Workshops

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DIY Solar

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DIY Solar

We all would like to be off the grid, but the costs are prohibitive ... or are they? Dan and Don Adams have been building their own solar panels for years. They go step by step through building your own system, the decisions they made, and how they trimmed thousands off the price. This year, they are talking about making their own batteries. Speaker Bio Dan Adams is the founder of Earthineer, a peer-to-peer social marketplace for food and farm. Don Adams is an electrical engineer, and is responsible for much of the more technical DIY content on Earthineer.

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DIY Aquaponics

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DIY Aquaponics

Aquaponics combines aquaculture (for raising fish) and hydroponics (for growing plants). Join Earthineer's Dan and Don Adams in their latest DIY project. This presentation covers the basics, and you learn how you can build your own starter system. Speaker Bio Dan Adams is the founder of Earthineer, where homesteaders connect, learn and trade. He is a programmer by profession, and an earthineer by passion. Don Adams is an electrical engineer, and is responsible for much of the more technical DIY content on Earthineer.

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Herbs for the Mouth: Everyday safe, effective and affordable oral care

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Herbs for the Mouth: Everyday safe, effective and affordable oral care

This workshop explores common kitchen herbs and spices for everyday oral care. Leslie Alexander focuses on six preparations, addressing teething as well as simple pastes and breath fresheners, and herbs to relieve pain or discomfort associated with any number of causes. This general workshop welcomes anyone curious about natural, affordable oral care alternatives. Speaker Bio Leslie Alexander, Ph.D., RH (AHG), is a practicing clinical herbalist in Franklin, Pa., and co-author of Dental Herbalism: Natural Therapies for the Mouth. She was invited to join the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) as a professional member in 2009 and is serving a term on the AHG Council. She divides her time between clinical practice, writing and her work as an educator, offering lectures and workshop opportunities for continuing education. In addition to her focus on both medicinal and culinary herbs (particularly herbs for the mouth), Alexander enjoys foods of all sorts, the outdoors, laughter and tai chi.

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Working Cooperatively Across Cultures

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Working Cooperatively Across Cultures

Zeb Bartels, founder and general manager of Clarion River Organics, describes how he helped organize an Amish community into a cooperative of organic produce growers. They overcame distance from markets, cultural differences and technological limitations through a combination of creative improvisation, alternative technologies and trust in reciprocity. The cooperative now supports 15 farming families, five full-time employees, and 600 community-supported agriculture (CSA) program members plus several major wholesale accounts. In this workshop, Bartels looks at the initial circumstances that made success possible, the strategies and techniques they used to become successful, and areas of growth and improvement that they look forward to. Speaker Bio Zeb Bartels was born on a family farm in Panic, Pennsylvania, and was raised taking care of animals and harvesting crops. He went to Penn State for a degree in agriculture and worked on an urban farm in Detroit and a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm near Philadelphia before returning to the home farm. He started Clarion River Organics in 2009 and since then has worked full time with the co-op while raising garlic and keeping bees in his spare time.

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The Basics of Heritage Hog Production

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The Basics of Heritage Hog Production

Heritage pigs are hot with today's consumers and a welcome addition to small-scale sustainable farms. Discover the wide array of breeds to choose from and how they compare with each other for personality, adaptability, dress out and more. Learn the basics of husbandry, reproduction, processing and marketing that will make your endeavor a success. Speaker Bio Jeannette Beranger is a program manager for The Livestock Conservancy. She came to the conservancy with more than 20 years of experience working as an animal professional in veterinary and zoological institutions and has been with the conservancy for more than a decade. 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.

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I Want Chickens but Where Do I Start?

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I Want Chickens but Where Do I Start?

With the amazing array of heritage chicken breeds available today, it can be complicated deciding which is most appropriate for your land, climate and needs. Learn which questions to ask before committing to a breed, and explore the diversity of chickens to choose from. Speaker Bio Jeannette Beranger is a program manager for The Livestock Conservancy. She came to the conservancy with more than 20 years of experience working as an animal professional in veterinary and zoological institutions. She has been with the conservancy for a decade and 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.

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Aquaponic Gardening: Growing fish and vegetables together

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Aquaponic Gardening: Growing fish and vegetables together

Aquaponics is a revolutionary combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics—and an amazingly fun and easy way to raise fish together with organic vegetables, greens, herbs and fruits. Aquaponic systems are much more productive and use up to 90 percent less water than conventional gardens. Other advantages include no weeds, fewer pests, and no watering, fertilizing, bending, digging or heavy lifting! Starting with an overview of this emerging global movement, author Sylvia Bernstein discusses: • System options and alternatives, designing systems and selecting components • The living elements: fish, plants, bacteria and worms • Putting it all together: starting and maintaining a healthy system Anyone interested in taking the next step toward self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this entertaining, practical, accessible gardening method. Speaker Bio Sylvia Bernstein is the president and founder of The Aquaponic Source, the leading United States-based company focused entirely on the home aquaponic gardener, and the author of Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together. She also runs the Aquaponic Gardening Community, the world’s largest online community site dedicated to aquaponics, and is a co-founder and former vice chairman of the Aquaponics Association. She teaches and speaks extensively about aquaponics and its exciting potential. In her recent past life, Bernstein was the vice president of marketing and product development for AeroGrow International, the makers of the AeroGarden. She was one of the company’s original founders and was instrumental in developing the plant growth technology. Bernstein has a degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband, Alan.

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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 designer, Certified Professional Horticulturist and ISA-Certified Arborist who strongly emphasizes ecological systems, sustainability and self-sufficiency in her work. She is passionate about animals, permaculture and making functional gardens beautiful!

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Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4 a day

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Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4 a day

How well can a person eat on $4 a day? The answer is surprisingly well: Broiled Tilapia with Lime, Spicy Pulled Pork, Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas, Vegetable Jambalaya, Beet and Chickpea Salad ... even desserts like Coconut Chocolate Cookies and Peach Coffee Cake. This workshop reveals enlightening tips drawn from Leanne Brown's award-winning cookbook Good and Cheap. In addition to sharing nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Brown gives tips on shopping; on creating pantry basics; on mastering certain staples (pizza dough, flour tortillas) and saucy extras that make everything taste better (like spice oil and tzatziki); how to give leftovers a delicious makeover; and how to make fundamentally smart, healthful food choices. Speaker Bio Leanne Brown, a Canadian-born food studies scholar and avid home cook, believes everybody should eat great food every day. For her master’s project as a food studies student at New York University, Brown examined whether it was possible to eat healthy on a food-stamp budget. The cookbook that resulted from this project, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, has clearly resonated with people from all walks of life and has made a real impact in the lives of low-income individuals and food stamp recipients. It has been featured in Time and on NPR. The free PDF version has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and, with the help of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the print version has made it into the hands of people on a tight budget and to organizations with limited resources. Brown continues to share her delicious recipes on her blog and hopes to play a role in “banishing the mindset that preparing daily meals is a huge chore or takes tremendous skill.”

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Aged Cheese: Making it easy

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Aged Cheese: Making it easy

If you are ready to move beyond making fresh cheese, get ready to learn how to simply age any cheese (without investing in complicated equipment). Learn a few simple and fun cheeses, including feta and Gouda, and how to age them in your fridge. 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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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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Troubleshooting Goat Health Issues

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Troubleshooting Goat Health Issues

Goats are known for being hardy and trouble-free, yet it is only with careful, trained observation that they remain so. A holistic, natural management approach with timely intervention helps keep a dairy goat herd healthy and happy. In this class, learn the tools and techniques needed to assess and properly care for goats. Bring your questions! Speaker Bio Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of four books on cheesemaking and small dairying, including the award-winning Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, and she is working on a new book, Dairy Goats: An Owners Manual. Along with her husband, she milks goats and makes cheese at Pholia Farm Creamery in the south of Oregon.

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Real Cheddar Curds in Under Two Hours

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Real Cheddar Curds in Under Two Hours

Cheddar cheese is truly an all-American favorite, and fresh, squeaky cheddar curds are an unmatched delight for cheese lovers. But making real cheddar takes six hours! In this session, learn a few simple steps that can shorten this daylong task into a couple-hour activity. Also hear how you can simply age the curds or pressed cheese at home with minimal equipment and effort. Plan on sampling the fresh curds at the end of the class! 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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Medicinal and Culinary Herbals: Work through anxiety with herbs, foods and self-care

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Medicinal and Culinary Herbals: Work through anxiety with herbs, foods and self-care

Get to know the healing power of nature's bounty by growing herbals, wild harvesting them, or buying safe herbs. Discover the herbs, herbal blends and mixtures that enhance self-care and decrease anxiety. This interactive lecture (with samples and handouts) introduces how stress affects wellness, what herbs decrease stress and anxiety, and where to find the herbs, herbal products and herbal recipes that promote wellness. Speaker Bio Jennifer Carman is a therapeutic herbalist, dietitian and nutritionist who has been working in health care since 1984. As past president of the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she works at bridging the gap between the field of medical nutrition therapy and the use of herbal therapeutics for wellness. Carman and James A. Duke (author of more than 40 herbal books) collaborated with Maryland Hospitals for Sustainability to present "Science-based practical applications and gardening techniques of common kitchen herbs and spices" in 2012.

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Off on Our Own: Living off-grid for 39 years

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Off on Our Own: Living off-grid for 39 years

This workshop talks about all of the Carns' "learn as we go" steps to live a zero-waste, off-grid lifestyle ... now for nearly 40 years. A PowerPoint presentation shows their hot water systems and covers how they actively use other energy sources (such as solar, wind, methane and biofuel). The Carns also garden, make maple syrup, and gather edible and medicinal wild plants. Speaker Bio Ted Carns has lived off-grid for more than 39 years. He and his wife, Kathy, live in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. He is the author of Off on Our Own: Living Off-Grid in Comfortable Independence.

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Introduction to Organic Medicinal Herb Farming

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Introduction to Organic Medicinal Herb Farming

Join Jeff and Melanie Carpenter, owners of Zack Woods Herb Farm, as they discuss the propagation, cultivation, harvest, processing and marketing of more than 50 varieties of organic medicinal herbs for home and market. Speaker Bio Jeff and Melanie Carpenter own and operate Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, Vermont. They have recently co-authored The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer, out in the spring of 2015 from Chelsea Green. Jeff Carpenter has farming in his blood. Descended from generations of Vermont farmers, he deepened his love and understanding of plants through an apprenticeship with Rosemary Gladstar and as the co-owner of Sage Mountain Herb Products. Since those early days, his work as a farmer, agricultural consultant, educator and researcher has focused on the cultivation and marketing of medicinal herbs. He also partners with Rosemary Gladstar in hosting the International Herb Symposium. His passion for the green world is evident as he spends his days working in the fields and in the community. Melanie Carpenter grew up at Sage Mountain under the loving tutelage of herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It was there that Carpenter started her first business, Sage Mountain Herb Products. Over the last 20 years, she has worked as a farmer, mother, community herbalist and educator. In addition to her work as a farmer, she serves on the board of directors of United Plant Savers and assists her family in directing the International Herb Symposium and New England Women’s Herb Conference. She believes that some of the most profound teachings and healings come from working on the land with plants. To that end, she offers classes on the farm to help people explore and deepen their connection to the green nations.

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Backyard Chickens 101 for Families

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Backyard Chickens 101 for Families

This presentation has everything you need to know to get your family started keeping a flock of their own. The talk covers breed selection, housing, care, predator proofing, and 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 The author of A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens and the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest, Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken owner, beekeeper and gardener. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, and Grit magazine, and also contributes to Country Living magazine. Her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs and received Country Living magazine's Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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Gardening with Chickens

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Gardening with Chickens

Learn how to garden with and for your backyard flock. Topics covered include benefits, garden planning and design, and a discussion about chicken-safe plantings (including vegetables, fruits and perennials). The talk also covers 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 The author of A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens and the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest, Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken owner, beekeeper and gardener. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, and Grit magazine, and also contributes to Country Living magazine. Her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs and received Country Living magazine's Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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DIY Chicken Bookmark

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DIY Chicken Bookmark

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 The author of A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens and the award-winning blog Tilly's Nest, Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken owner, beekeeper and gardener. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, and Grit magazine, and also contributes to Country Living magazine. Her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs and received Country Living magazine's Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

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Delightful Garden Wines

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Delightful Garden Wines

There’s a world of light, bright and delicious garden wines waiting just outside your door. Learn how to convert surplus crops of any kind, as well as wild foraged plant material, into wines that will last for years in the bottle and provide memorable drinking with friends and family. Fruits and berries, flowers and herbs, vegetables and root crops, grains and even some leaves can be made into wine ... and commonly were in olden times, and still are in some parts of the world. Home winemaking requires a minimal investment in equipment and supplies, and wine “cooks” without any added energy. This workshop introduces a range of fermented beverages, including meads and hard ciders, in addition to conventional and sparkling garden wines. Nan K. Chase covers equipment, sanitation and temperature guidelines, and such processes as harvest and handling ingredients, plus racking (clarifying) and bottling wines. Speaker Bio Nan K. Chase is the author of Eat Your Yard! A member of the Garden Writers Association, Chase has been a freelance journalist for more than 35 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fine Gardening, Old House Journal, American Bungalow, Southern Living, and many other publications. She was founding president of the Asheville E-Z Gardeners Club in Asheville, North Carolina, where she lives. Chase is also a frequent lecturer for garden organizations, writers groups, and business organizations, and she enjoys doing radio, video and book festival appearances.

