classes

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 shawnandbeth@att.net 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

 

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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 airbnb.com!

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

Fencing

Preserving food

Winter on the homestead

The garden

Raising calves and lambs

Poultry

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!

Topics

  • 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 shawnandbeth@att.net 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.

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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 shawnandbeth@att.net 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?

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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.)

8 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 shawnandbeth@att.net — 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.

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