-selling author, award-winning ecological landscape designer, and speaker. She owns N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes, based near Seattle, which is known as an innovator and leader in the field of permaculture, sustainable landscape design, construction and land management. Her work has been recognized by government agencies and industry organizations, and makes headlines in national media. She lives near Seattle with her two sons on their permaculture homestead, which is full of functional gardens and rescue animals.

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Perma-What? How You Can Create Your Own Paradise Homestead with Permaculture

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Perma-What? How You Can Create Your Own Paradise Homestead with Permaculture

What is permaculture and can it help us to create a more sustainable future? Jessi Bloom shares step-by-step instructions, plus her favorite tips, inspirations and great plants for beautiful and abundant homesteads and lives! Speaker Bio Jessi Bloom is a best-selling author, award-winning ecological landscape designer, and speaker. She owns N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes, based near Seattle, which is known as being an innovator and leader in the field of permaculture, sustainable landscape design, construction and land management. Her work has been recognized by government agencies and industry organizations, and has made headlines in national media. She lives near Seattle with her two sons on their permaculture homestead, full of functional gardens and rescue animals.

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ReWild the Child!

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ReWild the Child!

Are you ready to be a part of the wild tribe of little earth warriors? Learn and play with the power and magic of plants. Decorate and dream up all that we can be. You can even make an herbal dream pillow to take home and put to use! Speaker Bio Jessi Bloom is a best-selling author, award-winning ecological landscape designer and speaker. She owns N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes, based near Seattle, which is an innovator and leader in the field of permaculture, sustainable landscape design, construction and land management. Her work has been recognized by government agencies and industry organizations, and it makes headlines in national media. She lives near Seattle with her two sons on their permaculture homestead, full of functional gardens and rescue animals.

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Three Cheeses in One Hour

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Three Cheeses in One Hour

Some cheeses take all day to make, but others can be whipped up in a jiffy ... and still be delicious, versatile and fun! Learn how to make ricotta, paneer and European-style cottage cheese. Get all of your cheesemaking questions answered by a pro! Speaker Bio Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of four books on cheesemaking and small dairying, including the award-winning Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking. Along with her husband, she milks goats and makes cheese at Pholia Farm Creamery in the south of Oregon.

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The Marvels of Making Yogurt

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The Marvels of Making Yogurt

Yogurt: one of the oldest foods made by man and one of the newest scientific wonders of health. In this session, learn how to easily make yogurt from all types of milk, how to turn it into Greek yogurt, yogurt cheese and flavored yogurt. Also discover the amazing ways that science has proven yogurt can help us with not only our nutritional status, but with how we feel emotionally. Speaker Bio Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of four books on cheesemaking and small dairying, including the award-winning Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking. Along with her husband, she milks goats and makes cheese at Pholia Farm Creamery in the south of Oregon.

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Make Your Own Cheese, Butter, and More for Health, Value, and Enjoyment

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Make Your Own Cheese, Butter, and More for Health, Value, and Enjoyment

Learn how making your own cultured dairy products at home can be not only fun and affordable, but add incredible health benefits to your family's diet. Taste quickly whipped up butter, fresh cheese, and buttermilk, and learn how easily these products can be introduced into your daily routine. Speaker Bio Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of four books on cheesemaking and small dairying, including the award-winning Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking. Along with her husband, she milks goats and makes cheese at Pholia Farm Creamery in the south of Oregon.

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Gardening with Chickens

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Gardening with Chickens

Learn how to garden with and for your backyard flock. Melissa Caughey covers topics that include benefits, garden planning and design, and she also discusses chicken-safe plantings (including vegetables, fruits and perennials). Caughey talks about utilizing chickens in the garden, basic composting, garden care during the growing season, preventing damage from the flock, and how to enjoy the harvest with your family and chickens. Speaker Bio Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper and gardener who writes the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest. Caughey lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, Grit magazine, and contributes to Country Living magazine. Her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs and was the recipient of Country Living magazine's Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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Backyard Chickens 101, for Families

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Backyard Chickens 101, for Families

