If you're anywhere near us in Illinois (or want a vacation), I've scheduled a couple of classes in April. I've been making cheese and soap for seven years, and although I've made a lot of mistakes, I do have a bit of wisdom to share. I certainly don't know it all, and every batch of cheese teaches me something new, but I figured that novices might find these classes helpful. I regularly get emails from people who are interested in becoming self sufficient or learning certain skills, so I'm also planning on starting classes in goat breeding, chicken keeping, and canning. I still need to get the details crystallized on those classes, but for now, these two classes are available. I've been teaching soapmaking and cheesemaking for several years already. I just never thought about mentioning them on my blog. And I'm still thinking about the idea of a homesteading internship.
We'll have a soapmaking class at Antiquity Oaks from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 11. You'll learn the history of soapmaking, how modern soapmaking is different, and how to create your own soap recipes. Each participant will receive handouts, including a list of references for future use, and you'll go home with a small loaf of soap (retail value $28) that you can slice a day or two later after saponification is complete. Fee: $24 per person, and reservations are required. Class is limited to four people, so everyone will receive personalized, hands-on instruction.
Morning in the Life of a Dairymaid (Cheesemaking)
Saturday, April 25, we'll start in the barn at 9 a.m. with instructions in goat milking, and we'll talk about how it's different than milking a cow or a sheep (and how their milk is different). Then we'll head into the kitchen to talk about the history of dairy in this country and demonstrate how to make a variety of dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and ice cream. Fee: $15 per person, and reservations are required. Class is limited to six people, so there will be ample opportunity for discussion.