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Can Do Easy Canning

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Can Do Easy Canning

Discover how safe, easy and economical it is to preserve food and beverages by canning. Nothing makes a family more secure than having a well-stocked pantry, and canning ensures that no one runs short even during paralyzing blizzards, power outages or other disruptions. This proven method helps cut energy use and curb global pollution: Why drive to a grocery store when you already have your favorite foods as close as your cupboard! Canning the surplus cuts waste when you have a large harvest, and provides a way to combine and preserve your best crops in imaginative ways. The workshop covers equipment, sanitation practices and step-by-step techniques. Speaker Bio Nan K. Chase is the co-author, with DeNeice C. Guest, of Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas and Ciders, and the author of Eat Your Yard! With more than 30 years of home canning experience, Chase has canned everything from applesauce to prickly pear cactus juice, providing her family and friends with delicious, nutritious, and memorable food and beverage. Originally an investigative reporter for a small town newspaper in North Carolina, with several press association awards to her credit, Chase has also written for such publications as The New York Times and Southern Living, and she took home a blue ribbon for her crabapple jelly at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. She lectures extensively on garden topics, and the rest of the time tends to her garden in Asheville, North Carolina.

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An Overview of Food Preservation Methods

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An Overview of Food Preservation Methods

Hear the pros and cons of canning, freezing, drying and cold storage of vegetables in terms of time, taste, texture and the ease of using the final product. This workshop considers safety and nutritional concerns and how much one person can accomplish. Andrea Chesman brings in samples and equipment for demonstrating, including a pressure canner and boiling water bath canner. Speaker Bio Andrea Chesman has written more than 20 cookbooks, including Storey’s The Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, Serving Up the Harvest and Mom’s Best Crowd-Pleasers. She has also written a number of books on grilling, including the James Beard Award nominee The Vegetarian Grill. She has contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking and many regional and local newspapers. She teaches and does cooking demonstrations and classes at fairs, festivals, book events, and garden shows across the United States. She lives in Ripton, Vermont.

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Jam Empowerment and Understanding the Role of Pectin

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Jam Empowerment and Understanding the Role of Pectin

Making jams that taste like fruit and have good texture doesn’t require hours of work in a hot kitchen. Learn how to make tasty, low-sugar jams and can them for long-keeping. Taste sample jams to learn which pectins achieve the best texture. Discover which sweetener is best to use. And hear how to safely process the jam in a boiling water bath. Speaker Bio Andrea Chesman has written more than 20 cookbooks, including Storey’s The Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, Serving Up the Harvest, and Mom’s Best Crowd-Pleasers. She has also written a number of books on grilling, including the James Beard Award nominee The Vegetarian Grill. She has contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking, and many regional and local newspapers. She teaches and does cooking demonstrations and classes at fairs, festivals, book events and garden shows across the United States. She lives in Ripton, Vermont.

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Rendering and Cooking with Animal Fats

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Rendering and Cooking with Animal Fats

Whether you raise your own meat or buy a lot of poultry or sides of meat animals, you have a free source of cooking fats. These cooking fats are healthier to use than you might think. Learn how to render fat to make it ready for cooking and baking, how to store it, and how to use it, and what the health implications are for using more animal fats. Speaker Bio Andrea Chesman has written more than 20 cookbooks, including Storey’s The Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, Serving Up the Harvest and Mom’s Best Crowd-Pleasers. She has also written a number of books on grilling, including the James Beard Award nominee The Vegetarian Grill. She has contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking, and many regional and local newspapers. She teaches and does cooking demonstrations and classes at fairs, festivals, book events and garden shows across the United States. She lives in Ripton, Vermont.

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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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Renewable Energy for Homes and Businesses, Part 1

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Renewable Energy for Homes and Businesses, Part 1

In this two-part workshop, taught by America’s leading expert on renewable energy, learn all about the many clean, reliable and affordable forms of renewable energy that can be used to power your home or business, including energy efficiency, solar electricity, solar thermal, passive solar, small wind, microhydropower and heat pumps. Explore economics of each option and financial incentives and how these renewable energy technologies compete against conventional, polluting forms we currently rely on. 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 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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Renewable Energy for Homes and Businesses, Part 2

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Renewable Energy for Homes and Businesses, Part 2

In this two-part workshop, taught by America’s leading expert on renewable energy, learn all about the many clean, reliable and affordable forms of renewable energy that can be used to power your home or business, including energy efficiency, solar electricity, solar thermal, passive solar, small wind, microhydropower and heat pumps. Explore economics of each option and financial incentives, and how these renewable energy technologies compete against conventional, polluting forms we currently rely on. 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. 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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Passive Solar Heating

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Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar expert Dan Chiras teaches how to design a highly affordable home that is heated and cooled naturally by solar energy. Learn the principles of passive solar design, common mistakes people make and ways to avoid them, and how to heat and cool your home for free for life! 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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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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Comfrey and Healing Herbs

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Comfrey and Healing Herbs

Listen to the miraculous healing powers of medicinal plants, with comfrey being on the top of the list. Learn how these plants can assist in healing many conditions, from broken bones to asthma. 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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Cayenne and First-Aid Herbs

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Cayenne and First-Aid Herbs

What is in your spice rack that can save lives and heal in a pinch? Learn what common herbs and foods help heal common illnesses and emergencies that come up in everyday family situations. 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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How to Heal Local

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How to Heal Local

The localization movement has successfully infiltrated our food culture. But why do we spend so much energy worrying about where our carrot comes from, only to head home and reach for a headache remedy that was made in a nameless factory far away? Shouldn't we have access to a solution that was grown or made in our own community? Local medicine economies are possible but require the support of empowered consumers, established growers looking for niche markets, educators, product makers, health care practitioners, retailers and much more. In this workshop, hear about the importance of sourcing your medicine locally and how to build a community to make that possible. Dawn Combs introduces several easy-to-grow plants and do-it-yourself home health care techniques that can help you keep health local, inexpensive, fresh and effective. 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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Virtual Medicine Walk

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Virtual Medicine Walk

In the world of healing plants, there are popular herbs that almost everyone has heard of...and then there are those that have been forgotten. These are plants that were well-known by our ancestors but were overlooked as we began to depend more on Western medicine. Take a virtual walk through the windbreaks, abandoned railways and fence-lines where these medicinals still thrive. Listen to their stories while learning how we may begin to use their medicine yet today. 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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Home Health Care for Your Thyroid

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Home Health Care for Your Thyroid

At one time, we only discussed the thyroid in eighth-grade health class in reference to the victory over goiter in our modern society. Now we hear about this important gland in the news almost daily. Join Dawn Combs as she discusses how to approach thyroid health from a holistic perspective. Why do some thyroids overact and others struggle to function at all? How do we know when we are having thyroid issues and are their warning signs that can help us make changes before we have trouble? Learn to use simple food, lifestyle changes and healing herbs at home for optimal health. 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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Seed Libraries and Other Seed Share Initiatives

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Seed Libraries and Other Seed Share Initiatives

Seed saving and sharing programs might involve public libraries, but not necessarily. Learn about promoting seed sharing initiatives in your community through seed libraries, seed swaps and seed gardens. Cindy Conner's book Seed Libraries and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People is new in 2015. Speaker Bio Cindy Conner researches how to sustainably grow a complete diet in a small space at her home near Ashland, Virginia, and has produced the videos Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. A former market gardener, Conner was instrumental in establishing the sustainable agriculture program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Goochland, Virginia, and taught there from 1999 to 2010. Her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth was published in 2014. Seed Libraries and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People is new in 2015. Follow Conner’s blog at www.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.

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Grow a Sustainable Diet

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Grow a Sustainable Diet

Cindy Conner combines her experience with GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-farming with what she’s learned through study and practice in organic gardening, soil building and nutrition since her first garden in 1974. Learn how she has put it all together in a way that works for her and get valuable tips for growing your own sustainable diet. With every bite you take, you vote for how you want the earth used to grow your food. Discover which crops provide the most food in the least space and what to grow to also feed back the earth. Conner’s book Grow a Sustainable Diet was published in 2014. Speaker Bio Cindy Conner researches how to sustainably grow a complete diet in a small space at her home near Ashland, Virginia, and has produced the videos Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. Conner, a former market gardener, was instrumental in establishing the sustainable agriculture program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Goochland, Virginia, and taught there from 1999 to 2010. Her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth was published in 2014. Seed Libraries and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People is available in early 2015. Follow her blog at www.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.

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Managing Cover Crops with Hand Tools

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Managing Cover Crops with Hand Tools

Learn what cover crops are, how and when they grow, and which ones might work the best for you. You don’t need a tiller, and Cindy Conner shows you how to manage them with only hand tools. Cover crops included are cereal rye, wheat, oats, hairy vetch, winter peas, crimson clover, red clover, alfalfa, oilseed radish, cowpeas and buckwheat. Speaker Bio Cindy Conner researches how to sustainably grow a complete diet in a small space at her home near Ashland, Virginia, and has produced the videos Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. Conner, a former market gardener, was instrumental in establishing the sustainable agriculture program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Goochland, Virginia, and taught there from 1999 to 2010. Her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth was published in 2014. Seed Libraries and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People is available in early 2015. Follow her blog at www.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.

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How to Grow 35 to 40 Organic Plants Within a 2-Square-Foot Garden (With NO WEEDING!)

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How to Grow 35 to 40 Organic Plants Within a 2-Square-Foot Garden (With NO WEEDING!)

Shawna Coronado talks about the easy way to grow vertically and demonstrates how to grow 35 to 40 organic plants within an area that is smaller than 2 square feet using several different planting systems. Coronado also shows full-color photos featuring her extensive front lawn vegetable organic garden and discusses her creative, sustainable ideas for organic soil maintenance, water collection, sustainable and artful reuse of around-the-house items as vertical wall systems. She also gives suggestions for where to deliver your overabundance of vegetables. (She donates more than 100 pounds of food every season to the local food pantry.) Speaker Bio Shawna Coronado is an author, columnist, blogger, photographer and spokesperson who campaigns for social good. She is also an on-camera spokesperson and social media personality with more than 292,000 followers on her various social media venues, and more than 200 videos on YouTube with more than a million views. Her garden has been featured in many venues, including PBS television. Her 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 her at www.ShawnaCoronado.com.

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Keeping a Family Cow

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Keeping a Family Cow

Learn how to include a milk cow in your family ... and why! Not so long ago, most communities included a few dairy cows. Today dairy farms are getting scarcer (albeit bigger) and people with knowledge of how to care for cows are getting rarer too. This workshop covers some of the benefits of having a home dairy and offers an overview of how to do it. Speaker Bio Barbara Corson is a retired veterinary pathologist and lifelong "dairy gardener." Over the past 40 years she has owned seven family cows. She and her cow, Delilah, currently work at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, an educational historic farm in Media.

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Medicinal Mushroom Gardens: Cultivation, garden design, and preparing extracts and tinctures

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Medicinal Mushroom Gardens: Cultivation, garden design, and preparing extracts and tinctures

Mushrooms have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and now they’re making headlines as private researchers and pharmaceutical companies race to secure their stake in the new health care gold rush on medicinal fungi. Learn their effects on the human immune system and the hope they offer for developing protection and cures for deadly pandemic diseases. Participants learn the basics of cultivation of many species that are easy to grow at home, extraction methods and tincture preparation, homemade medicinal consumer products, and much, much more! Speaker Bio Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. He is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, published by Chelsea Green in 2014. In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain (which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga) to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries, and he currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

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Mushroom Cultivation for Everyone

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Mushroom Cultivation for Everyone

If you think growing mushrooms is too complicated, here’s your chance to see how easy and rewarding it can be. This workshop instantly gets you growing, and you leave understanding the best ways to cultivate delicious mushrooms at home or on your farm. You learn about inexpensive startup options for beginners and many commercial ideas to expand on. This class energizes your efforts and maximizes your production, covering all indoor and outdoor methods and the top edible and medicinal species that anyone can grow at home or on the homestead! Speaker Bio Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. He is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, published by Chelsea Green in 2014. In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain (which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga) to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries, and he currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

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Mycoremediation and Recycling and Composting of Home and Farm Waste Using Mushrooms

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Mycoremediation and Recycling and Composting of Home and Farm Waste Using Mushrooms

Are you wondering how you can help reduce pollution and lessen your impact on landfills? Join Tradd Cotter to learn how to grow edible mushrooms on trash you thought you couldn’t compost! Turn cardboard, cereal boxes and more into fresh mushrooms, and then add your leftover “fungus farm” to your garden to attract worms and enrich the soil. Create a circular system that’s a winner! Many species of edible and medicinal mushrooms sweat powerful enzymes into the environment as they grow, capable of molecular disassembly of complex molecules such as hydrocarbons, aromatic chlorinated compounds, and pesticides. Mushrooms native to your area of the United States are also well-adapted to filter, stun and destroy pathogenic bacteria that accompany failing septic systems, manure holding ponds, and even pet waste runoff. Hear about easy, turnkey projects from beginner to advanced that anyone can do. Speaker Bio Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. Cotter is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, published by Chelsea Green in 2014. In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries. He currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

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Fungi in the Classroom

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Fungi in the Classroom

Ever wonder what kind of projects you and your children can start at home or in school with mushrooms? This program is part show and part hands-on, with many cool experiments that are practical for demonstrating recycling and composting home and school waste byproducts using mushroom spawn. Participants make and take home a small mushroom fruiting kit they make from shredded paper or cardboard, as well as a living culture! Speaker Bio Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. Cotter is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, published by Chelsea Green in 2014. In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries. He currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

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Preserving Your Garden's Bounty

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Preserving Your Garden's Bounty

Your garden is bursting at the seams, your chickens are fat and the orchard’s branches, heavy with fruit, are touching the ground! What to do? Learn how to preserve and enjoy your bounty all through the winter with safe and proven techniques. Explore ways to maintain the best flavor and highest nutrition value when freezing, drying, fermenting and canning. Speaker Bio Lorree Cummings, clinical nutritionist, gardener and educator, is the owner of Stone Cottage Farm & Garden. After inheriting the family homestead in 2006, she began working to restore the farm she remembered as a child. Local awareness in the renovation led to questions from interested, aspiring homesteaders and eventually to workshops to help others. She now travels, offering lectures and classes about raised-bed organic gardening, edible landscaping, backyard chickens, food preservation, seed starting and urban homesteading. She has presented her topics at Master Gardeners' Design & Beyond, The Gardener's Workshop at Lakeland College, Beech Creek Botanical Gardens' annual symposium, and many other events.

