The One-cow Revolution

a grass-fed homestead


Two Winter Cheese and Dairy Workshops

Thursday, January 16, and Saturday, January 25,

9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Cheese Making, Dairy Management, and Natural Milk Fermentation


Grass-based dairy is the basis of a sustainable, regenerative food system!  Who knew? 

Join us for a full day of milk management, and learn how your farm or homestead can become truly solar-powered, harvesting its own solar energy for food, feed, and fertility through the grass and ruminants!

 Get hands-on experience milking, making cheese and butter, and managing natural milk cultures in the homestead kitchen, with Shawn and Beth Dougherty, farmers and cheese makers of twenty years’ experience. 



  • Hand-milking — and milk handling –
  • Leveraging milk to feed all the life on the farm:
    • Poultry feed proteins
    • Balancing the farm-grown pig feeds
    • Growing bottle-fed calves and lambs
    • Drenches, foliar feeds, and tonics for the garden
  • Making and storing butter
  • Managing dairy cultures: yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, and more
  • Long-term milk storage: making and aging hard cheeses is easy!

the equipment

Go home with knowledge that will help make your farm or homestead inputs-independent!

Sign up today to reserve your spot!   

$225 per person, or $400 per couple; $50 non-refundable deposit.


Bonus:  Spend the night before the workshop in our farm guest house and enjoy an evening of farm talk and desserts with the Sow’s Ear farm crew, then tag along for the morning milking; or stay over the night after the workshop and join us for a hearty farm-grown evening meal.  $75 per person, $125 per couple, per night.

Call the farm at 740-537-5178, or send us an email at



Radical Cheese Workshop!!

Join us on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, and spend the day playing with gallons and gallons of milk! We’re going to make hard and soft cheeses, filatas, butter, and lots of ferments, because summer time is milk time! Find out what to do with buttermilk, how to make the best cottage cheese, and how do develop your own natural yogurt cultures; learn how to use milk and milk by-products to feed practically every living creature on the farm!  Lots of hands-on experience in a small-group setting will get you ready to start managing your own farm milk!

Where:  The Sow’s Ear Farm, Toronto, Ohio


Cost: $115/person; includes lunch, coffee, snacks, and all the wonderful milk products you can eat.

Contact:  call us at 740-537-5178, or email to, to reserve your spot.

For out-of-town guests, ask us about staying in our farm guest house.

The Sow’s Ear Farm and Pottery’s

Two Spring Workshop Offerings:

Spring Farm Workshop

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Farming For Food and Fertility

grass – livestock – fence – grazing –

passive water systems –dairy – soil fertilily –

homestead planning

Full day workshop, 8:30 – 6:00:

  • portable temporary electric fence systems for intensive rotational grazing
  • small-scale pasture management
  • homestead dairying
  • low pressure gravity feed irrigation and stock water systems
  • feeding the farm from the farm
  • hog and chicken feeds
  • on-farm garden fertility
  • pastured chickens 

Hands-on experience and in-the-field instruction in the theory as well as the practice of low-inputs, independent homesteading; includes Saturday lunch and dinner, plus Friday night in our comfortable, fully-equipped guest house.

Friday evening, enjoy wine, cheese, and social time with fellow farmers and homesteaders.  Limit 10 attendees .


(beginning/intermediate level workshop)




Cost:  $125/single person; $195/couple; $50 deposit per person.

Optional second night in the guest house:  $35/person.

Contact us at to register.






comments on our Farm Workshops:

Thank you so much!  Your knowledge and hospitality were such a gift!  I would rate the day “excellent.” The price was reasonable, the food delicious, and the ratio of pasture walk to indoors discussion time just fine. ”  — Rebecca

“The workshop seemed to have a clear and effective sequence . . . very helpful.  Seeing your set up really got us thinking about how to make this work starting in the spring, and we don’t have to have the whole farm plan mapped out and set in stone”  — Jordan and Raelene



Design-your-own Farm Workshop 

Build a workshop around your needs and questions!

