The 2019 Homesteaders of America Conference is bringing you a brand new level of “hands-on” learning experiences.


2019 Hands-On Workshop Info


They are pre-conference workshops that take place on Thursday, October 10th BEFORE the conference.

Payment Details

Please note that these workshops are separate from conference tickets. You will need to purchase conference tickets separately. 

You will be sent an invoice per your class options once we receive your application. Please allow 48 hours to receive your invoice before contacting us. >>>YOUR INVOICE MUST BE PAID WITHIN 48 HOURS OF RECEIPT or your seat will not be held.

Workshops are NON-REFUNDABLE, so please be kind to other students that might be interested and make sure you can attend! 

Workshop Details

Workshops happen RAIN OR SHINE!

Your teacher will be in touch with you before your workshop to let you know what you need to bring, etc.


Here are the workshops that will be available on THURSDAY OCTOBER 10th, the Thursday before the conference.


Wild Foraging and Herbs Through Shenandoah National Park with Darryl Patton

  • Teacher Name: Darryl Patton
  • Cost Per Student: $150 per individual
  • Length of class: 3+ hours (but could go potentially longer)
  • Materials You Need to Bring: a good pair of walking shoes bagged lunch, notebook, and pencil

Class Description: Saddle up for the ultimate nature walk through Shenandoah National Park wild trails! Learn from expert herbalist and medicine man, Darryl Patton, as he takes several hours to guide you through wild foraging edibles and healing plants that you may come across.

Transport will be provided if necessary by HOA volunteers in a passenger van, or you can drive yourself to the meeting point at the trail. Please make sure you specify your preference when you are contacted by our HOA staff. Please also note that there is generally a fee to get into the park (per carload). A bagged lunch is encouraged as we will not be stopping for lunch in the wild.

Getting the Most Out of a Hog Harvest Without a Freezer: Preserving Meat with Salt, Fermentation, Drying, and Confits. SOLD OUT

  • Teachers: Doug and Andy from Hand Hewn Farm
  • Cost per student: $175
  • Length of Class: 9 am to 3 pm (estimate)
  • ONLY 10 spots available
Class Description:
Join Hand Hewn Farm in a hands-on workshop from basic butchery to preserving without the use of a freezer.. like.. at all. This workshop will cover the basics of dry curing common cuts like bacon and hams as well as some other options for lesser know cuts, drying to increase flavor, fermenting meat safely, and using fat as a preservation tool. Bring an apron and a notepad, you won’t want to miss anything.

Blacksmithing 2 for One: Basics and BBQ Spoon/Fork Combo SOLD OUT

  • Teacher Name(s): Joshua Langfitt
  • Cost per student: $100 per student
  • Length of the class: 9 am to 4 pm
  • Materials provided: Steel, uncommon equipment( forge, anvil, swage), safety glasses, hearing protection, 22 years of hands-on experience
  • Materials you need to bring: leather work gloves, leather apron, ball pien or small crosspien hammer(engineers hammer)

Class Description: In the first half of the day we will spend some time working on the basic techniques for working hot metal, after Lunch, we will use those skills learned to make a bbq cooking tool… a spoon on one end and two-prong fork on the other

Rabbits – From Hutch to Hearty Meal   SOLD OUT

  • Teacher Name(s):     Jeremy Chambers
  • Cost per student: $65 per person with one rabbit/$85 for a couple with one rabbit to share 
  • Class size limited to 15 individuals or couples. 
  • Each participant/couple should bring: cooler with ice, apron or change of clothes
  • Materials provided: rabbit to process, a small game knife, samples of rabbit-based dishes, recipe booklet
  • Length of Class:  9am-4pm with 1-hour lunch break

Class Description:  During the class, the instructor will walk you through the steps of rabbit processing, parting out or de-boning, and even preparing two rabbit based dishes with you.

Each participant /couple will walk away with the knowledge of processing and rabbit anatomy, confidence to prepare a dish and a small recipe booklet, a rabbit packaged and ready to cook, and a quality small game processing knife.