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Break It Down: Sheep

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Break It Down: Sheep

Sheep are best known for the younger offering of lamb, yet older animals have far more potential for depth of flavor. In this intensive workshop, Adam Danforth walks participants through a demonstration in which he breaks down sheep while discussing the how-to steps. He covers the aspects of sheep that make them unique and how age impacts flavor and tenderness. If you would like to sharpen your skills in understanding meat, learn why you cook certain cuts in certain ways, and understand the anatomy of an animal, this is the class for you. Join Danforth, butcher and author of Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork as well as Butchering Beef, as he breaks down a whole animal and tells you about how to use all of the cuts, what is the best value for your budget, and how best to prepare it. Speaker Bio Adam Danforth trained at the professional meat processing program at SUNY Cobleskill, one of the only such programs in the United States, before going to work at Marlow and Daughters in New York City. In butchering workshops across the United States, including at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Danforth shares his skills with individuals who are slaughtering and butchering for personal consumption. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

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Fats and Flavor: The art of butchering

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Fats and Flavor: The art of butchering

Poor fats, they are so misunderstood. The little guys are just trying to do good things like efficiently store (or deliver) energy and, upon cooking, provide the vast majority of flavors that the eater experiences. Unfairly, they are the vilified component in the meat trifecta of protein, collagen and, of course, fat. In this workshop, Adam Danforth discusses the three main types of fat, how they play a role in flavor and shelf life, and how to butcher for maximum fat advantage. Speaker Bio Adam Danforth trained at the professional meat processing program at SUNY Cobleskill, one of the only such programs in the United States, before going to work at Marlow and Daughters in New York City. In butchering workshops across the United States, including at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Danforth shares his skills with individuals who are slaughtering and butchering for personal consumption. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

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Growing Ginseng and Other Woodland Medicinals for Fun or Profit

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Growing Ginseng and Other Woodland Medicinals for Fun or Profit

Interest in ginseng is rising and people are willing to pay high prices for it but finding wild ginseng is difficult. Learn three methods for growing your own ginseng and other popular woodland medicinals, including goldenseal, black cohosh and bloodroot. Discover how cultivation can help conservation of these precious native plants and hear tips for how to market what you grow. Speaker Bio Jeanine Davis is a North Carolina State University horticulture professor who lives, works and farms in Western North Carolina. She helps farmers and gardeners transition into organic agriculture and new crops such as hops, truffles, herbs and stevia. She is the lead author of the newly revised book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals.

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Producing Hops for Local Craft Breweries

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Producing Hops for Local Craft Breweries

The explosion of craft breweries in the eastern United States has resulted in a demand for locally grown hops, but breweries require high-quality hops in a form they can use. Learn how to grow hops for this industry and what it takes to do it profitably. Speaker Bio Jeanine Davis is a North Carolina State University horticulture professor who lives, works and farms in Western North Carolina. She helps farmers and gardeners transition into organic agriculture and new crops such as hops, truffles, herbs and stevia. She is the lead author of the newly revised book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals.

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The Hoophouse in Fall and Winter

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The Hoophouse in Fall and Winter

Learn how to grow varied and plentiful greens for cooking and salads: turnips, radishes and scallions. Discover how to get continuous harvests and maximize use of valuable space. Hear tips to minimize unhealthy levels of nitrates in cold weather. Also, consider growing bare-root transplants for planting outdoors in spring, and listen to advice on transplanting indoors from outdoors in the fall. Speaker Bio Pam Dawling is the author of Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres (New Society Publishers, 2013). She is also a contributing editor with Growing for Market magazine. An avid vegetable grower for almost 40 years, she has lived at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for more than 20 years, growing vegetables and berries for 100 people on 3.5 acres, and providing training for members in sustainable vegetable production.

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The Hoophouse in Spring and Summer

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The Hoophouse in Spring and Summer

In colder zones, growers use the summer hoophouse for all those hot weather crops that struggle outdoors! But if you can already grow melons, limas and okra outside, you may be left wondering how to make good use of that valuable covered space when it’s hot. As well as heat-loving crops, this presentation discusses cooling the hoophouse, using the opportunity to tackle soilborne diseases or improve the soil, and other uses (such as seed drying and storage). Speaker Bio Pam Dawling is the author of Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres (New Society Publishers, 2013). She is also a contributing editor with Growing for Market magazine. An avid vegetable grower for almost 40 years, she has lived at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for more than 20 years, growing vegetables and berries for 100 people on 3.5 acres, and providing training for members in sustainable vegetable production.

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Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

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Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

A third of the food we eat – from apples to zucchini – is dependent upon pollination of crop plants by bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds or bats. Learn how to attract pollinators to your garden by providing nectar, pollen, and nesting and overwintering sites. Speaker Bio Candy DeBerry, Ph.D., is professor of biology at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about ecological gardening for biodiversity, and she regularly speaks to community organizations about native plants, environmentally friendly gardening, and creating habitats for wildlife.

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Guinea Fowl: Benefits and care of your backyard flock

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Guinea Fowl: Benefits and care of your backyard flock

Come learn about the benefits of guinea fowl, and how to properly care for them. Speaker Bio Sharon Dodds is the owner of Sandshaven farm, where guinea fowl are bred and trained. A licensed certified poultry technician (CPT) through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Dodds has been a member of the Guinea Fowl International Association since 2011.

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Water for the Small-Scale Rotational Grazier: Low-pressure, captured and gravity-fed systems

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Water for the Small-Scale Rotational Grazier: Low-pressure, captured and gravity-fed systems

Learn about captured natural water sources (rain, surface and groundwater) and low- or no-energy-input systems for the homesteader and small-scale intensive grazier. These systems enhance positive ecological impact by holding and storing water in reservoirs and in the soil, increase ecosystem health and resilience, and reducing financial and energy waste. Speaker Bio Shawn and Beth Dougherty farm 50 acres in eastern Ohio, where they practice year-round holistic rotational grazing and organic gardening, home cheesemaking and butchering, raising dairy and beef cows, spotted hogs, Katahdin sheep, and chickens for eggs and meat. They harvest organic hay and operate a community dairy and creamery, raising most of what they eat and most of what their animals eat. Their ongoing project is to rediscover the methods whereby families or individuals can provide their own food from a small acreage of marginal land without purchased feeds and inputs.

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Small-Scale, Multispecies Management: Intensive rotational grazing for the homesteader

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Small-Scale, Multispecies Management: Intensive rotational grazing for the homesteader

Even on a few acres it is possible (and desirable) to raise your own grass-fed, nutritionally dense food while building fertility and resilience into your ecosystem. Look at different ways to intensively graze mixed herds of dairy and meat animals (cows, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens) on the small homestead. Speaker Bio Shawn and Beth Dougherty farm 50 acres in eastern Ohio, where they practice year-round holistic rotational grazing and organic gardening, home cheesemaking and butchering, raising dairy and beef cows, spotted hogs, Katahdin sheep, and chickens for eggs and meat. They harvest organic hay and operate a community dairy and creamery, raising most of what they eat and most of what their animals eat. Their ongoing project is to rediscover the methods whereby families or individuals can provide their own food from a small acreage of marginal land without purchased feeds and inputs.

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Why Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unacceptably Risky and Unequivocally Illegal ... and Why Most People Are Utterly Unaware of It

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Why Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unacceptably Risky and Unequivocally Illegal ... and Why Most People Are Utterly Unaware of It

Join this lively and eye-opening examination of why genetically engineered foods entail unacceptable risks, and how they gained traction through the subversion of science. Learn how they illegally entered the U.S. market, why their presence is still illegal, and how a massive disinformation campaign by the scientific establishment has enabled this all to happen. Speaker Bio Steven M. Druker is a public interest attorney who initiated a lawsuit against the FDA that forced it to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods. This revealed that politically influenced administrators had covered up the extensive warnings of their own scientists about the unusual risks of these foods, lied about the facts, and then ushered these products onto the market in violation of explicit mandates of federal food safety law. His book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, was released in March with a foreword by Jane Goodall hailing it as “without doubt, one of the most important books of the last 50 years.” Several other eminent scientists have praised it as well, including David Schubert, a professor and laboratory director at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who has extolled it as "incisive, insightful and truly outstanding."

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Garden Tools 202: The stuff you won't learn at a big-box store

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Garden Tools 202: The stuff you won't learn at a big-box store

Everybody wants the best tools for their gardening work ... but which are the best? Discover how to identify high-quality, long-lasting, ergonomic tools that work with your body instead of against it. Learn proper tool selection, use, technique and maintenance to maximize your investment. (And make your work more fun!) Speaker Bio Joel Dufour grew up and was home-schooled on a small farm in southern Indiana, where the family businesses were a small engine shop, selling organic produce in the summer and firewood in the winter. Dufour started his own business, Earth Tools, in 1993 and has been researching, using and selling the finest garden tools available ever since. He, his wife and two daughters live near Frankfort, Kentucky, in an off-grid, 900-square-foot home they built by hand.

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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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Backyard Biodiesel: How to brew your own fuel

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Backyard Biodiesel: How to brew your own fuel

Lyle Estill, Backyard Biodiesel, demonstrates how to produce biodiesel from used fryer oil and discusses ways of integrating the practice into your resilience efforts at home or on-farm. Speaker Bio Lyle Estill is the president and co-founder of Piedmont Biofuels, a community-scale biodiesel project in Pittsboro, North Carolina. He has been on the vanguard of social change for the past decade, which has placed him at the heart of the sustainability movement. Estill is a prolific speaker and writer, and the author of Small Stories, Big Changes, Industrial Evolution, Small Is Possible and Biodiesel Power. He has won numerous awards for his commitment to resilience, community development, outreach and leadership. Bob Armantrout helped to manage four commercial biodiesel plants in Hawaii, Colorado and Texas before moving to Pittsboro, North Carolina, in 2007 to join Piedmont Biofuels. He worked as an instructor at Central Carolina Community College, where he designed and delivered an innovative two-year biofuels degree program. When he is not immersed in the fascinating world of alternative fuels, Armantrout gardens organically to maintain his sanity, and explores the world of mycelium through mushroom and tempeh production.

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Get Winterized Now!

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Get Winterized Now!

Northern bees and beekeepers need to get ready for winter starting NOW! Speaker Bio Kim Flottum is the editor of Bee Culture magazine, a beekeeper and the author of several beginning and advanced books on the subject.

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The Basics of Honey Bee Nutrition: What bees need, when and why

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The Basics of Honey Bee Nutrition: What bees need, when and why

Finding enough good food for every bee in the bunch is getting harder to do. Beekeepers need to know honey bee requirements, and be prepared to help out when necessary. Speaker Bio Kim Flottum is the editor of Bee Culture magazine, a beekeeper and the author of several beginning and advanced books on the subject.

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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. Topics include 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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Eggs-traordinary Eggs: The science, tricks and secrets of eggs

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Eggs-traordinary Eggs: The science, tricks and secrets of eggs

Eggs are among the most nutritious, easily digestible and absorbed foods available on the planet. Eggs are so adaptable that they can be used for a variety of dishes. They create elegant soufflés, hold meatloaf together, keep oil and vinegar from separating in mayonnaise, and form crystals in candies. They spin magically into meringues and thicken smooth custards. Eggs build cake batters by providing the structural framework, and produce finely grained ice creams, enrich soups, glaze pie crusts. What other food can do all this? It’s said you can tell a great chef from a cook by the way they treat and use eggs. Learn the chemistry behind the magic of eggs in this egg-splicit, eggciting workshop. Speaker Bio Pat Foreman graduated from Purdue University with degrees in pharmacy and agriculture (animal science, genetics and nutrition). She earned a Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the author of the paradigm-shifting book City Chicks, and a 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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Chicken POOP Power!

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Chicken POOP Power!

Chicken manure is an underrated byproduct of our feathered friends. This workshop explores science and wonder behind the creation, composition, usefulness, management and value of chicken poop. Don’t turn your nose up at the possibilities of micromanaging your flock’s poop to enhance your yard and garden (while feeding soil dwellers in the soil food web). This workshop is co-presented by chicken celebrity Oprah Hen-Free. Speaker Bio Patricia Foreman graduated from Purdue University with degrees in pharmacy and agriculture (animal science, genetics and nutrition). She earned a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the author of the paradigm-shifting book City Chicks. 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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Food Forest Gardening

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Food Forest Gardening

This presentation focuses on designing productive perennial polycultures built around fruit trees and berry bushes. A food forest garden, based on permaculture principles, combines trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and flowers into a productive, ecologically sound and productive system. Speaker Bio Darrell Frey, author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm, is the latest in a long line of gardeners and farmers on both sides of his family. He is a sustainable design consultant, permaculture teacher and owner of Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. The 5-acre plot of season extenders, gardens, uncultivated areas and pond is an ongoing research project in right livelihood and permaculture design.

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Permaculture Design

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Permaculture Design

This workshop focuses on the details of permaculture design. It presents a how-to introduction for assessing a property and creating a design plan to create a productive, efficient and ecologically sound landscape. The principles are suitable for small lots or whole farms. Speaker Bio Darrell Frey, author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm, is the latest in a long line of gardeners and farmers on both sides of his family. He is a sustainable design consultant, permaculture teacher and owner of Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. The 5-acre plot of season extenders, gardens, uncultivated areas and pond is an ongoing research project in right livelihood and permaculture design.

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Permaculture Design

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Permaculture Design

This workshop focuses on the details of permaculture design. It presents a how-to introduction for assessing a property and creating a design plan for a productive, efficient and ecologically sound landscape. Permaculture principles are suitable for small lots or whole farms. Speaker Bio Darrell Frey is the latest in a long line of gardeners and farmers, from both sides of his family tree. He is a sustainable design consultant, permaculture teacher and owner of Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. The 5-acre plot of season extenders, gardens, uncultivated areas and pond is an ongoing research project in right livelihood and permaculture design.

