Countryside Network and The Art of Cheese are co-hosting a day of homesteading classes at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Saturday, April 1 and Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Creamery tours and a cheesemaking contest on Sunday, April 2. The Back to Basics workshop puts an emphasis on leading a more authentic, simpler life by teaching you basic skills in six specific courses covering everything from artisanal cheesemaking to viticulture.
Each of the six classes on Saturday is just $39/person to attend, or you can buy an all-day pass for just $199. Classes will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Below you will find a short description of each of the classes and class times.
Start the day off with Beekeeping from 8-9 a.m. Join Josh Vaisman, a Northern Colorado apiarist and instructor, as you discover the wonder of beekeeping and harvesting your own honey. Josh will help you start your apiculture journey teaching the dos and don’ts of beekeeping. The class includes a course kit, free issue of Dairy Goat Journal magazine and a copy of Hive Management by Richard E. Bonney.
Continue your homesteading adventure with Cheesemaking 101 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Join Kate Johnson, the proprietor of The Art of Cheese, and learn how to craft artisan cheese from fresh milk. In this presentation, you will be introduced to beginning, home cheesemaking. You will learn the art and science behind cheesemaking, good recipes to start with and more. The class includes a course kit, free issue of Countryside magazine and a copy of Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll.
From 11 a.m.-noon, join Anne Zander from the Colorado State University Extension Office of Boulder County for Colorado Cottage Food Vending and Home Food Preservation. Anne will introduce you to the basics of food safety and the Colorado Cottage Food Act rules, so you can see what it takes to start your own cottage food business. Home food preservation will also be discussed. The class includes a course kit, free issue of Dairy Goat Journal magazine and a copy of A Countryside Anthology by Countryside Publications.
See what it takes to raise a herd of dairy goats and learn about the different breeds available with the Raising Dairy Goats workshop from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Kate Johnson from Briargate Farms will teach you about goat breeds and how to properly care for them. The class includes a course kit, free issue of Dairy Goat Journal magazine and a copy of Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger & Sara Thomson Bredesen.
Meet the editor of Backyard Poultry magazine and discuss how to care for your own flock of poultry in Raising Backyard Poultry with Pam Freeman. Pam will discuss the joys, challenges and rewards of raising your own chickens, and you will learn how to keep your flock safe and healthy. The class is from 2-3 p.m. and includes a course kit, free issue of Backyard Poultry magazine and a copy of For the Love of Poultry: Backyard Poultry Magazine Anthology by Countryside Publications.
Finally learn the basics of winemaking with John Martin from Stonebridge Farm Winery in Viticulture – Growing Grapes for Winemaking. John will teach backyard viticulture for the very small grower including: site selection, varieties and pruning. The class includes a course kit, free issue of Countryside magazine and a copy of The Home Winemakers Companion by Gene Spaziani and Ed Halloran.
Continue the weekend on Sunday, April 2 with The Art of Cheese at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, 505 Weaver Park Rd., Unit E, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy tours of the award-winning Haystack Creamery, a Cheesemaking School Open House and an Amateur Cheesemaking Contest. Drop in anytime during the event, but keep in mind registration is required. The event is just $10/person (children 8 and under are FREE) and tickets include a creamery tour, open house, cheesemaking demonstrations, cheese sampling and participation in the cheesmaking contest (if you are interested). Find out more and register today by clicking here.
By getting back to basics this spring, you will learn simplicity, self-reliance and a desire to do more with less. Each of these traits will lead to a more authentic and simple life. For more information about the Countryside Back to Basics Workshop Weekend, click here.