Melissa Caughey covers everything you need to get your family started keeping a flock of your own: breed selection, housing, care and predator proofing. She also provides an overview of a variety of chicken-themed activities designed to get you engaged with your flock (including learning how to speak "chicken"). Speaker Bio Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper and gardener who writes the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest. Caughey lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, Grit magazine, and contributes to Country Living magazine. Better Homes and Gardens named her blog as one of the magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs, and Country Living magazine gave it a Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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DIY Chicken Bookmarks

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DIY Chicken Bookmarks

Create your very own chicken bookmark to tuck into your favorite book. Complete with their own feathers and googly eyes, these egg-citing creations are perfect for imaginations of all ages! Speaker Bio Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper and gardener who writes the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest. Caughey lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, Grit magazine, and contributes to Country Living magazine. Her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs and was the recipient of Country Living magazine's Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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Free Cooling for Life

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Free Cooling for Life

Although many people don't realize it, we can cool our homes naturally in many climate zones. Smart design combined with energy-efficient landscaping and intelligent decisions about energy use can easily cut your cooling bill by half. Learn how to stay cool in the summer without costly air conditioners and sky-high utility bills. 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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Off-Grid Aquaponics

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Off-Grid Aquaponics

If built correctly, aquaponics greenhouses can be powered entirely by solar and wind energy. In this workshop, Dan Chiras explores ways to create off-grid aquaponics systems that power fans, pumps and lights using solar and wind energy, and that provide heat through active and passive solar technologies (including the new super-efficient, year-round Chinese greenhouse). 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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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. The Livestock Conservancy Stage | Saturday, 10:00-11:00 a.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, 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? 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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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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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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Herbs for Mental Health

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Herbs for Mental Health

Strong mental health stems from healthy brain function. This informative lecture explores natural ways to nourish and increase mental function of the brain using what nature has provided. David Christopher discusses recent studies concerning mental health, the benefits herbs have as an alternative and the controversy surrounding St. John's Wort. Speaker Bio Having been raised in the simple ways of natural health, David Christopher's interests grew beyond his university study. In 1974 he took his place by his father's side at The School of Natural Healing. His book An Herbal Legacy of Courage is a loving tribute to his father.

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Garlic and Natures Antibiotics

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Garlic and Natures Antibiotics

There are common items in your kitchen that have great natural antibiotics. They are overlooked if you are unaware of the amazing healing properties they contain. David Christopher discusses the differences between the antibiotic properties in herbals and commercial antibiotics. The health benefits are numerous in using common items, such as garlic, onions and honey, as well as not-so-common herbs, such as usnea, echinacea and goldenseal. Speaker Bio Having been raised in the simple ways of natural health, David Christopher's interests grew beyond his university study. In 1974 he took his place by his father's side at The School of Natural Healing. His book An Herbal Legacy of Courage is a loving tribute to his father.

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Wild Food, Wild Medicine

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Wild Food, Wild Medicine

Herbalist and wild forager Linda Conroy takes folks on a "virtual" plant walk. Learn to forage and discover inspiring ways to incorporate wild plants into your kitchen and your apothecary. Speaker Bio Linda Conroy is a bioregional herbalist with more than 20 years of experience. She dedicates her life to connecting with the green world. She is the founder of Wild Eats Community Meals, the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference and Moonwise Herbs. Participants in programs facilitated by Conroy walk away with an appreciation for the natural world as well skills for incorporating plants into their daily life.

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Herbs and Fermentation for Digestive Health

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Herbs and Fermentation for Digestive Health

Herbalist Linda Conroy shares her six-point system for improving digestive health and eating well! Speaker Bio Linda Conroy is a bioregional herbalist with more than 20 years of experience. She dedicates her life to connecting with the green world. She is the founder of Wild Eats Community Meals, the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference and Moonwise Herbs. Participants in programs facilitated by Conroy walk away with an appreciation for the natural world as well as skills for incorporating plants into their daily life.