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Food Forest Gardening

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Food Forest Gardening

This presentation focuses on designing productive perennial polycultures built around fruit trees and berry bushes. A food forest garden, based on permaculture principles, combines trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and flowers into a productive, ecologically sound and productive system. Speaker Bio Darrell Frey is the latest in a long line of gardeners and farmers, from both sides of his family tree. He is a sustainable design consultant, permaculture teacher and owner of Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. The 5-acre plot of season extenders, gardens, uncultivated areas and pond is an ongoing research project in right livelihood and permaculture design.

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Bioshelters: Ecological greenhouse design and management

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Bioshelters: Ecological greenhouse design and management

This presentation focuses on the design and management of ecologically managed solar greenhouses, or bioshelters. Information presented includes basic solar design, ecological pest management and year-round production of herbs, flowers and vegetables. Speaker Bio Darrell Frey is the latest in a long line of gardeners and farmers, from both sides of his family tree. He is a sustainable design consultant, permaculture teacher and owner of Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. The 5-acre plot of season extenders, gardens, uncultivated areas and pond is an ongoing research project in right livelihood and permaculture design.

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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. Experience and discuss 17 essential oils. Hear not only what the oils do, but how to use them to achieve desired outcomes. Learn 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. Come and learn about this wonderful natural healing modality. Speaker Bio Billy Galloway has been experiencing the benefits of aromatherapy since 2006. He is a certified aromatherapist accredited by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and is the eastern director of operations for Natural Options Aromatherapy. Before joining Natural Options, Galloway was the general manager of Gray Kennels and Security. Galloway, his wife, Jenny, and two children reside in Kingsport, Tennessee.

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What Does It Take to Be a Beekeeper?

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What Does It Take to Be a Beekeeper?

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 or not beekeeping is right for you. 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 11 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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Maintaining a Healthy Hive

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Maintaining a Healthy Hive

Maintaining a healthy hive is no easy task. Shane Gebauer explores what it means to be a healthy hive and how to achieve it. Controlling disease and pests certainly are important, but perhaps equally crucial are good nutrition and a vigorous queen that reduces contaminants in the hive. Speaker Bio Shane Gebauer has been a beekeeper and worked in the beekeeping industry for more than 11 years. 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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Sustainable Hop Production for Home and Market

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Sustainable Hop Production for Home and Market

This workshop instructs participants on how to grow hops for use in homebrewing as well as commercially. Participants learn about the hop plant and how to cultivate it for a healthy crop. They are introduced to the basics of hop yard construction and develop an understanding of how to harvest, dry, process, package and store hops to achieve maximum quality. Speaker Bio Dietrich Gehring is a farmer and author. With his wife, Laura Ten Eyck, he co-owns Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery in Altamont, New York. Gehring and Ten Eyck have authored a book for Chelsea Green titled The Hop Grower's Handbook, which is coming out in the fall of 2015.

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Start Saving Your Own Seeds!

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Start Saving Your Own Seeds!

Start saving your own seeds! The significance of seed cannot be overestimated: from how we approach global biodiversity to how we choose our afternoon snack, every decision we make impacts what and how seeds are planted around the world. Come learn about the history, significance and techniques of seed saving; expect to come away inspired and empowered. Though much has been lost, each seed evidences the extraordinary hope that exists in every crack in the sidewalk! Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers, their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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Breeding New Varieties for Flavor, Productivity and Fun

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Breeding New Varieties for Flavor, Productivity and Fun

Ever wonder how to create your own new varieties of vegetables? Or do you have a hybrid you want to figure out how to save seed from? Come learn how you can start breeding your own vegetables. Discover the methods humans have been using for 14,000 years to create the wondrous array of food we have today. If you have a working knowledge of seed saving, you will get the most out of this class, but all are welcome to be inspired. Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers, their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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Year-Round Harvest: Easier than you think with simple season extension techniques

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Year-Round Harvest: Easier than you think with simple season extension techniques

If you want to eat fresh greens, herbs and roots throughout the winter, this is the class for you. Harvesting December-March takes a bit of planning, the right varieties, and a few simple, inexpensive approaches to crop protection. This workshop reviews seed-starting and transplanting dates for early and late winter harvests, suitable varieties, DIY low hoops and row-covering techniques, and the time-tested practice of winter mulching. Bring a salad to eat during this workshop to stave off the hunger. Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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A Garden of Simples

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A Garden of Simples

From early times herbs have been the main source of healing. A Simple is a plant supposed to have one single or simple remedial virtue, unique to it alone. During the early days of our history, when people were isolated, the good wife and mother had to be a physician. Learn which culinary herbs serve as Simples even today. Speaker Bio Rita Nader Heikenfeld is a certified modern herbalist, author, media personality and educator. She lives "in the sticks" in Clermont County, Ohio, with her family, where they grow their own produce and herbs, raise chickens for eggs, and heat with wood they gather themselves.

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Farmstead Ice Creams and Sorbets

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Farmstead Ice Creams and Sorbets

Hear about the importance of supporting farmstead dairy, plus tips and tricks for making delicious, flavor-filled frozen desserts with fruits, vegetables and wild edibles. Speaker Bio For the past 10 years, Nathan Holmes has worked with farmers, grocery stores, and chefs to get more local food to market. He lives with his wife and three children just outside of Pittsburgh, where he manages a marketing co-operative called Family Farm Creameries for western Pennsylvania farmstead dairy producers. His latest projects are Pittsburgh Ice Cream Co., a farm-to-cone ice cream company, and Three Rivers Grown, a local food distribution company.

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Growing and Preserving Unusual Fruit

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Growing and Preserving Unusual Fruit

Everyone enjoys the sensual pleasure of tasting a new and exotic tropical fruit, but few people realize that they can taste these delicious fruits in their own backyard. Join John Holzwart of Moonwise Herbs as he shares tips for growing and preserving unusual fruit. The fruit discussed and/or sampled may include edible dogwoods, aronia, elderberries, sea buckthorn, autumn olives, pawpaws, figs and many more. Speaker Bio John Holzwart is a gardener, wild forager, beekeeper and artist. He has a design certificate in permaculture, has studied cordwood masonry, traditional broom-making and has worked on an organic community-supported vegetable farm. He is proprietor of Brooms by Little John and Moonwise Herbs.

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Choosing Herbal Remedies for Sustainability

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Choosing Herbal Remedies for Sustainability

The vast majority of herbs are imported (some estimates put the number at more than 95%). Join John Holzwart of Moonwise Herbs and learn how to choose herbal remedies closer to home and have a long-lasting effect on your health and the health of the planet. Speaker Bio John Holzwart is a gardener, wild forager, beekeeper and artist. He has a design certificate in permaculture, has studied cordwood masonry, traditional broom-making and has worked on an organic community-supported vegetable farm. He is proprietor of Brooms by Little John and Moonwise Herbs.

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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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Practical Magic: The healing energy of plants

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Practical Magic: The healing energy of plants

Everything alive emits energy; we can all feel it on one level or another. Join herbalist and Reiki practitioner Amy Jirsa as she discusses and explores the energy of plants and their connection to, and effect on, the human body. Speaker Bio Amy Jirsa is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wildcrafting writer from Maine. She is a longtime teacher and student and has been in the healing practices for more than a decade. She is the author of Herbal Goddess: Discover the Amazing Spirit of 12 Healing Herbs with Teas, Potions, Salves, Food, Yoga, and More. She is the founder of Quiet Earth Yoga, once a brick-and-mortar yoga and healing studio, now a virtual community based on the idea that we draw on every element in order to balance the separate parts of our nature and, harmoniously, to heal and to empower ourselves.

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Yoga Spirit, Plant Spirit: Going beyond the physical and integrating herbs for a stronger, more peaceful mind and body

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Yoga Spirit, Plant Spirit: Going beyond the physical and integrating herbs for a stronger, more peaceful mind and body

We are drawn toward the healing practice of yoga and meditation for many reasons, but at the core of those reasons is a desire for a deeper connection to self, to peace, to stillness, to strength. Inevitably, the “garbage” (mental and physical) surfaces. Learn how to cope with the debris that comes up in practice and how to learn from it. Explore the use of flower remedies and herbs to deepen your yoga/meditation practice with Amy Jirsa, herbalist and certified yoga teacher. Speaker Bio Amy Jirsa is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager and wildcrafting writer from Maine. She is a longtime teacher and student and has been in the healing practices for more than a decade. She is the author of Herbal Goddess: Discover the Amazing Spirit of 12 Healing Herbs with Teas, Potions, Salves, Food, Yoga and More. She is the founder of Quiet Earth Yoga, once a brick-and-mortar yoga and healing studio, now a virtual community based on the idea that we draw on every element in order to balance the separate parts of our nature and, harmoniously, to heal and to empower ourselves.

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Herb Detox, Yoga Detox: Targeting the kidneys, stomach and liver with herbs and gentle movement for a more resilient, more intuitive mind and body

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Herb Detox, Yoga Detox: Targeting the kidneys, stomach and liver with herbs and gentle movement for a more resilient, more intuitive mind and body

There are myriad ways to approach healing, with no wrong or right answer; it is an art, relying on and trusting one’s intuition. Herbs and yoga can help. Explore the kidney, liver and stomach meridians in a gentle yoga practice (accessible no matter what your level, body type or mobility) and, at the same time, learn how the energy of plants mingles with the energy of the body, targeting key areas for integrative healing. Speaker Bio Amy Jirsa is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager and wildcrafting writer from Maine. She is a longtime teacher and student and has been in the healing practices for more than a decade. She is the author of Herbal Goddess: Discover the Amazing Spirit of 12 Healing Herbs with Teas, Potions, Salves, Food, Yoga and More. She is the founder of Quiet Earth Yoga, once a brick-and-mortar yoga and healing studio, now a virtual community based on the idea that we draw on every element in order to balance the separate parts of our nature and, harmoniously, to heal and to empower ourselves.

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The Flower Effect: Using intuition and plant energy to heal the body

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The Flower Effect: Using intuition and plant energy to heal the body

Every plant, every flower, vibrates with energy. This vibration, while different in resonance than the human body’s energy, is nonetheless in harmony with it. Explore the wildflowers in season and learn to sit with, to meditate, to feel the energy of the plant of your choice, and then learn how to use that plant with the mind and body for integrative, vibrational and deep healing. Speaker Bio Amy Jirsa is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager and wildcrafting writer from Maine. She is a longtime teacher and student and has been in the healing practices for more than a decade. She is the author of Herbal Goddess: Discover the Amazing Spirit of 12 Healing Herbs with Teas, Potions, Salves, Food, Yoga and More. She is the founder of Quiet Earth Yoga, once a brick-and-mortar yoga and healing studio, now a virtual community based on the idea that we draw on every element in order to balance the separate parts of our nature and, harmoniously, to heal and to empower ourselves.

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Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist

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Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist

This fun-filled presentation (for the budding gardener and experienced green thumb alike) offers creative and easy-to-follow designs. You can have your yard and eat it too! Each design focuses on creating an edible landscaping project from scratch. To begin your fruitful landscape, build herb spirals, carve raised beds that harvest rainwater, grow tasty outdoor mushrooms, create a food forest, discover uncommon fruits, shape up an earthen oven, and much more! Speaker Bio Michael Judd has worked with agro-ecological and whole system designs throughout the Americas for the last 20 years, focusing on applying permaculture and ecological design to increase local food security and community health in both tropical and temperate growing regions. He's the founder of both Ecologia, Edible & Ecological Landscape Design and Project Bona Fide, an international nonprofit supporting agro-ecology research. He's the author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist.

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Fermentation: An Everyday Miracle

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Fermentation: An Everyday Miracle

Fermented foods and beverages are produced and enjoyed in every part of the world. There is a certain inevitability to microbial change to our food, and for millennia people have harnessed that inevitable force in order to make alcohol and to make food more stable for storage, more delicious, and more digestible. This keynote presentation is a broad overview of fermentation and makes the case that this ancient practice is more relevant to our lives now than ever before. Speaker Bio Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation (2003) and the The Art of Fermentation (2012), along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” The Art of Fermentation received a James Beard award, and In 2014, Sandor was honored with the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. For more information, check out Sandor's website www.wildfermentation.com.

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Vegetable Fermentation Workshop

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Vegetable Fermentation Workshop

Come learn how simple it is to make your own kraut, kimchi and other fermented delicacies. Learn about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of live-culture ferments, as well as their illustrious history and integral role in human cultural evolution. Empower yourself with simple techniques for fermenting these healthful foods in your home. Be part of the fermentation revival! Speaker Bio Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation (2003) and the The Art of Fermentation (2012), along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” The Art of Fermentation received a James Beard award, and In 2014, Sandor was honored with the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. For more information, check out Sandor's website www.wildfermentation.com.

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A Gardener's Glossary

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A Gardener's Glossary

Open pollinated. Heirloom. Native. Organic. Do you wonder what these words mean or get confused by all the terms and jargon used to describe seeds and plants? This session enriches your gardening vocabulary, providing a better understanding of commonly used gardening terms (and what they mean for your garden). Speaker Bio Janis Kieft is a longtime gardener and horticulturist with degrees in horticultural science and agricultural education from the University of Minnesota. She teaches classes on a variety of gardening topics and has written articles for the National Garden Bureau and various publications. Kieft is currently a seed buyer for Botanical Interests, a family-owned packet seed company based in Broomfield, Colorado, that specializes in high-quality flower, herb and vegetable seeds for home gardeners.