The morning session will consist of a processing class, a lesson on parting out and deboning a rabbit, and preparing two rabbit based dishes.  

The afternoon session will consist of each participant/couple processing their own rabbit under the supervision of the instructor, packaging it to take home, and sampling the dishes prepared in the morning during a Q&A session.  

Grazing:  Animals, Fences and Strategies

  • Teacher Name(s):  Shawn Dougherty and Beth Dougherty
  • Cost per student:  $85 per student
  • Length of the class:  9am –  3:00pm (with one hour break for lunch and conversation)
  • Materials provided:  Handouts;  Fence posts, reels, chargers, etc. for demos

Class Description:  Take home all you need to know to start grazing right away!  Wherever you are and whatever your experience level, there’s a ruminant to match your land and your budget.  Learn about different fencing systems and strategies, portable water systems, pasture plants, and how to plan, set up, and move paddocks.  Find out how to manage seasonal variations, multiple species grazing, and dairy and meat animals. Shawn and Beth Dougherty, authors of The Independent Farmstead, share their twenty-plus years of experience in grass and livestock management to help you overcome your grazing challenges.

You Can Make Sourdough! 

  • Teacher Name: Patti Alderman
  •  Cost per student: $70 per student
  • Length of the class: 3+ hours (9am to 12pm)
  • Materials provided: Sourdough starter kit (includes sourdough starter to take home) and everything you need to make a loaf of sourdough bread
  • Materials you need to bring: Washed hands
Class Description: Each person will get to make their own loaf of sourdough bread. We will also discuss making, feeding, and up keep of sourdough starter. Also, tips and tricks I’ve learned and different things you can do with sourdough.

Predator Control on the Homestead

  • Teacher Name(s): Jason Rehr
  •  Cost per student: $95 per student
  • Length of the class: all day (9 am to 3 pm)
  • Materials provided: Class notebook and Instructional DVD
  • Materials you need to bring: Pen
Class Description: In this class you will learn to identify common homestead predators and how to deter and control them. The goal of this class is to give the participant the knowledge to prevent loss on their homestead.

Learning How to Keep Bees on the Homestead (In-Depth)

  • Teacher Name: Kaylee Richardson
  • Cost Per Student: $125
  • Length of the Class: All day (9 am to 3 pm)
  • Materials Provided: Everything you need to learn to become a beekeeper!
  • Materials You Need to Bring: Please bring a bagged lunch
Class Description: 
Learn all about becoming a beekeeper from experienced teachers in a casual atmosphere! Weather permitting, you’ll even get to get into the hives, spin honey, and learn how to utilize all of the wax and bee goodness on your homestead. Learn about building your own hives and the benefits of bees! Bee suits and more will be provided for you.

How to Preserve Your Harvest (Canning and more!)

  • Teacher Name: Ann Accetta-Scott  
  • Cost Per Student: $150/individual or $250/couple
  • Length of the Class: All Day (9am to 3pm)
  • Materials Provided: half-pint mason, chicken, and other canning materials
  • Materials Student Needs to Bring:  potatoes, carrots

Class Description:

Learn how to effectively and safely preserve foods through pressure and water bath. Learn how to understand the guidelines needed to making canned goods shelf stable. Experience the canning process under the watch and care of an instructor. In addition to canning, learn of other methods used to preserve the harvest. Fermentation, curing, drying, and selecting the best crops for fresh storage.

Does this sound like you? You want to try your hand at canning, but with all of the safety concerns, you really want someone to walk you through it and kind of hold your hand. Then you need our Water Bath and Pressure Canning Workshop! Author of The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving The Harvest, Ann Accetta-Scott, will be teaching you the step-by-step methods to safely water bath and pressure canning your harvest. You will even get to take some of your canned goodies home with you! You’ll even have the option to buy Ann’s new book at wholesale cost to help guide you through the process once you get home!