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Tips for Therapeutic Gardening with Less Pain

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Tips for Therapeutic Gardening with Less Pain

Shawna Coronado shows her extensive gardens and talks about the dramatic personal story of how she has used garden therapy, an anti-inflammatory diet, and exercise to overcome the daily debilitating pain associated with spinal osteoarthritis. Her efforts have resulted in weight loss, improved mood, pain reduction, increased mobility, and a beautiful garden. Coronado reveals how easy it is to make a few simple lifestyle changes for your own health so that you too can create remarkable personal results. She discusses gardening, exercise tips, and food choices that might just help you reduce pain, lose weight, and feel great while you live a greener lifestyle. Speaker Bio Shawna Coronado is an author, columnist, blogger, photographer, media host and brand ambassador who campaigns for social good in the realms of green living, organic gardening, and low-cost cuisine. She is also an on-camera spokesperson and social media personality with more than 375,000 followers on her various social media venues, and she maintains a YouTube channel with more than a million views. In 2015 she co-hosted the radio show “The Good Green Home Show” and appeared bi-weekly at her home garden as the FOX News Chicago “Gardening with Good Day” organic gardening expert. Coronado’s garden and eco-adventures have been featured in many media venues, including PBS television. Along with her green lifestyle initiatives, Coronado is concerned about promoting and teaching healthy living. She was diagnosed with severe spinal osteoarthritis, a diagnosis that has led her to change her lifestyle, lose weight, and consume a mostly anti-inflammatory diet. She educates audiences about beneficial diet, food and health practices through her organic living media. She dreams that this will enable more people who suffer from similar conditions to be active. Her successful organic living photographs and stories have been shown both online and off in many international home and garden magazines and multiple books. You can learn more about Coronado at www.ShawnaCoronado.com.

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Kombucha Demo Workshop

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Kombucha Demo Workshop

If you can brew a cup of tea, you can brew kombucha! As bacteriosapiens, we are bacteria powered! The more bacteria-rich fermented foods that we incorporate into our diet, the better we feel. In this hands-on demo from the world’s foremost kombucha expert, the Kombucha Mamma, learn how easy it is to enjoy the benefits of brewing kombucha at home for a fraction of the cost, while nourishing your human microbiome. Speaker Bio Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory created Kombucha Kamp (www.KombuchaKamp.com) to provide the highest-quality brewing supplies, information and support. Known as the "Kombucha Mamma,” Crum speaks at consumer and corporate events nationwide. LaGory is a writer and producer who, with Crum, mentors homebrewers and serves as a commercial brewing consultant. The couple co-founded Kombucha Brewers International in Los Angeles, where they reside.

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Kombucha and the Human Microbiome

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Kombucha and the Human Microbiome

Kombucha is living tea! For the last decade, kombucha has been burbling into the collective consciousness. As more and more people are sick of being sick and sick of dealing with a broken medical system, they are seeking out healing foods. The medical community has also been seeking answers and alternate therapies to deal with disease. Through the Human Genome Project and now the Human Microbiome Project, research is just beginning to uncover our complex relationship with bacteria and discovering novel ways to use bacteria therapeutically. Kombucha is at the nexus of pop culture, cutting-edge science and fermented foods, serving as a tasty gateway to nutrient-dense foods as well as empowering people to reclaim their immunity through the cultivation of this ancient tonic. Hannah Crum also covers the basics of brewing kombucha safely at home. Speaker Bio Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory created Kombucha Kamp (www.KombuchaKamp.com) to provide the highest-quality brewing supplies, information and support. Known as the "Kombucha Mamma,” Crum speaks at consumer and corporate events nationwide. LaGory is a writer and producer who, with Crum, mentors homebrewers and serves as a commercial brewing consultant. The couple co-founded Kombucha Brewers International in Los Angeles, where they reside.

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Growing Elderberry for Health and Profit

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Growing Elderberry for Health and Profit

Learn how to grow and propagate elderberries for the garden and farm. Speaker Bio Terry Durham has been farming organically since 1978, and he started commercial elderberries in 2005. He has helped hundreds of gardeners and farmers start growing through his nursery and educational events.

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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 Pat Foreman and her co-presenter, chicken celebrity Oprah Hen-Free, have presented workshops promoting the chicken movement across America. She is the developer of the Master Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification online and live courses. Foreman is the author of City Chicks: Employing Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers, and Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil. She has degrees in animal science, pharmacy and a master's of public administration.