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Creating a Seed Sowing Calendar for Your Garden

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Creating a Seed Sowing Calendar for Your Garden

A successful garden begins with knowing the right time to start seeds, both indoors and outside. This session will help you create a seed sowing calendar tailored to your garden based on frost dates, germination times, microclimates and more. Speaker Bio Janis Kieft is a longtime gardener and horticulturist with degrees in horticultural science and agricultural education from the University of Minnesota. She teaches classes on a variety of gardening topics and has written articles for the National Garden Bureau and various publications. Kieft is currently a seed buyer for Botanical Interests, a family-owned packet seed company based in Broomfield, Colorado, that specializes in high-quality flower, herb and vegetable seeds for home gardeners.

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Launch a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen

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Launch a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen

Learn how you can start a simple food business from home with little to no investment while doing the things you love: baking, canning, pickling and more! Jump-start your freedom to earn by taking advantage of state laws that allow specific, “nonhazardous” foods to be made in your kitchen and sold to the public. Speaker Bio Lisa Kivirist is a national speaker, writer and innkeeper of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast. Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Kivirist is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. Kivirist is a distinguished Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and a national advocate and leader for women in sustainable agriculture. She initiated and directs the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), an award-winning initiative providing resources and networking for women farmers and food-based ecopreneurs.

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Farmstead Chef: Organic eating on a dime

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Farmstead Chef: Organic eating on a dime

What’s the key ingredient to eating healthy, saving money and stewarding the planet? A return to our nation’s farmstead roots of independence, self-sufficiency and frugality. Learn simple, creative tips for rethinking household food budgets, from preserving the homegrown harvest to stocking the kitchen pantry. Speaker Bio Lisa Kivirist is a national speaker, writer and innkeeper of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast. Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Kivirist is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. Kivirist is a distinguished Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and a national advocate and leader for women in sustainable agriculture. She initiated and directs the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), an award-winning initiative providing resources and networking for women farmers and food-based ecopreneurs.

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Putting Livestock to Work!

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Putting Livestock to Work!

The role of animals in shaping landscapes and improving soils has all but been forgotten in today's petroleum- and chemical-based industrial agriculture (and broader culture, for that matter). Come join a discussion about some of the ways Walnut Hill Farm harnesses the natural tendencies of each of the species they raise at their farm. While theirs is a farm-scale, multiple-species commercial endeavor to raise excellent, healthy meat (while improving their soils, pastures and woodlots), this workshop also discusses ideas about how the same principles can (and should) be applied at virtually any scale. Save fuel, make great food and improve soils. (Win-win-win!) Speaker Bio Michael Kovach is the proprietor of Walnut Hill Farm in South Pymatuning, Pennsylvania. Walnut Hill Farm is a grass-based, sustainable/regenerative farm raising grass-fed and grass-finished beef and lamb, GMO-free pastured poultry, and silvopastured pork. The farm is host to many field trips throughout the year, and reconnecting folks with food and agricultural is regarded by the owners as nearly as high in importance as raising the best possible meat. Walnut Hill Farm is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and Kovach sits on the board of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union as Northwest Section Director.

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Care and Feeding of Your Yurt

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Care and Feeding of Your Yurt

Get in-depth information on what yurts are like to build, live in and maintain (as well as their building codes). Kenneth Lawrence, a master yurt builder with some 30 years of experience, answers your questions. This workshop is a must for anyone planning to build or buy a yurt, for full-time living or as a getaway. Speaker Bio With some 30 years of experience, Ken Lawrence (whose friends call him the "yurtgod") is the go-to person for all questions about yurts. He has been building yurts since 1984. (His first, called "ugly-one," was made of scrap lumber and an old rental tent.) Because of his research and developing skills as a craftsman, he now produces one of the top yurts in the nation. He also monitors several social groups about yurts and yurt living. Lawrence has a gift for gab and an endless supply of knowledge when it comes to yurt building, and he is always willing to talk to someone about yurts. As he often says, "If there is a harder, more stupid way of doing something with a yurt, I have done it, and try to help others to prevent them from doing it."

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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 not only heat but cook, bake, and produce electricity and hot water from a wood-fired stove.

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A Selection of Epic Tomatoes for Southeastern Gardens

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A Selection of Epic Tomatoes for Southeastern Gardens

Craig LeHoullier has a special passion for tomatoes — juicy, just-off-the-vine, homegrown tomatoes. He will inspire you to grow great tomatoes and expand your choices beyond the ordinary. By sharing knowledge gained from growing around 2,000 tomatoes over decades, as well as stories about some particularly esteemed cultivars, LeHoullier will explore the many color, size and shape options, and relate why tomato flavors can be likened to wine tasting in its many complexities. Think a tomato is just a tomato? You’ll be thinking differently after this seminar. Speaker Bio Craig LeHoullier is the tomato adviser for Seed Savers Exchange. In the last 30 years, he has trialed more than 1,200 tomato varieties and has introduced more than 100 varieties to the trade. He lectures widely, from local Master Gardener groups to Monticello and Seed Savers Exchange. He's one of the founders of Tomatopalooza, an event in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

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The Holy Grail: How to grow great tomatoes from seed to harvest

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The Holy Grail: How to grow great tomatoes from seed to harvest

Every gardener who grows a plant has a story to tell, tips to share and challenges to endure. Craig LeHoullier presents tips and tricks gleaned from his 35 years of gardening with tomatoes and happily entertains questions and favorite techniques from audience members. From seed starting to harvest, growing in traditional dirt gardens, containers or straw bales (and battling all of the various challenges each season provides), LeHoullier reveals his favorite and most effective techniques. Speaker Bio Craig LeHoullier is the tomato advisor for Seed Savers Exchange. In the last 30 years, he has trialed more than 1,200 tomato varieties and has introduced more than 100 varieties to the trade. He lectures widely, from local Master Gardener groups to Monticello and Seed Savers Exchange. He's one of the founders of Tomatopalooza, an event in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

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30-Minute Farmers' Cheese Flavored with Herbs and Edible Flowers

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30-Minute Farmers' Cheese Flavored with Herbs and Edible Flowers

Best-selling author of One-Hour Cheese, Claudia Lucero demonstrates how easy and fun it can be to make a delicious and simple farmers’ cheese in just 30 minutes. See the entire process from carton of milk to final cheese and then to flavoring and decorating with fresh and dry herbs and edible flowers. Speaker Bio Claudia Lucero enjoys getting new cheesemakers started with Urban Cheesecraft and her D.I.Y. Cheese Kits. She has partnered with Williams-Sonoma on custom cheesemaking kits and recently wrote the book One-Hour Cheese, which shows beginners how to make 16 fresh cheeses via step-by-step photos. The book is found where books are sold and the kits can be found on www.UrbanCheesecraft.com.

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From Leaves and Flowers to Stems and Seeds: Exploring all the delicious possibilities of your vegetables

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From Leaves and Flowers to Stems and Seeds: Exploring all the delicious possibilities of your vegetables

Carrot tops, kale stems, broccoli greens, pepper leaves ... These are things we typically discard because we think of them as inedible or unconventional. But every single one of these "tops and tails" is in fact delicious and highly nutritious! Acclaimed blogger and fearless cook Linda Ly takes a nose-to-tail approach to eating and preparing the produce that often ends up as soup stock or compost. You'll learn how to reduce your food waste at home, look at vegetables in a whole new way, and explore a range of flavors and textures you never knew existed from the plants you've always eaten. Speaker Bio Linda Ly is the voice behind the award-winning blog Garden Betty, a lifestyle website devoted to gardening, homesteading, sustainable living, and inspiring a meaningful and adventurous life. The blog began in 2010 as a personal project and immediately earned the title of “Best Gardening Blog” from Country Living magazine. As a gardening expert for HGTV, Ly focuses on edible gardening, farm-to-table cooking, and backyard chicken-keeping. Her first book, The CSA Cookbook (Voyageur Press, 2015), emphasizes a no-waste approach.

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Maple Syrup Production

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Maple Syrup Production

This workshop serves as a guide for do-it-yourself maple syrup. Speaker Bio Mike Lynch has been making syrup since he was a youngster, and in 2010 he and Sherry took over Baer Bros. Maple. Along with their sons, Cody and Reagan, they make syrup and confections in Somerset, Pennsylvania, from nearly 5,000 taps. They also offer equipment for maple producers of all sizes.

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Making Snacks, Treats and Specialties in the Food Dehydrator

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Making Snacks, Treats and Specialties in the Food Dehydrator

Learn how to make your own kale chips, flax-seed crackers, fun fruit leathers, candied fruits, veggie burger mix, and other specialties in a dehydrator. Teresa Marrone, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods, demonstrates techniques and show examples of finished products. An overview on dehydrating basics brings even beginners up to speed on choosing and using food dehydrators. Speaker Bio Teresa Marrone is the author of numerous cookbooks and regional guides that emphasize foods of the Upper Midwest. She is active in her local food scene and has written food-related profiles and features for a variety of magazines. She lives in Minneapolis.

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The Basics of Dehydrating Foods at Home

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The Basics of Dehydrating Foods at Home

Learn how to preserve summer’s bounty with this time-tested, easy technique. Teresa Marrone, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods, explains the basics, including dehydrator selection and operation, using the oven or the sun to dehydrate, food pretreatment and preparation before drying, and storage of the final product. Learn how to dry fruits, vegetables and other foods, as well as how to make fruit leathers and other treats. Speaker Bio Teresa Marrone is the author of numerous cookbooks and regional guides that emphasize foods of the Upper Midwest. She is active in her local food scene and has written food-related profiles and features for a variety of magazines. She lives in Minneapolis.

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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 Alison Martin is the program director at The Livestock Conservancy, a membership organization for conserving heritage livestock and poultry. With more than 20 years of experience in agriculture, she provides technical support and education to heritage breed farmers and ranchers.

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Is a Heritage Beef Enterprise Right for You?

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Is a Heritage Beef Enterprise Right for You?

If you're considering raising grass-fed beef for family or for sale, come find out whether heritage beef cattle are the right fit for your farm or ranch. In this workshop, learn the definition of heritage, the basics of selecting a breed, why these breeds are so appealing in niche markets, and the planning process for deciding if heritage cattle are right for you and your farm. Speaker Bio Alison Martin is the program director at the Livestock Conservancy, a membership organization for conserving heritage livestock and poultry. With more than 20 years of experience in agriculture, she provides technical support and education to farmers and ranchers raising heritage breeds.

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The One-Page Business Plan

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The One-Page Business Plan

No matter what type of farm or food enterprise you envision, a business plan will serve you well. This session introduces the One-Page Business Plan and the One-Page Financial Plan that goes with it. These tools are designed to get you started on formalizing your thoughts about your enterprise, and they are the first step in clearly articulating your business to partners, employees or lenders. Gary Matteson takes you through the documents, including examples and hints, gives you a sense of what your next steps will be after the One-Page documents, and then opens the floor to questions. Speaker Bio Gary Matteson works for the Farm Credit Council in Washington, D.C., which is the trade organization of the Farm Credit System. As the vice president for Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, Matteson seeks to identify and meet the needs of the next generation of farmers and ranchers as a part of Farm Credit’s enduring mission of service to agriculture and rural America. Until recently Matteson was a small farmer operating a wholesale greenhouse business in New Hampshire, including raising cattle for the local freezer beef market. He holds bachelor's degrees in agronomy and biology from the University of Connecticut.

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Winter Rhythms: Keeping your gardening groove during the off-season

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Winter Rhythms: Keeping your gardening groove during the off-season

With the end of summer upon us, many think that the gardening season is finished. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Andy McAllister and Warren Mitchell share tips on gardening activities from caring for cuttings, planting vegetables for winter harvest, winterizing tender plants, planting for winter interest, showcasing late winter bloomers, and getting a jump start on early vegetable crops. Speaker Bio Andy McAllister runs Fortiter Farm, a microfarm in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. He grew up raising sheep and other assorted farm animals on a small farm. Warren Mitchell was born and raised in a small, suburban town outside of Philadelphia, in which he still resides. He grew up with an appreciation for urban and rural living and now faces the challenges of learning to be more self-sustaining while being hindered by the ordinances of suburbia.

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Creative Housing from Dirt and Junk

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Creative Housing from Dirt and Junk

This presentation expands on the "Mortgage-Free Natural Cottages" workshop from previous FAIRS. Many people find mainstream housing choices frustrating because of their expense, or their industrial sameness, or because they are made of toxic materials. Creative people the world over escape the rent and mortgage trap by building or rebuilding or repurposing spaces using "found" materials from the natural environment or from the dumpster. The results are as unique and beautiful as the people who make them. Join us to discuss successful examples of tiny houses and cottages made from clay and straw, even converted sheds and industrial spaces. See what makes them work and how DIY can work for you. Speaker Bio Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) raises free-range, organic children in suburban Ohio. He uses natural building as his soapbox to preach self-reliance and community empowerment. He can be found anywhere there is mud to play in.

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Kids Can Build with Sticks and Mud

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Kids Can Build with Sticks and Mud

Come play in the mud with Uncle Mud. Use clay, straw and sticks to build little houses and sculpt beautiful objects from your wild imagination. This is a "Hands In" workshop: hands and feet squishing and mixing and making a big mess. Talk about how we can use these same materials to build benches, ovens and even houses. There will be water to wash off with, but be prepared to get dirty and have fun. Speaker Bio Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) raises free-range, organic children in suburban Ohio. He uses natural building as his soapbox to preach self-reliance and community empowerment. He can be found anywhere there is mud to play in.

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Enjoy Your Garden's Bounty All Year

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Enjoy Your Garden's Bounty All Year

Yes, you can eat produce from your garden all year long, even when it is 20 below outside! As an organic farmer, Janet McKee has enjoyed learning how to preserve wonderful veggies through the process of canning, freezing, drying, dehydrating and fermenting, AND she has learned to grow fresh greens all winter inside a farmhouse, a heated greenhouse, an unheated high tunnel and cold frames. The key is to plant early and plant late to extend the season. Come learn and taste samples from a year's worth of growing at SanaView Farms. Speaker Bio Janet McKee is a board-certified holistic health counselor and a certified member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. McKee is the founder of SanaView, a national company whose mission is to teach easy, effective and enjoyable ways to embrace a better life; a life that is happier, healthier and more fulfilling. McKee compiled her own recipe book, Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health, and is the executive producer of Bethany’s Story, a documentary about the healing power of food. She developed SanaView Farms, a historic landmark organic farm near Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, where her team is teaching ways to regenerate our land and our health.