Visit the Sow’s Ear and delve into the farm topics most important to your homestead

— grazing practices, livestock questions, passive water systems, home dairying —

— planning, growing, and storing the year’s food for people and animals —

Let Shawn and Beth Dougherty assist you with their over 20 years’ experience homesteading and farming.

Spend a day at the Sow’s Ear where the focus is your own personal interests! Tour the farm and try your hand at planning and setting up grazing paddocks, milking cows, and setting up gravity-fed livestock water. Discuss issues of paddock size, shape, and composition for every season.  Bring your questions about home dairying and cheese making, passive water systems, finding water on the homestead, food preservation, and feeding the farm from the farm.

This is your opportunity to build a workshop where you call the shots! Come alone, with your farm partners, or share the event with a few fellow homesteaders. Take over our day, be at home with us, and share your obstacles and aspirations for building your own fruitful, abundant, independent farmstead, so we can work with you to design the independent, fruitful home place of your dreams!

Cost: $500 for the day (up to six people)

workshop includes lunch and dinner

For housing on-farm, check out our Guest House at!

Preparation:  Before the workshop date, send us the topics that are most of interest to you so that we can prepare discussion and activities to focus on those areas.

Although we will create a tentative workshop format, you control the day – if during the day you decide you need to spend, for example, more time on fencing and less on water, it’s your call.  Some possible topics to focus on:

– Capturing and moving water

Feeding animals from the farm

Feeding the family from the farm

Rotational Grazing

The Home Dairy

Pros and cons of big equipment

Putting up hay

Stock-piled forage

Getting started on the Homestead – first steps

Regenerating damaged land


Preserving food

Winter on the homestead

The garden

Raising calves and lambs


Homeschooling and homesteading

The family part of the family farm

Challenges on your farm — let us see if we can help

Provide your own housing or stay in the Sow’s Ear airbnb. Only 1/4 mile from our main farm house, this 4 bedroom guest house has WFI, a fully equipped kitchen and plenty of comfortable beds.  $100/night for two occupants; $10/each additional guest


other workshops we offer:

Raw Milk Cheese Craft

Raw milk — from Grass to Gouda

Spend a full day with Beth and Shawn, farmers and natural cheese makers of twenty years experience, on the farm and in the kitchen at the Sow’s Ear — where cows and milk are the foundation of the farm diet. Enjoy ten hours of small-group instruction, conversation, and hands-on experience making fresh and fermented milk foods from raw, all-grass derived Jersey milk. Take home dairy ferments to share with your family!


  • making and aging raw milk cheeses in the home dairy
  • milk production and handling
  • home dairy management
  • intensive grazing and bovine nutrition for the small farmer

Schedule (5:30am – 3:30pm)

  • meet and greet the cows – join us for the morning milking at 5:30am(-can’t face the early morning milking? Arrange to spend Friday night in our beautiful guest house and you can come along for the Friday late afternoon milking – 4:00pm. Then sleep in on Saturday and join us at breakfast time for a full day of cheese making!)
  • make natural-culture gouda, mozzarella, and cream cheeses; churn butter, and set yogurt
  • ten hours of instruction, hands-on, and conversation
  • two delicious farm-raised meals

attendance: $125/person; $200/couple

(Beginner/intermediate level)

guest house overnight stay (optional): $35/person, $50/couple

email us at or call 740-537-5178 to reserve your place with a $50 deposit

Got Raw Milk? This workshop is designed to make you comfortable turning delicious, nutritious raw milk into food for today, tomorrow, and the whole year. No special tools or cultures – raw milk is the safest, most versatile food on the farm. Probiotic, rich in proteins and fats, milk gives us yesterday’s sunshine in today’s food — learn to store it and you feed the farm and the family year-round. When you eat all-grass dairy, yesterday’s sunlight is today’s dinner!

comments from previous workshops:

“Beth’s cheese class is exactly what you want if you are wondering how to preserve your milk for year round use.  This class has it all, everything from butter to hard aged cheeses.  And the simpler the better – you won’t leave this class thinking you have to spend a fortune to be a good cheese maker.  Working with what you have in your kitchen, you will leave with the confidence and knowledge that you can and will make delicious cheeses.”  — Danielle Z.

Thank you so much for the class, it was great!!  — Jen M.

