Our twenty-odd years of family-scale organic gardening and animal husbandry give us knowledge and experience which we love to pass on to others who are drawn to a more independent lifestyle, and our workshops and semester-long courses give the student hands-on experience in gardening, dairying, cheese making, rotational grazing, food preservation, fermentation, and farmhouse cooking and baking. Here are some of our 2016 offerings:
The Sow’s Ear workshops
Rotational Grazing on the Small Acreage:
A full day of hands-on experience and explanation of the principles of intensive rotational grazing as applied to a few acres: determining forage quality, paddock planning, fencing, moveable livestock watering systems, stockpiling and winter grazing, and multi-species herd arrangements. Consider the possibilities for livestock on your own few acres and get feedback from our personal experience.
Grass-based Integrated Family Farm tour:
Full-farm tour including rotationally grazed sheep, dairy and beef systems, farm-fed pigs and pastured broiler and layer chickens, captured low-pressure water systems, and multi-generation integrated farm work. Spend a day with all the Doughertys looking at how two adults and their children run a multi-faceted farm and still leave time for all the other necessities.
Non-electric Water Systems for Stock and Irrigation:
Tour our small farm and learn about spring and seep improvement, roof water sequestration, and creek water delivery. We use several low-pressure water systems for animal watering as well: Jobe floats, Hudson valves, and pig nipples. Here are gravity-flow methods which require no energy inputs.
Canning Tomatoes: Sauce/Salsa:
Processing large batches of tomato product by pressure canner and boiling water bath. $45 per person, limit eight participants.
Culling and Canning Chickens:
How do you determine which of your hens isn’t laying? Culling techniques aren’t foolproof, but there are clues to indicate a bird’s state of lay. Culling, killing, and processing; methods for older, tougher birds. (For processing broilers, see our summer schedule.) $65 per person, limit eight participants.
Three Easy Dairy Products: Cultured Mozzarella, Butter, Ricotta:
Raw cream butter requires a little more thought in timing, but repays your care with a superior product. Cultured foods strengthen and diversify your microbiome; cultured mozzarella takes longer to make than cheese made with citric acid, but the food value and flavor are both increased by the process. The resulting fresh whey can be used in making ricotta, and the yield increased by the addition of buttermilk. This is three workshops in one. $45 per person, limit ten participants.
Raw milk 101: five fresh and soft cheeses
next classes offered in September and October, after our workshops at the TMEN Fair Seven Springs
Visit the Sow’s Ear grassfarm for an afternoon of raw milk culturing, butter making and cheese craft as we demonstrate the production of yogurt and yogurt cheese, butter, mozzarella, ricotta, queso blanco and queso fresco. Hands-on experience in cheese cultures, curd formation and acidity, stretching pasta filato, whey cheese and herbed cheeses in a home-kitchen environment gets beginning cheese makers over the early humps in the learning process and gives confidence for independent milk culturing. A good preliminary to making hard cheeses. $45 per person, limit ten participants.
Pig butchering, from Squeal to Sausage:
Killing, hanging, drawing, cleaning, cutting and wrapping. Sausage making, bulk and link. Preparing sausage casings; rending lard. Participants will assist in all stages of the operation. Lunch provided. $155 per person, limit four participants per session. Next workshop in November.
contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 740-537-5178.
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