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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 graduated from Purdue University with degrees in animal science and pharmacy. She earned a Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the author of City Chicks: Employing Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers. She is co-author of Chicken Tractor, Day Range Poultry and Backyard Market Gardening. Foreman is the developer of the Chickens and You Training Series (www.ChickensAndYOU.com), leading to the Master Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification.

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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 was a Class A licensed contractor in Virginia for more than 15 years. She co-owned the Tiny House Company, one of the first construction companies dedicated to building tiny and smaller homes. She is the author of A Tiny Home to Call Your Own: Living Well in Just Right Houses. She is better known for her work in the chicken movement and as the author of City Chicks and Chicken Tractor. Tiny homes and chickens might not seem to have much in common, but to Foreman, they both have everything to do with sustainability.

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Making a Living on 1.5 Acres

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Making a Living on 1.5 Acres

Jean-Martin Fortier is the author of The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower's Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming and in this workshop, he shares in detail the techniques, tools, and technology that make his market garden productive and profitable. It is popularly supposed that the small-scale market garden can no longer be economically viable, because it cannot compete with the economies of scale of the larger growers. But is that so? Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Despite growing on 1.5 acres of land, owners Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches manage to feed more than 200 families through their thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and seasonal market stands. For more than a decade the market garden has provided their only household income. Their operation generates close to $140,000 in sales with a profit margin of about 45%. The secret of their success resides in the low-tech, high-yield methods of production they have developed by continuously focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process. In this workshop, Fortier provides an overview of all aspects of vegetable production at Les Jardins de la Grelinette, demonstrating how adopting intensive methods of production can lead to the optimization of a cropping system. He discusses how to set up a micro-farm by designing biologically intensive cropping systems, all with negligible capital outlay; how to farm without a tractor, minimizing fossil fuel inputs through the use of the best hand tools, appropriate machinery and minimum tillage practices; and how to grow mixed vegetables systematically with attention to weed and pest management best approach practices. Speaker Bio Jean-Martin Fortier is a farmer, writer and educator specializing in organic and bio-intensive cropping practices. He is passionate about demonstrating how small farms can play an important role in rebuilding the food system by growing edibles sustainably for profit on a small community-based scale. Fortier’s acclaimed book, The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming tells the story of how he and his wife started farming on 1.5 acres, yet grossed more than $100,000 per acre, enough to financially sustain their family over a decade. The book has been popular with both urban and rural readers, having sold more than 40,000 copies since its release. It won the 2015 American Horticultural Society book award.

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Aromatherapy for Wellness

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Aromatherapy for Wellness

This fun, hands-on class focuses on making aromatherapy simple and easy to use. The light but informative talk discusses 17 essential oils. Billy Galloway shares not only what the oils do, but how to use them to achieve desired outcomes. Discover how to use aromatherapy to assist issues including sleeplessness, psoriasis, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, lack of energy or focus, sinus problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and depression. Speaker Bio Billy Galloway has been experiencing the benefits of aromatherapy since 2006. He is a certified aromatherapist accredited by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and is the eastern director of operations for Natural Options Aromatherapy. Galloway, his wife, Jenny, and two children reside in Kingsport, Tennessee.

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What Does It Take to Get Started in Beekeeping?

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What Does It Take to Get Started in Beekeeping?

If you have ever thought about beekeeping as a hobby but don’t know what’s involved or how to get started, then this is for you. The goal is to help you answer the question of whether beekeeping is right for you or not. We will explore things you need to know before you get the bees, like the time commitment, the startup cost, good locations for hives, and generally what it’s like to be a beekeeper. Speaker Bio Shane Gebauer has been a beekeeper and worked in the beekeeping industry for more than 12 years. Currently, he is the president and partner at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, which is one of the nation's largest beekeeping supply companies.

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Keeping Honey Bees Alive

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Keeping Honey Bees Alive

Maintaining a healthy hive is no easy task. Explore what a healthy hive is and how to achieve it. Controlling disease and pests certainly is important, but perhaps equally as important is a vigorous queen, reducing contaminates in the hive, and good nutrition. Speaker Bio Shane Gebauer has been a beekeeper and worked in the beekeeping industry for more than 12 years. Currently, he is the president and partner at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, which is one of the nation's largest beekeeping supply companies.