Thanks so much for a great weekend.  I learned a lot and hope to be able to put some of it into practice!  — Laura A.


Full day Farm workshop

8:30 – 6:00:  hands-on experience and demonstrations of homestead skills; including lunch, dinner, and optional night in our comfortable, fully-equipped guest house.  Limit 10 persons per workshop.

Cost:  $105/single person; $155/couple; $50 deposit.

  • portable temporary electric fence systems for intensive rotational grazing
  • small-scale pasture management
  • homestead dairying
  • low pressure gravity feed irrigation and stock water systems
  • feeding the farm from the farm:  hog and chicken feeds
  • on-farm garden fertility and pastured chickens

Contact us at to register.

comments on our Farm Workshop Days:

Thank you so much for having me at the workshop. Your knowledge and hospitality were such a gift!  I would rate the day “excellent.” The price was reasonable, the food delicious, and the ratio of pasture walk to indoors discussion time just fine. ”  — Rebecca

“The workshop seemed to have a clear and effective sequence . . . very helpful.  Seeing your set up really got us thinking about how to make this work starting in the spring, and we don’t have to have the whole farm plan mapped out and set in stone”  — Jordan and Raelene


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 2019 offerings:


More 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.

Got Farm Kids?


Want a workshop for the whole family?  Design your own farm workshop!   (see the Design-your-own option on this page.  Our standard workshop offerings are aimed at interested and informed adults.)

13 thoughts on “classes

  1. Hi Shawn and Beth!
    My husband Steve and I met you guys at the Mother Earth News Fair the beginning of June. We took in 2 of your workshops and bought your book. We live in PA and would love to come visit you guys, help on the farm with whatever you are doing that day and just glean all we can from you. We bought 9 acres of land and hope to soon move onto it and start our homestead.

    1. So glad to hear from you! Nine acres sounds about perfect, and we don’t know anywhere nicer than PA. We love having folks stop by, and generally hand them a tool and put them to work. Let us know when you think of coming, though, just in case we’re out of pocket — send us an email at — yours, s/b

  2. We loved having Shawn and Beth out for an assessment of our land. Having their boots on our ground, sharing their knowledge and insights was the highlight of my year. When they returned home, they sent us a written assessment to recap all that we had talked about during our day. This is a wonderful tool to have as we compile our winter work list. Next stop: ruminants! Full speed ahead.
    -Miranda and Eric.

  3. Shawn and Beth are a must for anyone new to rotational grazing or homesteading in general! Their workshop enabled us to come home and start our new grazing system immediately. The whole subject perplexed my husband and I…..but they simplified it down with lots of q&a and demonstrations. The confidence gained by spending the day with them was/is instrumental in how we are running our homestead. We look forward to visiting them soon with our girls!

    Fred & Darla
    Half Pike Acres-KY

  4. Shawn and Beth’s workshops are such a gift. The way that they share their knowledge, experience, and hospitality is really invaluable. The day was packed with discussion and hands on learning. For someone looking to farm/homestead in a mindful and regenerative way on any level, I can’t recommend these opportunities enough.
    Shawn and Bath, thank you for sharing your life and encouraging others!

  5. We were blessed to enjoy Shawn and Beth’s workshops and hospitality on their farm, what an amazing experience for us beginners! They shared their joy of farming, and their technical details of every task we wanted to explore. We learned about rotational grazing, how to set up the fences, how to milk the cow (my kids loved this :)), how to set up water systems, how to use cows, chickens and pigs to increase fertility of the soil for pasture and gardens, how to use the cows’ milk to feed our family and animals on the farm, about their farm and house set-up, greenhouse, cheese storing room, so much and needed information. We were inspired by them and got so many great ideas to implement on our land. And the food was delicious, the whole family’s company a treat, thanks for everything! Hope to do a cheese making workshop one day, too!

  6. Wow, what an amazing workshop! We really learned a ton of very useful information about setting up pasture and water for rotational grazing sheep and other animals. Without this personalized workshop we would of made lots of mistakes on our farm. We are grateful for all the time with Beth and Shawn. Fantastic food , what a great day!!

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