The time for the 2016 Spring Gathering is fast approaching.  Today, I would like to introduce you to 3 of the featured guests who plan to give presentations during the Gathering.

Joy, is the inspiration behind Bean Post Farmstead, where she lives with her family near Miller, Missouri.  She will be presenting information about raising rabbits, including health/ nutrition, sustainability, cost and time considerations as well as foraging, pasture, and garden planning, also seasonal considerations and transitioning away from the typical pellet diet.  She has been raising rabbits for 7 years, and feeding naturally for 8 months.
Joy has just begun a new blog, bean post farmstead.  She is looking forward to meeting everyone and participating in some of the other presentations, especially the Bee Keeping Basics.  She says, “We’ve been wanting bees for a long time but haven’t learned anything about them yet, so we’re excited!”

Justin will be presenting information on Basic Bee Keeping. Justin grew up in rural Alaska on a piece of property that was homesteaded by his grandparents.  During his 21 years in Alaska, he participated in many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, playing in the woods and riding snow machines in the winter months.  Growing up in a house heated by wood, Justin learned the basics of homesteading first hand.  His Dad bought a piece of land up in the Caribou Hills, which is in the middle of nowhere.  This is where his family built a cabin and lived for about a year, completely off grid. They had a generator but had to haul in any fuel used, any food not grown, and actually tapped into a spring for their water.  Justin moved to Missouri 16 years ago.  According to Justin, “I have been interested in bees for about a year now, and should have 4 hives or more by the end of the year.” He is hoping to harvest his first Missouri honey in 2016.  Justin and his wife Melody live on a working homestead in Dade County, meaning “it’s a work in progress,” according to Justin.  They have cattle, hogs, chickens and rabbits and are also doing a large garden.  Justin is creating a blog for following the progress of his bee hives, but is not quite ready to go public with it.  We will share when he does!

Our last introduction for the day is the owner and creator of Sudsy Soap, Cheryl.  Cheryl started her goat milk soap business 2 years ago.  Her soaps contain oils, butters, fragrance and essential oils.  She makes everything from a Gardeners/Mechanic Soap to a Bug Be Gone Soap.  Since starting her soap business, she has added candles, lip balm, body butters, and bath bombs.  She also makes laundry detergent, stain sticks and bath salts.  She and Bruce live on a small farm outside of Mt. Vernon in Lawrence County, where they raise goats and chickens, and have a large garden that Cheryl and Bruce share the labor of preserving the produce.  She also works a full time job for Opaa! Food Management as Director of Mt. Vernon School District and is a training director for new districts in the company.  Cheryl also teaches Food Handlers Classes and Servsafe Classes in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.  On the day of the Gathering, Cheryl will be teaching us how to safely make a basic soap from items we find in our kitchens.

I hope to have information from 3 more of our presenters to share with you next week.  We still have additional rabbit husbandry, growing and using herbs, natural gardening, natural goat husbandry, dispatching and processing small game, blacksmithing and bowl making!  It is shaping into a wonderful day.

The closer we get, and the more finalized plans become, the more I realize what a wealth of information will be shared at the 2016 Spring Gathering.  For complete details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page or email me.

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