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Growing and Using Peaceful Herbs

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Growing and Using Peaceful Herbs

Learn how to grow wonderful and beautiful herbs in your garden that promote peace: aiding sleep, boosting mood, quelling anxiety, and encouraging calm energy. Maria Noel Groves discusses some of her favorite peaceful herbs for the backyard garden, including several appropriate for container gardening. She focuses on favorites that include holy basil, gotu kola, roses, lemon balm, blue vervain, skullcap, lavender, California poppy, valerian, and motherwort, and she touches on the many other great herbs that you can grow locally. Speaker Bio Maria Noel Groves is an herbal practitioner, teacher, columnist for Remedies magazine, columnist and health editor for Herb Quarterly magazine, and the former editor of Natural Health magazine. She runs Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic & Education Center in New Hampshire, is a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild, and is certified by the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.

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The Nutritives: Your herbal multivitamin

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The Nutritives: Your herbal multivitamin

If popping a multivitamin doesn’t make sense to you, consider nourishing herbal teas. Several of our best herbs are nutritional powerhouses that turn a tasty beverage into good health maintenance. Some of them also make delicious meals. Maria Noel Groves discusses nettles, alfalfa, dandelion and wild greens, calendula, rosehips, hibiscus, and others. Learn which herbs are particularly high in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and carotenoids, and go home with recipes. Speaker Bio Maria Noel Groves is an herbal practitioner, teacher, columnist for Remedies magazine, columnist and health editor for Herb Quarterly magazine, and the former editor of Natural Health magazine. She runs Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic & Education Center in New Hampshire, is a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild, and is certified by the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.

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Agro-Ecosystem Strategy and Building Ecologically Supported Plant Systems

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Agro-Ecosystem Strategy and Building Ecologically Supported Plant Systems

Designing better plant guilds and redundant nutrient cycling systems creates a virtually unlimited resource for food production. On some landscapes, growing plants is not a difficult task. Soils are moderately healthy and water is available by sky or well. On the other hand, soils are more likely to be a challenge to plant propagation and even the richest soil can be depleted over time ... resulting in nutrient deficiencies that stress plants and lower harvests. At this session, attendees study, strategize and practice building mutually supportive plant guilds that provide ecological requirements. Take a look at some extreme landscapes and solutions to build soil resources. Each participant's plant selection process will be guided by their site conditions. Bring a laptop or tablet, and a sharp pencil. Speaker Bio Daniel Halsey is a certified permaculture and professional agro-ecosystems designer. He holds a bachelor's degree in temperate climate polyculture design and a master's in horticulture from the University of Minnesota. Halsey is hired nationally and internationally to design private homesteads, intentional communities and broad-acre transition. His designs have been used for farms transitioning to perennial crops and homesteads with resource independence. He teaches in Haiti, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Canada, Slovenia, Scotland, England, Italy and across the United States. Halsey is also managing director of PRI/USA and the Natural Capital Plant Database.

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Tractor Maintenance and Attachment Options

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Tractor Maintenance and Attachment Options

This workshop provides an overview of tractor maintenance and how to choose attachments for different applications. Speaker Bio Ben Housch is the business development manager at Yanmar America Corporation for the Agriculture Equipment division. He counts more than 10 years of experience in the agriculture equipment industry. Housch has a 20-acre farm in Summerville, Georgia, where he and his family raise goats, cows and chickens.

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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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The Woodstove/Off-Grid Lifestyle

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The Woodstove/Off-Grid Lifestyle

Learn all about woodstove safety and off-grid equipment powered by woodstoves. Speaker Bio Roger Lehet has more than 30 years of professional experience, beginning at age 18 as a chimney sweep. He owned four woodstove shops before becoming an inventor of a new breed of woodstoves. His newest offerings allow people to heat, cook, bake, and produce electricity and hot water from a wood-fired stove.

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Smoothies and Seed Starting

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Smoothies and Seed Starting

Wouldn't it be fun to turn the most delectable moment of your day into a gardening project? At Smoothies & Gardening 101 with Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss, create tasty smoothies and turn empty pints into planters! Speaker Bio Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is the Evolution of Ice Cream. They source the finest organic ingredients to bring consumers a dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free treat. Just one taste and you will understand what they mean when they say, “This Is Bliss!”

