Last week I introduced you some of the 2017 Spring Gathering Presenters.  This week I would like to introduce more of them.  We try to have activities and information that will appeal to all ages and people who are at all stages of getting back to basics with a homesteading lifestyle.  The day proves to have a wide variety of topics that should have something for everyone.

Our neighbors to the northeast, Steve and Peggy Jones are planning to join us with their vintage rope making machine again this Spring.  They were a favorite last fall, and kids of all ages were intrigued with the ropes produced on site.  Be sure you stop by to see them and get a chance to use their machine to make a souvenir rope to take home.  You will probably have expert help!  Their grandchildren are my nieces and nephews (my brother married their daughter) and they love to help out and explain the rope making machine.  If the weather is nice enough, maybe the youngest (Danica was born in March) will even be around to add some cuteness.  It really is a family affair!


Susie and Sheila, both from the Dadeville, Missouri area use a combination of herbs, Pure Young Living Essential Oils, and Natural ingredients to make their own cleaning supplies, beauty products and herbal remedies. These ladies are going to be teaming up to share how they make their own laundry soap, tooth powder, dishwasher soap, and lye soap.  If time allows, they may also share some of their other cleaners as well.  They plan to have handouts available for their presentation, so you will be free to listen rather having to take detailed notes.

Susie Martin lives a on farm near Dadeville and is a retired manual therapist.  She became interested in chemical free, homemade cleaning products because of health issues and as a way to save money.  Susie has been making her own products for over 5 years now.  She also enjoys quilting, knitting, crocheting and reading.

Sheila Thorpe also lives on a farm in the Dadeville area and owns her own salon.  She makes her own beauty products using Pure Young Living essential oils.  One of her goals is to have a chemical free home.  Sheila enjoys outdoors, gardening, cooking, fishing and camping.

The pictures below are some of mine, because I haven’t had a chance to get with Susie and Sheila to get photos of any of their products, so come out and see for yourself what they ladies have to share.  I am sure I will learn a lot from them that I will incorporate into my own cleaning products.

Kristin Robertson will be joining us from Painted Canvas Farm, near Lamar, Missouri, where she and her husband specialize in breeding Registered Appaloosa cutting horses and AKC Australian Cattle Dogs aka “heelers”. They have ACD puppies for sale most times of the year and also are building a herd of Kiko meat goats, one of the few in the area.  Kristin recently had a special waterbath canner built so that she could accomplish more of her waterbath canning at one time to accommodate her busy schedule and still meet the needs of providing her family with home grown, self preserved, wholesome foods.  Be sure and visit Kristin’s website and also check out her FaceBook page, Painted Canvas Farm to see some gorgeous photos of their lovely farm and animals.

With her new canner, Kristin can set up outside or in a barn or garage and process 4 dozen pints at one time, cutting her canning time by hours.  She is canning much the way the pioneers did, but the safe canning practices and recipes of modern times.  She has graciously agreed to come to the Gathering and set up and show how her process works.  Our plan is to juice blackberries, blueberries and strawberries and can pints of flavorful fruit syrup during the Gathering.  This syrup is delicious over pancakes, waffles, ice cream and more!  At the end of the day, the syrups will be available for purchase at the special price of $4.00/pint jar or purchase a 3/jars for $10. You may pre-order syrups by emailing with Fruit Syrup in the subject line. Additional syrup not sold via pre-orders will be sold on a first come-first serve basis, but remember there will only be 48 jars available.

Denise Fleetwood, who lives near Aurora with her husband Amos and their three dog-kids, will be demonstrating the basic process for inoculating logs to grow your own shiitake mushrooms. Saw dust spawn and plug inoculation methods will both be covered. During the presentation, Denise encourages you to take notes on the step involved, take all the pictures you want, but does prefer you not take video of this presentation.

Denise is a horticulture consultant, Advanced Master Gardener, and gained an Intro to Permaculture education through OSU. She is the new manager of the Kitchen Garden in the Master Gardener’s Demonstration Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.  Her current focus and interests are edibles, medicinals, agriscaping/edible landscaping, organic gardening, wild edibles, edible weeds, edible flowers, and of course, mushrooms.  We are hoping Denise will become a permanent part of our Homestead Gatherings and will continue to provide a variety of topics during future events.  Be sure you let her know what other topics you would like to learn about!

We will be pre-inoculating some logs for sale just for purchase at the Gathering.  We will offer 24″ logs for $10 each, which is a great price if you have ever looked into purchasing these.  We are only selling to help recover the cost of the supplies to do the demonstration.  Since the work must be done ahead of time, and is a bit labor intensive, we will be doing this by pre-order only.  Let us know if you would like to purchase inoculated logs at the Gathering, by emailing with Mushroom Logs in the subject line.  Let us know how many you would like us to have ready for you.  We will also have bags of plugs and possibly some sawdust spawn available for sale for the DIYers in the group, as we had to order more than we will need for the demo and to supply our own starters.

The images below are not ours, but we look forward to having our own to share in the coming months.



When you join us for the day, some things you will want to bring with you include your camera, for capturing pictures of the day; a notebook and pen for making notes and taking down contact information; a lawn chair for sitting for presentations, visiting, and relaxing.  We will have a lunch available for purchase, or you are welcome to bring a  lunch and toss a blanket on any of our grassy areas for an old fashioned picnic in the country.  If you have any questions at all, just email us and we will be glad to help you out.

Additional activities throughout the day may include a tour of our deep mulch garden, see how we plant our garden with no tilling in the spring and very little weeding throughout the year.  I will be happy to introduce you to our rabbits, and explain why we have chosen to raise rabbits for meat.  I’ll be happy to give you the brief tour of our farm, including my pride and joy, the canning kitchen, and explain how we provide the bulk of what we eat throughout the year.  I am hearing from a few others that may be able to attend as well and be demonstrating such things as a moonshine still, and rag rug making.  Who knows what surprises we will have come up before Gathering time?  Others will be in attendance as well, with a variety of knowledge in many areas.  We look forward to sharing our lifestyle, our knowledge and learning from each of you.  Together, we make up a community that enables each of us to be more successful in our desire to live a simpler, more basic life in this hectic modern world.


We strive to keep the price of our products reasonable. Due to the larger size of many of them, shipping may be more than the item itself. We have no control over this, and will only charge the actual shipping charges. To help offset the high cost of shipping, we encourage you to buy several items in one, allowing us to combine shipping on the items. Dismiss

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