Friday, March 20, 2009

Classes scheduled on the farm

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.

Soapmaking Class
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.


Nancy K. said...

What a great idea, Deborah! If I lived close to you I'd be there!!

You should advertise your classes in a local newspaper and/or if your local TV channel has a local 'what's happening in the area' snippet, get on there. I bet you'd fill up classes for months in advance if you can get the word out.

Was that a typo or is your soap making class really only 2 hours?

Deborah said...

Hi Nancy! Wish you were closer. The soapmaking class is only two hours. I can actually make about three batches in two hours. For the class I'll make two batches and talk a lot about what I'm doing! :)

Michelle said...

I wish I lived closer too! That sounds pretty cool. I should see if I can find anything like that in my area...
Good luck with your classes!

Caprifool said...

Here in my smallholding in Sweden I do something similar to your "Morning in the Life of a Dairymaid" corse for my goat customers. It is very popular and something i get feedback on several years later. I have noticed, children....are by far more sucsessfull in milking goats than grown up first timers :-)

sasa said...



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