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Craft Distilling: Making liquor legally at home

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Craft Distilling: Making liquor legally at home

Hobby distilling has become more and more popular in the past few years. However, there is still a lot of confusion about the legalities around the distillation of liquor. The author of the new book Craft Distilling: Making Liquor Legally at Home explains the facts around legal distilling, plus provides an overview of how to make high-quality distilled spirits on a small scale. In addition, she is working with a Washington state legislator to change the laws for hobby distillers. This is an informative, fun workshop for anyone interested in distilling liquor. Speaker Bio Victoria Redhed Miller grew up in Seattle and now lives with her husband, David, on their off-grid farm in the Olympic Mountain foothills near Sequim, Washington. She writes and blogs about homesteading and self-reliance, as well as speaking at events around the country. She is also the author of Pure Poultry: Living Well with Heritage Chickens, Turkeys and Ducks.

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Poultry Unplugged: Free-ranging poultry just about anywhere

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Poultry Unplugged: Free-ranging poultry just about anywhere

Allowing poultry to free-range has many benefits, both for the birds and the environment. This workshop explains these benefits, and offers strategies for success regardless of predator issues and other challenges. It includes a planning worksheet, and audience questions are encouraged! Speaker Bio Victoria Redhed Miller grew up in Seattle and now lives with her husband, David, on their off-grid farm in the Olympic Mountain foothills near Sequim, Washington. She writes and blogs about homesteading and self-reliance, as well as speaking at events around the country. She is the author of Pure Poultry: Living Well with Heritage Chickens, Turkeys and Ducks, and the new book Craft Distilling: Making Liquor Legally at Home.

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10 Tips to Start on the Gardening Path to Happiness

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10 Tips to Start on the Gardening Path to Happiness

No matter your age or experience, gardening has a learning curve and can be confusing. Award-winning blogger and author Dee Nash shares her 10 best tips to get started on the gardening path to happiness. Learn about planning a vegetable or ornamental garden (or one that combines both!), secrets to combining plants for the best results, vertical gardening, companion planting, and more! Speaker Bio Dee Nash is the author of The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff. She lives in the rolling Oklahoma hills with her husband, children, two dogs and several cats on 7.5 acres between the Great American Prairie and the deciduous forest. She was born and raised in the state, and she is a writer, speaker and garden coach. She gardens approximately an acre of land and grows vegetables, roses, daylilies, native plants and other perennials. She is a columnist for Oklahoma Living magazine, and she’s also written for Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening and Flower magazine. Nash has a bachelor’s degree in journalism–professional writing from the University of Oklahoma, with an emphasis in botany. Her blog, www.RedDirtRamblings.com, has won several awards, including a Gold Award for Electronic Writing from the Garden Writers Association. Better Homes and Gardens named it one of their "Top 10 Gardening Blogs" in 2014. Southern Living magazine named Nash a "Blogger to Follow" in 2015.

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Beginning Beekeeping

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Beginning Beekeeping

At this workshop, Matt Reed teaches folks to keep bees using natural methods. Speaker Bio A frequent MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR speaker, Matt Reed is the owner of Bee Thinking.

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Cover Crops, Soil Health and Sustainable Agriculture

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Cover Crops, Soil Health and Sustainable Agriculture

This workshop provides a general discussion about sustainable, environmentally stable farming and gardening, cover crops, soil health, pollinator gardens, and STAR Seed's Mother's Earth product line. It includes a question and answer session about cover crops and soil health. Speaker Bio Pat Riese possesses more than eight years of experience in vegetation management, wildlife habitat consulting and conservation programs. Before joining the STAR Seed team as a conservation specialist, he earned a bachelor's in wildlife biology, with an extra emphasis in rangeland sciences, spent one year as a rangeland specialist with Sustainable Environmental Solutions, and seven years as a wildlife biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. His current focus is on STAR's conservation seed program, including native grasses, wildflowers, pollinators and cover crops.