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Grow the Most Amazing Microgreens, Sprouts and Wheatgrass

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Grow the Most Amazing Microgreens, Sprouts and Wheatgrass

There is nothing more nourishing and healing than adding fresh microgreens and sprouts to your diet and juicing wheatgrass. Learn about the powerful health benefits of these amazing living foods and how to use the proven techniques developed by SanaView Farms to grow the healthiest and most delicious organic greens possible. Speaker Bio Janet McKee is a board-certified holistic health counselor and a certified member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. McKee is the founder of SanaView, a national company whose mission is to teach easy, effective and enjoyable ways to embrace a better life; a life that is happier, healthier and more fulfilling. She compiled her own recipe collection book, Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health, and is the executive producer of Bethany’s Story, a documentary about the healing power of food. Most recently, she has developed SanaView Farms, a historic landmark organic farm near Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, where her team is teaching ways to regenerate our land and our health.

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Building the Woodland Homestead

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Building the Woodland Homestead

This presentation documents Brett McLeod’s journey to create a self-sustaining, 25-acre woodland homestead in the rugged Adirondack Mountains of northern New York. Beginning with a homestead plan literally scratched in the mud, McLeod transformed an overgrown plot of marginal land into a sustainable lumberyard, grocery store and hardware store, using novel, ecologically based techniques. Enjoy his stories of homesteading trials and tribulations that entertain and inform. McLeod blends practical experience with ecological insights from his career as a forestry and natural resource sustainability professor. Speaker Bio Brett McLeod is an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. Inspired by other creative farmers and foresters, McLeod’s 25-acre draft-horse–powered mountain homestead serves as a living laboratory for self-sufficiency. McLeod is also a professional lumberjack competitor and a former producer of the Stihl Ironjack Series and Stihl Timbersports Series. He coaches the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen’s team and founded the Adirondack Woodsmen’s School and the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival. He lives in Vermontville, New York.

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Horses and Hand Tools on the Woodland Homestead

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Horses and Hand Tools on the Woodland Homestead

Imagine working your land entirely by hand, trading the clamor of a noisy tractor for the soft sound of a draft horse’s heavy breath, and the whizz of a chainsaw for the sweet clack of a sharp axe. This presentation explores the power and promise of draft animals as an alternative to motorized equipment. McLeod shares his experiences farming with draft horses and the many lessons he’s learned working side-by-side with Amish teamsters. In addition to draft horses, this presentation also discusses working with oxen and other smaller draft animals, such as ponies and even goats. As the perfect companion to motorless draft power, this talk also includes a discussion of both draft-powered implements and hand tools well suited to the woodland homestead. Speaker Bio Brett McLeod is an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. Inspired by other creative farmers and foresters, McLeod’s 25-acre draft-horse–powered mountain homestead serves as a living laboratory for self-sufficiency. McLeod is also a professional lumberjack competitor and a former producer of the Stihl Ironjack Series and Stihl Timbersports Series. He coaches the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen’s team and founded the Adirondack Woodsmen’s School and the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival. He lives in Vermontville, New York.

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From Rusty to Trusty: Restoring old tools for a new homestead

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From Rusty to Trusty: Restoring old tools for a new homestead

For those looking to expand their toolbox beyond baling twine and duct tape, this informative workshop covers the finer points of rummaging through old barns and tag sales in search of tools that deserve a new lease on life! In addition to identifying old tools and implements, this workshop covers the restoration process, as well as a demonstration of the proper way to use several forgotten, but incredibly useful tools for the woodland homestead. Speaker Bio Brett McLeod is an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. Inspired by other creative farmers and foresters, McLeod’s 25-acre draft-horse–powered mountain homestead serves as a living laboratory for self-sufficiency. McLeod is also a professional lumberjack competitor and a former producer of the Stihl Ironjack Series and Stihl Timbersports Series. He coaches the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen’s team and founded the Adirondack Woodsmen’s School and the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival. He lives in Vermontville, New York.

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Chainsaw Safety and Felling Tricks from a Homestead Lumberjack

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Chainsaw Safety and Felling Tricks from a Homestead Lumberjack

Join author and former professional lumberjack Brett McLeod for a live demonstration of chainsaw techniques, including felling, limbing, bucking and tricks for dealing with difficult hazard trees. This demonstration also includes basic chainsaw maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as overview of safety apparel, and tips for selecting the perfect chainsaw for the woodland homestead. Speaker Bio Brett McLeod is an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. Inspired by other creative farmers and foresters, McLeod’s 25-acre draft-horse–powered mountain homestead serves as a living laboratory for self-sufficiency. McLeod is also a professional lumberjack competitor and a former producer of the Stihl Ironjack Series and Stihl Timbersports Series. He coaches the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen’s team and founded the Adirondack Woodsmen’s School and the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival. He lives in Vermontville, New York.

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Aligning Small Grain Farmers with Bakers: Why has the farm-to-table movement forgotten bread?

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Aligning Small Grain Farmers with Bakers: Why has the farm-to-table movement forgotten bread?

For consumers to again see wheat and bread as a healthy choice, small grain farmers and artisan bakers must work together to educate consumers. Together, they must educate the public on why locally grown matters, why organic standards matter, why wheat varieties matter, and why wheat (if properly sourced and prepared for digestion through sprouting and/or fermentation) is the healthy choice. Speaker Bio Douglas Michael developed an interest in self-medicating through good nutrition along with a particular obsession for sprouted whole-grain breads shortly after contracting Lyme disease. He formed Columbia County Bread and Granola not long after moving to Pennsylvania, where he turned his obsessive hobby into a growing business comprised of artisan bakers, packers and package designers. The company recently opened "Bakers Guild Cafe" to offer their products locally while also shipping to a growing number of enthusiasts nationwide.

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6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months with 600,000 Bugs, Part 1

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6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months with 600,000 Bugs, Part 1

Great soil ... Everyone wants it, but not everyone has it. So, how can you build great soil while also capturing waste streams to reincorporate into the natural earth cycles (and generate free food for your flocks and other animals)? Some Small Farm started four years ago with less than 1% organic matter soil, on land that had been overgrazed year after year into little more than solid clay. The farm now produces bountifully from the application of soil-building principles to the land. Speaker Bio The Moody family farms and homesteads on 35 acres in Kentucky. John Moody discovered more than a decade ago that his diet was literally killing him with duodenal ulcers, seasonal allergies, and other health problems, so the family began to transition to real, local foods and local food distribution. He started to work to protect the ability to raise, grow and have access to these foods as a board member for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Eventually, he relocated his family to 35 acres of land to put his learning into practice. He now serves as interim executive director for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and as a speaker at many local, regional and national events on food, farming and nutrition. He has two books forthcoming to help growers and gardeners, one on soil and one on small-scale farm infrastructure.

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6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months with 600,000 Bugs, Part 2

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6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months with 600,000 Bugs, Part 2

See soil building, bed making, and chicken scratching in action! This session complements the content of the "6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months with 600,000 Bugs, Part 1" talk, showing participants how to make beds, build soil and compost in place, as well as incorporate animals into the operation to achieve superior results with speed. Speaker Bio The Moody family farms and homesteads on 35 acres in Kentucky. John Moody discovered more than a decade ago that his diet was literally killing him with duodenal ulcers, seasonal allergies, and other health problems, so the family began to transition to real, local foods and local food distribution. He started to work to protect the ability to raise, grow and have access to these foods as a board member for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Eventually, he relocated his family to 35 acres of land to put his learning into practice. Moody now serves as interim executive director for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and as a speaker at many local, regional and national events on food, farming and nutrition. He has two books forthcoming to help growers and gardeners, one on soil and the other on small-scale farm infrastructure.

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You're Kidding Me: The kid-run farm and homestead

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You're Kidding Me: The kid-run farm and homestead

At every MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR where John Moody speaks, people ask, "How do you get your kids to run your farm?" From caring for cows and chickens, to collecting and safely splitting wood, the range of tasks children can do is pretty amazing, if parents do their part to help their family and farm succeed. This talk is a mix of story, humor, tips and experiences from one family with lots of small children, a busy father, and a large farm and homestead, and how it all (sort of) works together. Speaker Bio The Moody family farms and homesteads on 35 acres in Kentucky. John Moody discovered more than a decade ago that his diet was killing him with duodenal ulcers, seasonal allergies and other health problems, so the family began to transition to real, local foods and local food distribution. Moody started to work to protect the ability to raise, grow and have access to these foods as a board member for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Eventually, he relocated his family to 35 acres of land to put his learning into practice. Moody now serves as interim executive director for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and as a speaker at many local, regional and national events on food, farming and nutrition. He has two books forthcoming to help growers and gardeners, one on soil and the other on small-scale farm infrastructure.

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Carbon Crazy: Hugelkultur, biochar, ramial chipped wood and more!

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Carbon Crazy: Hugelkultur, biochar, ramial chipped wood and more!

There are a growing variety of techniques and tactics available to growers small and large to build soil, stop erosion, stabilize water supplies in the soil and more. This session explores the major tree carbon-based systems, their benefits and drawbacks, and their similarities and differences, with special attention pai d to appropriate applications of each. Speaker Bio The Moody family farms and homesteads on 35 acres in Kentucky. John Moody discovered more than a decade ago that his diet was killing him with duodenal ulcers, seasonal allergies and other health problems, so the family began to transition to real, local foods and local food distribution. He started to work to protect the ability to raise, grow and have access to these foods as a board member for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Eventually, he relocated his family to 35 acres of land to put his learning into practice. Moody now serves as interim executive director for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and as a speaker at many local, regional and national events on food, farming and nutrition. He has two books forthcoming to help growers and gardeners, one on soil and the other on small-scale farm infrastructure.

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Pawpaw: In search of America's forgotten fruit

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Pawpaw: In search of America's forgotten fruit

What is a pawpaw, and why have most people never heard of it before? Andrew Moore offers a brief history of the pawpaw, the largest edible fruit native to the United States, and offers some explanations as to why it has been overlooked in modern times. He also provides an overview of the growers and producers working to raise the fruit's profile. Speaker Bio Andrew Moore is a writer based in Pittsburgh. Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit is his first book.

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Build Your Own Electric Car

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Build Your Own Electric Car

Ben Nelson provides DIY, how-to instruction for anyone wanting to convert a gas car to electric on a budget! This workshop includes info on motors, batteries, charging, legal issues and more! Speaker Bio Ben Nelson is a do-it-yourselfer who has built projects ranging from electric motorcycles to solar-powered PowerWheels, home blacksmithing to greywater recycling, using little more than a library card and a socket set. If he can do it, so can you.

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Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle

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Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle

This DIY, how-to workshop will show you all the steps you need to build your own electric motorcycle. This workshop covers vehicle design concepts, motors, batteries, speed control, budget, charging, legal issues, questions and answers and more! Speaker Bio Ben Nelson is a do-it-yourselfer who has built projects ranging from electric motorcycles to solar-powered PowerWheels, home blacksmithing to greywater recycling, using little more than a library card and a socket set. If he can do it, so can you.

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The DIY Dad's Backyard Projects

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The DIY Dad's Backyard Projects

Learn how anyone can create amazing family fun through useful DIY projects made from salvaged materials. This workshop features the Rocket Grill, Scrap Iron Patio Table, 5-Gallon Bucket Swing, Solar Death Ray, Solar Swing Set, Electric Ice Sled and more! Speaker Bio Ben Nelson is a do-it-yourselfer who has built projects ranging from electric motorcycles to solar-powered PowerWheels, home blacksmithing to greywater recycling, using little more than a library card and a socket set. If he can do it, so can you.

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Worm Composting

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Worm Composting

Discover how to compost your biodegradable food waste using red wiggler worms. Learn how to implement worm composting step by step, and grow the best vegetable garden ever! Speaker Bio Claire Orner and her family are stewards of the nonprofit educational facility Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, which is a 30-acre organic farm located in Brookville, Pennsylvania. Quiet Creek offers intensive sustainability seminars on organic gardening, soap making and medicinal herbs.

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Essential Oils

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Essential Oils

Discover the healing properties of essential oils. This noses-on class immerses you in the understanding of how these oils heal. Find out how they are distilled, used and applied. Speaker Bio Claire Orner and her family are stewards of the nonprofit educational facility Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, which is a 30-acre organic farm located in Brookville, Pennsylvania. For 19 years, Quiet Creek has been offering intensive sustainability seminars on aromatherapy, soap making, mushrooms, herbs, earthen building and more.

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Herbal Salve Making

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Herbal Salve Making

Come discover the healing properties of herbal salves. This class immerses you in the understanding of how salves heal. Learn how they are made, used and applied. Go home with new knowledge and the confidence to make your own. Speaker Bio Claire Orner and her family are stewards of the nonprofit educational facility Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, which is a 30-acre organic farm located in Brookville, Pennsylvania. For 19 years, Quiet Creek has been offering intensive sustainability seminars on salve making, mushrooms, herbs, earthen building and more.

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Shiitake Mushrooms: Growing, harvesting and preserving

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Shiitake Mushrooms: Growing, harvesting and preserving

Come discover the beauty and the rewards of creating the environment for shiitake mushrooms. Rusty Orner teaches beginners how to grow, harvest and preserve shiitakes, and how they can strengthen your immune system. Speaker Bio Rusty Orner and his family are stewards of the nonprofit educational facility Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, which is a 30-acre organic farm located in Brookville, Pennsylvania. Quiet Creek offers intensive sustainability seminars on mushrooms, herbs, earthen building and more.

