Take your 2020 Homesteaders of America Conference experience to the next level! Learn new self-sufficiency and homesteading skills from experts in their field when you attend our Hands-On Workshops!

2020 Hands-On Workshop Details

General Workshop Details

Workshops happen RAIN OR SHINE!

Your teacher will be in touch with you a week or two before your workshop to let you know what you need to bring along with any other information you may need to know before the workshop.


They are pre-conference workshops that take place on Thursday, October 8th, the day BEFORE the conference.

Payment Details

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

Once we receive your application, you will be sent an invoice. 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! 


Here are the workshops that will be available on THURSDAY OCTOBER 8th, the Thursday before the conference.


The Essential Family Cow: Heart of the Homestead

Shawn & Beth Dougherty

The Sow’s Ear Farm & Pottery

 Can’t make up your mind about a dairy cow?  This all-day workshop will amaze you with how dairy fits into your life and your homestead.  Find out how affordable and manageable a dairy cow can be with year-round grazing (no grain feeds), relaxed milking schedules, and simple hand-milking equipment.  Even just a few acres can support a family cow! Shawn and Beth Dougherty, veteran homesteaders of 30 years, share the essentials of selecting and buying a cow, basic rotational grazing, milking, breeding, calf rearing, and Magical Milk Management — leveraging milk to feed everything on the farm!  Eliminate livestock feed bills and nourish people, calves, pigs and chickens with your own free solar energy. Get your homestead really up and running with the all-grass Family Cow!

  • Class Size: No Limit
  • Materials to Bring: notebook and pen, water bottle, sack lunch.  Food will be available for purchase at the fairgrounds, but class discussion will continue over lunchtime, so bring your lunch and don’t miss anything!
  • Cost: $130

Learning How to Keep Bees on the Homestead 

Kaylee Richardson

The Honeystead

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. Lunch & drinks will be available!

  • Class Size: No Limit
  • Materials to Bring: notebook/pen for note-taking
  • Cost: $250

Coturnix Quail from Hatch to Dispatch

John & Anita Garrett

AJ Farms

Join AJ Farms, LLC and discuss raising Coturnix Quail on your homestead!  We will be walking you through the process of keeping Coturnix Quail on the homestead from hatch to dispatch.  You will take away knowledge about the hatching process, housing, care, picking breeding stock, dispatching and butchering. 

Each participant/couple will be given 4 quail to butcher and take with them at the end of the workshop.  You will be taught to dispatch humanely and how to butcher in 2 ways. We will be plucking one, leaving the skin on which leaves you with a whole intact bird.  The other will be skinned and butterflied. Upon learning these skills you may decide which of the 2 methods you would like to use to process the remaining 2 Quail. Instructors will be available for help as needed.

You will also be able to taste test some quail and quail egg dishes during the class. 

You will also take home a pair of hemostats (used for lung removal) and an information packet which will include some of our favorite recipes for you to try.

  • Class Size: 15 slots; individuals or couples
  • Materials to Bring: sharp pair of kitchen shears capable of cutting bone, an apron and/or a change of clothes, cooler with ice to transport your Quail home, bagged lunch
  • Provided Materials: Coturnix Quail, A Pair of Hemostats, Scalding pot (will be shared), block ice and basins for cooling your quail, latex gloves; We will vacuum seal your quail for you at the end of the workshop
  • Cost: $95 per individual; $115 per couple

Cheese Making Basics: Easy Cow and Goat Milk Cheeses

Connie Meyer

Urban Overalls

Students will learn the fundamentals of how to make easy (and popular) homestead cheeses that include mozzarella (using the hot water/whey method), ricotta (both dessert and savory), and chevre.  Items covered in the workshop: sourcing milk, basic cheesemaking tools, and supplies that won’t break the bank, resources, types of milk, and recipes of the cheeses made in the workshop.

  • Class Size: 22 students
  • Materials to Bring: a positive attitude and materials to take notes
  • Materials Provided: 90 grade cheesecloth, ricotta cheese mould for a small batch, culture for making chèvre, recipes for cheese making
  • Cost: $195

Curing Pork at Home

Andy Lane & Doug Wharton

Hand Hewn Farm

Join Andy Lane and Doug Wharton of Hand Hewn Farm to learn how to take a whole hog and turn it into delicious craft meats that will delight your tastes and impress your family and friends. 

Nearly every part of the hog can be transformed into distinct and delectable flavors through the process of salt curing and during this hands-on course, you will get a taste, figuratively and metaphorically, of how a pig can be almost magically converted from ordinary pork to delicacy. Our class will focus on one half of a heritage pig and our talk during the conference will further the discussion about the ham portion of the pig and how it has been cured the world over and how to do it yourself at home.

  • Class Size: 10 students
  • Materials to Bring: an apron and a good attitude; a complete lunch will not be provided but there will be a variety of cured meats to sample during lunch
  • Cost: $225

Grow a Year’s Worth of Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs in Your Backyard

Melissa K. Norris

Pioneering Today

Join Melissa K. Norris and learn how to customize a growth plan for your fruit, vegetable, and herbal production on your homestead. You’ll come away with a personalized plan to grow a year’s worth of food based on your family’s eating habits and climate.

Melissa will walk you through how to analyze your property and yard for the best placements of your crops to get the maximum harvest, based on harnessing the four major microclimates almost every backyard has. You’ll get Melissa’s top 4 secrets to increasing your fruit and vegetable production without spending hours on end or increasing your gardening space. Learn about planning and optimizing an orchard and/or berry bushes, even if you don’t have a lot of property or aren’t on your permanent location.

After lunch, learn how to get triple duty from your herbs, as a companion plant, culinary delight AND natural medicine. Learn how to best harvest and preserve your herbs for your homemade items. And while not typically thought of as medicine, learn the basics of fermenting to create beneficial good bacteria foods that will last for months and aid your gut health!

  • Class Size: No Limit
  • Materials to Bring: a notebook and a pencil
  • Cost: $99

Rabbits – From Hutch to Hearty Meal  

Jeremy Chambers

Independence Acres

During the class, the instructor will walk you through many aspects of raising rabbits, 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 selecting breeding stock, building or acquiring proper housing, preparing for breeding, rabbit care, 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 discussion on raising rabbits on a homestead, a processing class, a lesson on parting out and de-boning 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.  

  • Class Size: 15 Individuals or Couples
  • Materials to Bring: cooler with ice, apron or change of clothes
  • Materials Provided: one rabbit to process, a small game knife, samples of rabbit based dishes, recipe booklet
  • Length of Class: 9am-4pm with 1-hour lunch break
  • Cost: $85 per individual; $100 per couple

How to Preserve Your Harvest (Canning and More!)

Ann Accetta-Scott

A Farm Girl in the Making

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!

  • Class Size: No Limit
  • Materials to Bring:  potatoes, carrots
  • Materials Provided: half-pint mason, chicken, and other canning materials
  • Length of Class: 9am to 3pm
  • Cost:  $150/individual or $250/couple

Homestead Herbal Medicine Cabinet

Darryl Patton

The Southern Herbalist

Go on a nature walk and learn about herbalism from one of the most skilled herbalists in the country. Join in on this class with teacher, Darryl Patton, and learn all about herbalism on the homestead. You’ll take a nature walk with Darryl, where he can show you so many things you can eat and use in nature. Then, come back to the classroom where Darryl will show you how to create herbal medicine preparations and more! You’ll even get some things to take home with you!

  • Class Size: No Limit
  • Materials to Bring:  pencil, paper
  • Cost:  $125 per student, $225 per couple