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Practical Pond Management

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Practical Pond Management

Managing your pond’s dynamic environment can be challenging. This presentation touches on the major components of managing ponds on your property, including aquatic plants, erosion, algae, fish stocking, and raising healthy fish. Speaker Bio Bob Robinson holds degrees in water resources with a fisheries emphasis and in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is president of the Aeration and Fountain Manufacturers Association and a member of the National Aquaculture Association's board of directors. He is also on the board of directors for the U.S. Aquaculture Suppliers Association. He is a member of the review committee for the North American Lake Management Society.

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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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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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Farmstead Fermentation

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Farmstead Fermentation

Turn your vegetable overages and seconds into profit with fermentation; this is zero-waste and local food at its finest. Learn how to ferment vegetables in large batches to turn a perishable product into a value-added product with a long refrigerated shelf life. Kirsten K. Shockey focuses on how to work seasonally with the vegetables you have, when you have them, to make great flavor. 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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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 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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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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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 and Facebook page, Fresh Eggs Daily. In addition to writing best-selling books, she is also a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry, Chickens and Hobby Farm magazines.

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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 and Facebook page, Fresh Eggs Daily. In addition to writing best-selling books, she is also a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry, Chickens and Hobby Farms magazines.

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Vermiculture 101

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Vermiculture 101

Learn simple backyard vermiculture techniques. Discover how to build your own vermicomposting bin with a trapdoor for harvesting worm castings. Hear about ways to increase crop yields by side-dressing and fertilizing with worm castings, worm tea, and vermicompost. 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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Aquaponics 101 and Future Trends

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Extending the Harvest: Creating a Four Season Garden

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Extending the Harvest: Creating a Four Season Garden

Learn how to plan, create and produce garden bounty all year. This workshop will focus on the all season garden, including in-depth succession planting, planting summer crops for a fall garden, and fruit planting for late winter. Speaker Bio Ira Wallace, author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast 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. Covers soil preparation, weed control, disease prevention, harvesting, curing and storage requirements for adding 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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How to Produce Half Your Food in Less Than an Hour Per Day in a Backyard

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How to Produce Half Your Food in Less Than an Hour Per Day in a Backyard

Marjory Wildcraft presents a simple three-part system for producing your own food in a backyard-sized space. Fast-paced and empowering, this presentation gets down to the numbers of calories produced, square footage required, and exactly what to do on a daily basis. The focus is on food production in a scenario in which the grid is down. Speaker Bio Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of the [Grow] Network, the online home of a global network of people who produce their own food and medicine, recognizing the wisdom of homegrown food on every table. Wildcraft was featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, and she's a regular guest on Coast to Coast AM. The author of several books, she is perhaps best known for her video series Grow Your Own Groceries: More than a half million copies are in use by homesteaders, foodies, preppers, universities and missionary organizations around the world.

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Are Old Hand Tools Still Relevant for the Modern Homestead?

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Are Old Hand Tools Still Relevant for the Modern Homestead?

Power tools are a wonderful convenience, but they are expensive and disposable. Old hand tools can last for generations, can often be found for a fraction of the cost, and are as relevant and useful today as they were 100 years ago. Sadly, these old tools are no longer manufactured. Learn what to look for when purchasing old tools and how to care for and restore them. Speaker Bio Cody and his family decided to turn their backs on a comfortable city life and become modern day homesteaders. Their adventure takes place in the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, where they document their lifestyle on their YouTube channel Wranglerstar. With more than 300,000 loyal subscribers and 90 million video views, they are leaders in the modern homesteading movement.

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Carbon-Smart Farming for Soil Regeneration

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Carbon-Smart Farming for Soil Regeneration

Carbon-smart farming boosts soil carbon to regenerate soil to grow crops with optimum nutrients, maximum health and minimal stress. This biological agriculture balances minerals and revives soil food webs to improve fertilizer efficiency, grow crops with superior nutrition, curb soil erosion, cut water pollution, and support community economics. This new, fully probiotic farming is climate-smart to sequester carbon, improve community food security and resilience, mitigate global warming, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Speaker Bio Healer, teacher, journalist, dowser and activist David Yarrow founded the Syracuse Center for Self-Healing, On the Rise Bakery, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, and the New York State Food Policy Alliance. Since 2007, Yarrow has taught how to make and use biochar in Carbon-Smart Farming to reduce climate change and grow nutrient-dense foods.

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