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Herbal Soap Making

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Herbal Soap Making

Soft, smooth and natural: Rusty Orner shows you how to make soap from scratch. Learn how to mold, cut, scent and color soap. Speaker Bio Rusty Orner and his family are stewards of the nonprofit educational facility Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, which is a 30-acre organic farm located in Brookville, Pennsylvania. For more than 19 years, Quiet Creek has offered intensive sustainability seminars on soap making, mushrooms, herbs, earthen building and more.

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Breeding New Varieties for Flavor, Productivity and Fun

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Breeding New Varieties for Flavor, Productivity and Fun

Ever wonder how to create your own new varieties of vegetables? Or do you have a hybrid you want to figure out how to save seed from? Come learn how you can start breeding your own vegetables. Discover the methods humans have been using for 14,000 years to create the wondrous array of food we have today. If you have a working knowledge of seed saving, you will get the most out of this class, but all are welcome to be inspired. Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers, their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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Year-Round Harvest: Easier than you think with simple season extension techniques

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Year-Round Harvest: Easier than you think with simple season extension techniques

If you want to eat fresh greens, herbs and roots throughout the winter, this is the class for you. Harvesting December-March takes a bit of planning, the right varieties, and a few simple, inexpensive approaches to crop protection. This workshop reviews seed-starting and transplanting dates for early and late winter harvests, suitable varieties, DIY low hoops and row-covering techniques, and the time-tested practice of winter mulching. Bring a salad to eat during this workshop to stave off the hunger. Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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Start Saving Your Own Seeds!

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Start Saving Your Own Seeds!

Start saving your own seeds! The significance of seed cannot be overestimated: from how we approach global biodiversity to how we choose our afternoon snack, every decision we make impacts what and how seeds are planted around the world. Come learn about the history, significance and techniques of seed saving; expect to come away inspired and empowered. Though much has been lost, each seed evidences the extraordinary hope that exists in every crack in the sidewalk! Speaker Bio Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong seed saver, and Matthew Goldfarb, who started farming in 1994, are the co-owners of Fruition Seeds. They are committed to developing organic seed for northern growing conditions. As seed growers, their breeding and variety improvement efforts are focused on taste and productivity for Northeast farmers and gardeners. If they're not growing seeds, they're likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone they love.

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Smoothies and Seed Starting

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Smoothies and Seed Starting

Come to Smoothies & Gardening 101 with Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss. Wouldn't it be fun to turn the most delectable moment of your day into a gardening project? Create tasty Coconut Bliss smoothies and then 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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New Frontiers in Organic Gardening

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New Frontiers in Organic Gardening

Choosing the best crops and varieties is essential to growing great fruits and veggies, but you must also plan ahead to manage pests and diseases. In this lively “news-you-can-use” session, MOTHER EARTH NEWS Contributing Editor Barbara Pleasant shares a fresh crop of organic gardening tips and techniques to help you garden better than ever. Speaker Bio One of MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ most experienced garden editors, Barbara Pleasant (www.BarbaraPleasant.com) has practiced organic vegetable gardening for 30 years in a wide variety of settings. The author of numerous books (including Starter Vegetable Gardens and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide), Pleasant pens the popular Garden Know-How column in MOTHER EARTH NEWS (which won a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association in 2013). She lives in Floyd, Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers, and keeps a small flock of chickens.

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Compost Your Way to Better Soil

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Compost Your Way to Better Soil

Home composting expert Barbara Pleasant shares dozens of practical composting techniques for turning kitchen and garden waste into an essential soil amendment for any type of garden. Learn novel passive and active composting methods for enriching your soil, including composting innovations shared by MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers. Speaker Bio One of MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ most experienced garden editors, Barbara Pleasant (www.BarbaraPleasant.com) has practiced organic vegetable gardening for 30 years in a wide variety of settings. The author of numerous books (including Starter Vegetable Gardens and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide), Pleasant pens the popular Garden Know-How column in MOTHER EARTH NEWS (which won a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association in 2013). She lives in Floyd, Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers, and keeps a small flock of chickens.

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Organic Gardening for Newbies: Avoiding beginner mistakes

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Organic Gardening for Newbies: Avoiding beginner mistakes

For new gardeners, the first three seasons are especially challenging because there is so much to learn. Which mistakes are you most likely to make, and how can you avoid them? MOTHER EARTH NEWS Contributing Editor Barbara Pleasant, the award-winning author of Starter Vegetable Gardens, explores the top 10 pitfalls for organic gardening newbies, and she shares proven strategies for success. Speaker Bio One of MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ most experienced garden editors, Barbara Pleasant (www.BarbaraPleasant.com) has practiced organic vegetable gardening for 30 years in a wide variety of settings. The author of numerous books (including Starter Vegetable Gardens and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide), Pleasant pens the popular Garden Know-How column in MOTHER EARTH NEWS (which won a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association in 2013). She lives in Floyd, Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers, and keeps a small flock of chickens.

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Growing Hope in Agriculture: A sustainable farming state of the union

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Growing Hope in Agriculture: A sustainable farming state of the union

Forrest Pritchard presents a lively, entertaining lecture on the past 20 years of sustainable farming. This frank discussion covers how the movement has evolved, and the hopeful momentum of where it's now headed. Speaker Bio Forrest Pritchard is a full-time farmer, holding degrees in English and geology from the College of William and Mary. His farm, Smith Meadows, was one of the first “grass-finished” farms in the country, and has sold at leading farmers markets in Washington, D.C., for more than 15 years. Pritchard's book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a Top Read by Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post and NPR's The Splendid Table.

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Dehydration for a Healthy Life

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Dehydration for a Healthy Life

Hear about the history of dehydration up through the present time. Food preservation and the drying process will be defined. Discover how to get the best storage life for dehydrated foods, and pick up some easy dehydration ideas. Speaker Bio Ruby Renard has been a product demonstrator, new product tester and food stylist for the Metal Ware Corporation since 2001. She loves participating in all of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS. She enjoys shopping at her local farmers markets and seasonal festivals in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, as well as hitting her favorite bike trails along Lake Michigan. She cooks chocolate cheesecakes as birthday gifts, and has made more than 1,000 pounds of jerky, sun-dried tomatoes, kale chips, banana chips and cinnamon apple chips.

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Taking Care of Business: Business law for farmers, homesteaders and artisan food producers

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Taking Care of Business: Business law for farmers, homesteaders and artisan food producers

Learn more about the legal issues faced by direct-to-consumer farm and food businesses. Elizabeth Rich covers choice of entity issues (should you operate as a sole proprietorship, LLC, S Corp, C corp, or other?); employment law issues affecting those hiring interns; zoning and right to farm issues; hosting on-farm events; and innovative business models. Bring your legal questions for the question and answer session. Speaker Bio Elizabeth Rich is a lawyer in private practice in Wisconsin, where she has practiced business law, real estate and zoning law, and administrative law, as well as civil litigation, for 30 years. She is the vice president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and provides transactional and litigation assistance to its members.

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How to Milk a Goat, Make Raw Milk Cheese and Stay Out of Jail

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How to Milk a Goat, Make Raw Milk Cheese and Stay Out of Jail

Lawyer, farmer and cheesemaker Elizabeth Rich shares strategies for effective and sanitary goat milking by hand to produce milk that is not intended for pasteurization. She makes chèvre, feta and ricotta-style cheeses. During the demonstration, she also discusses regulatory trends; legal distinctions between cheese production for private vs. public consumption; strategies for limiting government jurisdiction over cheesemaking activities; and enforcement case studies. Speaker Bio Elizabeth Rich is a lawyer with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. She also raises goats and runs a farmstead cheese business on her 40-acre farm in Wisconsin.

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Cheesemaking for the Homesteader: Using plants instead of rennet to make cheese

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Cheesemaking for the Homesteader: Using plants instead of rennet to make cheese

Want to make cheese, but don't have a calf's stomach on hand for rennet? Nature provides us with many other options. Learn which plants can be used to coagulate milk for home cheesemaking, when they can be gathered, how to prepare them most effectively, and which types of cheeses can be made in this way. Speaker Bio Elizabeth Rich is a lawyer with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. She also raises goats and runs a farmstead cheese business on her 40-acre farm in Wisconsin.

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Children's Goat Milking Demonstration

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Children's Goat Milking Demonstration

Learn all about how to milk a goat. After the udder and teats are cleaned, see proper milking techniques demonstrated. Discover how to strain the milk and store it. Kids (the two-legged kind) can pet the goat, talk to her and try their hand at milking her themselves! Speaker Bio Elizabeth Rich is a lawyer with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. She also raises goats and runs a farmstead cheese business on her 40-acre farm in Wisconsin.

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Herbal Remedies for Common Goat Ailments

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Herbal Remedies for Common Goat Ailments

Build your veterinary first-aid kit using plants commonly found in your backyard, along roadsides, or in other accessible areas. Also learn the basics of making your own tinctures, poultices and herbal-infused oils for treating common goat health problems like pinkeye, mastitis, ringworm, bleeding, broken bones and more. Speaker Bio Elizabeth Rich is a lawyer with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. She also raises goats and runs a farmstead cheese business on her 40-acre farm in Wisconsin.

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Importance of Pollinators

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Importance of Pollinators

Wayne Robins discusses the importance of pollinators (from bees to butterflies and others), their decline in recent years, and the steps you can take to help reverse this by planting certain flowers and building nest houses to attract them. Speaker Bio Wayne Robins is a co-founder and partner in Nature Ed-Ventures. His passion for nature began at a young age and continues to this day. As staff naturalist, he is an expert in subjects including mammals, maple sugaring, beekeeping and gardening. He refers to himself now as a "warmed-over hippie."

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Alpaca 101: All you need to know about alpacas

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Alpaca 101: All you need to know about alpacas

Learn all about alpacas, what to look for when purchasing, what you need in land and fencing, what you need to feed, how to take care of injuries and illnesses naturally, and what you can do with the fiber. Speaker Bio Alicia Rocco, ND, BCIHP has been in business for more than 40 years, caring for people and animals naturally using herbs and essences. She has a research farm that uses all-natural products for the alpacas.

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10 Threads That Successful Startup Farms Knit Together

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10 Threads That Successful Startup Farms Knit Together

Some farm startups flounder and others fly. The ones that successfully get off the ground share common characteristics. In this extremely practical presentation, Pitchfork Pulpit farmer Joel Salatin explains these threads. From emotional conceptions about the land to time and motion studies, this far-ranging performance gives everyone a farm road map to success. 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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Live Poultry Processing Demo

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Live Poultry Processing Demo

Learn everything you need to know about humane chicken slaughtering from experts David Schafer of Featherman Equipment and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, including handling, bleeding, scalding, plucking and eviscerating. Honor the bird and hone your stewardship skills in this live, hands-on demonstration. 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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Live Poultry Processing Demo

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Live Poultry Processing Demo

Learn everything you need to know about humane chicken slaughtering from experts David Schafer of Featherman Equipment and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, including handling, bleeding, scalding, plucking and eviscerating. Honor the bird and hone your stewardship skills in this live, hands-on demonstration. Speaker Bio David Schafer is the founder of the Green Hills Farm Project and author of The Greatest Life book series, has been marketing his pasture-raised meats since 1989. He is also founder of the Featherman Equipment company and lives with Renee DeTar in a self-built, off-grid, straw bale home in Jamesport, Mo.

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The Return of the Family Milk Cow

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The Return of the Family Milk Cow

Discover how the family cow can make the homestead leap forward in terms of self-sustainability, while providing so much for the family's health and well-being. Learn the nuts and bolts of not only choosing your cud-chewing beauty queen, but housing, feeding and keeping her healthy with a naturally based model. Speaker Bio Faith Schlabach and her husband, Adam, are passionate about helping others learn how to care for their very own family milk cow. She shares from her experiences raising and training family cows, teaching a natural approach that lends itself nicely to the hobby farm model. Yes, though a cow is a bit more complicated than raising a tomato, you will come away inspired and with know-how!

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Beyond the Ordinary: Bringing artistry and flavor to vegetable fermentation

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Beyond the Ordinary: Bringing artistry and flavor to vegetable fermentation

Fermented vegetables can be so much more then plain old-school kraut and pickles. Not that those time-tested flavors aren’t great, but to truly incorporate these healthy flavors into daily meals you need variety. This ancient preservation technique is being rediscovered as culinary professionals, home cooks and gardeners are creating never-before-imagined ingredients to add color, zing and healthful excitement to their meals. This workshop is about possibility. Kirsten K. Shockey discusses combining vegetables for flavor, color and texture. Join her to explore how different ways of preparing the same vegetable produces an entirely different product. Delicious flavors ensure your ferments get eaten by every member of your family ... quickly! Participants leave with many ideas and a few recipes to get started! (This is appropriate for beginners and advanced folks alike.) 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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A Ferment a Day: How to enliven your meals and your health with good food

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A Ferment a Day: How to enliven your meals and your health with good food

Gardeners, chefs and home cooks are fermenting vegetables for preservation, presentation, flavor and health. Yet sometimes it is difficult to think of how to incorporate this old-meets-new ingredient into daily meals. This workshop explores how to easily integrate fermented vegetables into your routine ... even if that routine is already full. Kirsten K. Shockey explains how these healthful live vegetables are actually a convenience food. She goes through the possibilities for each of the meals in a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, with a special discussion on holiday meals. Go home with new ideas and a handout that includes a few recipes. (This workshop is appropriate for beginners and advanced fermentation folks, as well as those who just want to buy their locally produced ferments.) 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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Creating a Forest Garden

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Creating a Forest Garden

Forest gardens produce food and supplies from thriving ecosystems. Learn how to create a layered, polycultural food forest. We'll discuss forest garden methods, some of the great plants you can grow, and how to take care of them. Learn from Lincoln's 10 years of forest garden successes and learning experiences. Speaker Bio Lincoln Smith runs Forested, a 10-acre forest garden research site in Bowie, Maryland. He helps people in the eastern United States create forest gardens through consultation and training. He is working on making and marketing acorn foods.

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Farming Finances

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Farming Finances

Brion Smoker, a certified public accountant (CPA) and successful farmer, discusses the importance of a business plan and goal setting, the most advantageous business entity for your farm, and how to plan for and manage your farm's cash flow. Smoker shares his vast personal experiences as well as examples from his 30 years as a CPA supporting agricultural businesses across the state. Speaker Bio Brion Smoker's distinctive and unique career path began in 1979, when he founded the certified public accounting firm Smoker, Smith & Associates in Hershey, Pa. Through the years his contributions included being a founding member of the Eastern Audit Alliance, INPACT Audit Ltd. and Nevis, LLC (a reinsurance/captive insurance company based in St. Kitts), and he has served many organizations, such as INPACT Americas, the Forum of Firms, the International Federation of Accountants, APACT, the Center for Family Owned Business, and Venture Training, Inc. Smoker’s current position is as founder and president of Equis Advisory (a financial consulting organization based in Hershey, Pa.), chief financial officer of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, and the chief financial officer and co-owner of Sweet Valley Suris (a 40-animal alpaca farm in Annville, Pa.).

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Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally

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Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally

Learn how to raise your chickens naturally, without the use of medications or antibiotics, by incorporating natural supplements, herbs and weeds into your chicken keeping. The healthier your chickens, the healthier their eggs will be and therefore the better for your family's health. This workshop covers natural feed and water supplements to boost the immune system, how to enhance your chickens' environment with herbs and edible flowers, specific herbs and how they benefit chickens, as well as suggestions on which herbs to grow and how to get started with a basic herb garden. Speaker Bio Lisa Steele is the author of Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens ... Naturally and the upcoming Duck Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Ducks ... Naturally and she is the creator of the natural chicken keeping blog Fresh Eggs Daily (which was named one of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's Top 10 Gardening Blogs for 2014). A frequent contributor to various homesteading magazines, she has appeared on P. Allen Smith's PBS shows and the chicken reality show Coop Dreams. An aspiring herbalist and avid gardener, Steele lives on a small hobby farm with her husband and an assorted menagerie of horses, dogs, chickens, ducks and a barn cat, all of whom she raises as naturally as possible.

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Healthy Homestead Homebrews

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Healthy Homestead Homebrews

It’s easy to craft your own nutritious and delicious sodas using the ancient art of fermentation! Learn how to make a wide variety of healing and effervescent beverages, including kombucha, water kefir soda, beet kvass, shrub and more. Sample them and find out how consuming them is one of the most cost-effective and health-affective choices you can make! Speaker Bio Dawn Story is the creatrix of Farmstead Ferments artisanal fermented foods and brews and New Moon Naturals herbal teas and elixirs. Her endeavors are inspired from living in balance and harmony with the ebbs and flows of nature on her farm near Charlottesville, Virginia, where she delights in sharing with community her passions for making and preserving food and medicine using traditional methods. She weaves together the wisdom of the “old ways” with the vision of a new, resilient future.

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Restoring Life to Your Soil

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Restoring Life to Your Soil

Traditionally, we have viewed soil as an inert medium that has no other function than to receive water and fertilizer and hold plants upright. We are now becoming increasingly aware of how soil is a complex biological ecosystem that can either be suppressed or enhanced by our management. Dale Stickler addresses how we can use soil biology to make our soils more tolerant of drought, more generous of fertility and less prone to plant disease. Speaker Bio Dale Strickler grew up on a diversified family farm in southeastern Kansas and received bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy and science education from Kansas State University. He taught agronomy at Cloud County Community College for 15 years, then entered private industry, and now serves as an agronomist for Star Seed in Osborne, Kansas. He also has a farm that is conducted as a management intensive grazing operation, using restored prairies and woodlands in conjunction with grazed cover crop poly cultures.

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Sustainable Hop Production for Home and Market

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Sustainable Hop Production for Home and Market

This workshop instructs participants on how to grow hops for use in homebrewing as well as commercially. Participants learn about the hop plant and how to cultivate it for a healthy crop. They are introduced to the basics of hop yard construction and develop an understanding of how to harvest, dry, process, package and store hops to achieve maximum quality. Speaker Bio Laura Ten Eyck is a farmer and author. With her husband, Dietrich Gehring, she co-owns Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery in Altamont, New York. Ten Eyck and Gehring have authored a book for Chelsea Green titled The Hop Grower's Handbook, which is coming out in the fall of 2015.

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Nature Crafts for Kids

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Nature Crafts for Kids

At this drop-in session, youth can create nature crafts through a variety of hands-on activities, including making leaf prints, lady bug rocks, insect rubbings, leaf critters and more. Suitable for ages 5-10. Speaker Bio Judy Thaler is a co-founder and partner in Nature Ed-Ventures, where she presents science enrichment programs to youth. Her passions include gardening, nature, baking, reading and working with youth.

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Organic Body Care Recipes: Creating aromatherapeutic body and facial oils

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Organic Body Care Recipes: Creating aromatherapeutic body and facial oils

Come hear author, licensed holistic aesthetician and herbalist Stephanie Tourles discuss recipes from her best-selling book, Organic Body Care Recipes. Learn the history of using natural oils on the body; sources of oil; the skin and its need for oil; benefits of plant-derived base oils and essential oils; how to make body and facial oils; and the nutritional benefits of adding quality oil to the diet. Product samples will be available. Speaker Bio Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She is the author of 10 books, including Raw Energy in a Glass, Hands-On Healing Remedies, Organic Body Care Recipes, Raw Energy, Naturally Healthy Skin, 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body and Soul, and Natural Foot Care. She lives in Orland, Maine.

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Organic Body Care Recipes: Creating aromatherapeutic body and facial oils

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Organic Body Care Recipes: Creating aromatherapeutic body and facial oils

Author, licensed holistic aesthetician and herbalist Stephanie Tourles discusses recipes from her best-selling book Organic Body Care Recipes. Learn the history of using natural oils on the body; sources of oil; the skin and its need for oil; benefits of plant-derived base oils and essential oils; how to make body and facial oils; and the nutritional benefits of adding quality oil to the diet. Samples will be available. Speaker Bio Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She is the author of 10 books, including Raw Energy in a Glass, Hands-On Healing Remedies, Organic Body Care Recipes, Raw Energy, Naturally Healthy Skin, 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body and Soul, and Natural Foot Care. She lives in Orland, Maine.

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The Power of Raw Foods: Transform your health, transform your life!

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The Power of Raw Foods: Transform your health, transform your life!

Come hear author, raw food nutrition expert, and herbalist Stephanie Tourles discuss raw food beverage recipes from her latest book, Raw Energy in a Glass. She teaches you exactly what "raw live food" is and the benefits of consuming a diet high in raw vegetarian "superfoods"; the difference between blended raw drinks and juices; and how you can incorporate more raw foods and rejuvenative herbs into your daily diet in ways that appeal to even the finickiest of eaters! Speaker Bio Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She is the author of 10 books, including Raw Energy in a Glass, Hands-On Healing Remedies, Organic Body Care Recipes, Raw Energy, Naturally Healthy Skin, 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body and Soul, and Natural Foot Care. She lives in Orland, Maine.

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Food Labels, Farms and Finding a Good Fit

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Food Labels, Farms and Finding a Good Fit

Moving our food system in a more sustainable direction means making room for more than one type of certification program. Besides certified organic there's also Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), Food Alliance certified and Animal Welfare Approved, among others. They serve farms of different types and scales, and each has its place in making change. CNG is a peer-review certification program tailored for family-scale farmers producing food for their local communities without synthetic chemicals or GMOs. More than 750 farmers and beekeepers in 47 states are Certified Naturally Grown. Find out how CNG runs, and why there's a need for this grassroots alternative to the National Organic Program. Speaker Bio Alice Varon is executive director of Certified Naturally Grown. Varon helped develop and launch CNG's apiary program to encourage natural beekeeping, and she is now working with experts to develop new certification programs for aquaponics producers and for mushroom producers. She currently lives in Brooklyn but her home and beehives are in New York's Hudson River Valley.

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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. This workshop covers soil preparation, weed control, disease prevention, harvesting, curing and storage requirements for adding these culinary essentials to your garden. Speaker Bio Ira Wallace, author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, is a Central Virginia Master Gardener and a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She serves on the boards of Organic Seed Alliance, Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) and the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), the lead plaintiffs in OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto. Wallace was one of nine co-operators with the Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program)-sponsored Saving Our Seeds Project. She co-organizes the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello and speaks throughout the Southeast. She blogs at www.MotherEarthNews.com and www.SouthernExposure.com.

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Extending the Harvest: Fall and winter gardening

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Extending the Harvest: Fall and winter gardening

Learn how to plan and plant for bountiful fall and winter harvests. This workshop includes tips and timing for sowing, harvesting and keeping your veggies alive through zero-degree nights. Enjoy garden-fresh greens and sweet, crisp roots through winter until spring harvests begin. Speaker Bio Ira Wallace, author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, is a Central Virginia Master Gardener and a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She serves on the boards of Organic Seed Alliance, Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) and the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), the lead plaintiffs in OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto. Wallace was one of nine co-operators with the Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program)-sponsored Saving Our Seeds Project. She co-organizes the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello and speaks throughout the Southeast. She blogs at www.MotherEarthNews.com and www.SouthernExposure.com.

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Sustainable Animal Feed: Insect farming and native black soldier grubs

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Sustainable Animal Feed: Insect farming and native black soldier grubs

Get off the feed grid. Learn how to attract, raise and harvest the beneficial insect known as the black soldier fly on your farm, homestead or backyard garden. Start producing your own chicken and fish feed using existing waste streams, including food scraps, coffee grounds and brewery residue. Speaker Bio Karl Warkomski has worked in the composting and bioconversion sector since 1994. He currently owns and resides on a 68-acre farm in the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

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Love Beer? Grow Hops! A Value-Added Crop for Farmers

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Love Beer? Grow Hops! A Value-Added Crop for Farmers

This workshop walks participants through each step of becoming a sustainable hops grower to support local, craft breweries ... from yard construction to marketing and everything in between. If you've ever been curious about hops, this workshop is the one for you. It identifies key struggles new growers have overcome and the importance of shared knowledge and experiences. It also outlines a plan for fostering a growing hops market in the region. The more producers, the better! Speaker Bio Tess Weigand resides in Coburn, Pennsylvania, and is the owner/grower at Happy Valley Hop Yard, a sustainably managed hop operation. She is a recent graduate of Penn State University's College of Agriculture. She spent time working in the vegetable seed industry, but recently switched gears and is a certification specialist at Pennsylvania Certified Organic. Her interest in hops spawned from a love of things that grow ... and beer, of course. Weigand, along with other small growers in Pennsylvania, hopes to help in the development of locally sourced hops. Originally from Saint Marys, Pennsylvania, Joshua Brock started his hop yard, Hoffman Appalachian Farm, in 2014 with 30 plants. In 2015 he made his first big expansion to 400 plants. Although Brock does not come from a farming family, he believes with the right focus and dedication anyone can grow hops sustainably.

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Building a New Economy: What's love got to do with it?

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Building a New Economy: What's love got to do with it?

Both an entrepreneur and activist, Judy will use stories from her own life to illustrate how we must build a new economy that provides for all people while protecting our natural environment. Recounting her life growing up in a small town, living a year in an Eskimo village, cofounding the Free People’s store, her accidental entry into the restaurant business, the creation of the White Dog Cafe and her eventual role as a pioneer in the localization movement. Her talk explores the way entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, can follow both mind and heart to build a more compassionate economy that will bring us greater security, as well as happiness. Speaker Bio Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, activist, and author working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. Her award-winning memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer was published in 2013, and won the gold medal for Business Leadership from Nautilus National Book Awards in 2014. Judy is founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Café known for its leadership in the local food movement and environmental stewardship. She sold the business in 2009 through a unique agreement that preserves sustainable business practices. Judy founded several non-profits including Fair Food Philly and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and cofounded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Humanitarian Award.

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Basic Queen Honey Bee Rearing: How to graft larvae

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Basic Queen Honey Bee Rearing: How to graft larvae

Hear basic information about grafting larvae using the Doolittle method to produce queen cells as part of a beekeeping operation. Prior beekeeping experience is recommended for this workshop. Speaker Bio Joe Zgurzynski is a second-generation beekeeper certified as a master beekeeper by the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America and owner of Country Barn Farm in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He regularly speaks about the biology and art of beekeeping to a wide variety of organizations. Zgurzynski also has a bachelor's in biology from Richard Stockton College, a master's in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Kids and Beekeeping

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Kids and Beekeeping

Discover how to involve children in beekeeping as a fun family project. This workshop covers logistics, protective gear and how to help children take ownership of the project. Speaker Bio Joe Zgurzynski is a second-generation beekeeper certified as a master beekeeper by the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America and owner of Country Barn Farm. He regularly speaks about the biology and art of beekeeping to a wide variety of organizations and leads a 4-H Beekeeping Club for children ages 6 to 12. Zgurzynski also has a bachelor's in biology from Richard Stockton College, a master's in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Easy Seed Starting

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Easy Seed Starting

This program reveals the simple and easy steps to seed starting. Learn to plant seeds directly in the garden and how to start seeds indoors. Lisa Ziegler also demonstrates the English method of seed starting called soil blocking. Speaker Bio Lisa Mason Ziegler is a cut-flower grower, author and nationally recognized speaker on organic flower gardening. She has been farming since 1998, and her urban 3-acre farm produces more than 10,000 stems of flowers each week in season.

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Restoring Pollinators

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Restoring Pollinators

Learn why it is essential to include flowers in your vegetable garden and landscape to build a strong community of native pollinators and other beneficial insects. Having flowers blooming from early spring until first frost provides habitat and food sources that make this work force a permanent part of your garden. Speaker Bio Lisa Mason Ziegler is a cut-flower grower, author and nationally recognized speaker on organic flower gardening. She has been farming since 1998, and her urban 3-acre farm produces more than 10,000 stems of flowers each week in season.

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