Intro to Solar
Been considering a solar energy installation for your home, farm, or business but don’t know where to begin? John Cotten and team of Wilderness Trace Solar provide information on both on-grid and off-grid solar installation options for Kentucky residents as well as power walls and electric vehicle charging. He will provide the most up-to-date info on current tax credits, grants, and net metering compensations for your solar project. Get your questions answered about the recently passed Kentucky Senate Bill 100 (net metering law) and what it means for your solar project.
No-Till Market Gardening
Edible Wild Fungi
Professional mushroom farmer and forager Tim Hensley will be sharing his experience as a professional mushroom forager, taking us on a virtual tour of the various fungi he regularly wildcrafts. Along with fantastic tales of fungal abundance, he will share practical tips on how to safely identify a wide variety of the edible wild mushrooms that grow in our area. For more info on Tim and the educational workshops & retreats he & his wife Jane Post offer at their farmstead near Berea, you can visit their website: www.ForestRetreats.net
Adaptogen Herbs & Tincture Making for Stress Relief
Join Knoxville, TN based community herbalist Rachel Milford of Reclaiming Your Roots in exploring stress as a root cause of illness and learning how it effects our immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. In this workshop, participants will learn about Adaptogens, a class of medicinal herbs which can help support our stress response, increase strength and resilience, and bring balance back to our bodies. Rachel will also demo tincture making, sending each participant home with recipes for making their own medicinal tinctures for their home apothecary.
It Depends: The Complexity of Forest Management in Private and Public Forests
Cumberland Ecoforestry (Kentucky Heartwood) program manager and forester Austin Williams will try to answer the what and why of some important elements of forest ecology and forest political economy on private and public land in Kentucky. What can forestry and silviculture accomplish? What can’t it? Under what circumstances? What of sustainability? Ecological restoration? Exploitation? Participants are encouraged to bring questions about their own forest land (private or public) for discussion.
Grow Your Own Gourmet Mushrooms
Tim Hensley will discuss the cultivation of a variety of edible mushrooms, which he has over 20 years of experience in. Along with the traditional “drill, plug & wax” method of inoculation, several additional methods will be demonstrated. Participants will take home an information-packed catalog from his favorite mushroom cultivation supplies company. For more info on Tim and the educational workshops & retreats he & his wife Jane Post offer at their farmstead near Berea, you can visit their website: www.ForestRetreats.net
Funding and Your Farm
This session will explore a wide range of available funding resources for Kentucky farmers. It is designed help folks understand planning for funding, common program requirements, and grant writing basics. Common grant and assistance programs covered will include KY Proud Promotional Grants, KSU Small Scale Farm Grants, County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP), Value-Added Producer Grants, conservation cost share programs, farmers market funding opportunities, and low interest loan programs.
Backyard Herbal Medicine—Fall In Love With Spring Weeds!
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson… Come discover that some of the world’s best medicine grows in your own backyard, and learn how to practically integrate these plants into your daily life! Instructor Mea Adams was born and raised in Jessamine County, Kentucky. The journey of discovering the incredible healing power of plants began at home, blossomed in Greece, and then lead her to (oddly enough) New York City, where she studied herbal medicine at Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbal Medicine. She currently lives in Lexington, KY.
Grassfed Cattle: Ecological Design
Wild ruminants such as bison play a key role in building soils and maintaining grassland ecosystems. In this workshop with Micah Wiles of Cedar Creek Farm, we will discuss how to model your grazing operation based on ecological principles observed in nature in order to build soil on your farm and raise 100% grassfed cattle.
Off Grid Permaculture Farming with Susana Lein of Salamander Springs Farm
Want to grow for market without tillage, mechanization, or outside inputs? To transform poor non-agricultural land into healthy, productive soil? To make a living using permaculture, living entirely off the grid? Salamander Springs Farm produces a wide range of vegetables, grains, dry beans, fruits, nuts, herbs, forest foods & flowers for CSA, markets, stores and online sales. Featured in the internationally-acclaimed 2015 permaculture documentary, “INHABIT,” Susana Lein is a pioneer in farm-scale permaculture. Built from scratch, the farm operates totally off-grid with few outside inputs, gravity-feed spring water, a small solar electric system, a self-built passive-solar tiny house & farm buildings. No-till grain & dry bean fields utilize continuous cover cropping including poultry forage, inspired by the late Japanese rice farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. “3-Sisters” cornfields, a system learned during Lein’s 8 years in Latin America, also produce pole beans & winter squash. Learn to implement permaculture practices such as contour swales, intensively-cropped beds and Hugelkultur practices. View photos of Susana’s farm here.
Seed Saving 101
Open-pollinated seed is one of Mother Nature’s greatest inventions. Large (and even small) seed companies try to convince you that you must buy seed from them each year, but it’s just not so. Come learn seed saving basics with the Pulaski County Extension Office and Lake Cumberland Master Gardeners. Aside from saving money, you’ll also be adding to the genetic diversity of the seeds you save. When people know how to save seed, they become a resilient society, immune to global or local disruptions in the food system or environment. Learn to save seed and we hope, in turn, share your knowledge with the next generation.
Backyard Poultry 101
Learn several options for starting your own backyard flock to provide you with a sustainable source of eggs, meat, fertilizer, and entertainment with Geoff McPherson of Good Life Ranch in this recurring favorite class at the KY Green Living Fair!
Barn to Yarn: The Ins and Outs of a Farm Fiber Product
Join Robin Verson of Hill and Hollow Farm as she takes you on
the journey from sheep to a viable farm product. Topics will include
choosing your sheep, managing the wool through the steps of fiber
processing, and marketing your local fiber product.
If you have wool sheep and don’t know how to manage your end product or if
you have dreams of a farm yarn, all are welcome to join in on this lively
This session will help identify needs and requirements that are key to building successful agritourism ventures in Kentucky. It will explore what to consider when opening a new agritourism operation including business planning, marketing, location, services, products, seasonality, signage, regulations, and other available resources.
Growing and Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Join Edith Lovett of Pulaski County Extension for an introductory level class on fresh herbs. Learn different ways to use herbs to add zest and flavor to your meals, as well as simple ways to start your own herb seeds at home. Sample a homemade herbal salad dressing. Participants will also get a free packet of herb seed!
Why Organic Matters
Join Brooke Gentile, from the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK), to hear about the trends in organic agriculture and the opportunities for organics in Kentucky. In the past two years the number of certified organic farms has nearly doubled in Kentucky and OAK’s programs are on the forefront of supporting farmers as they transition to organic production, providing technical assistance and connecting growers to viable markets. From high impact programs and statistics to certification standards and detailed information on health and environmental benefits, you’ll get the quick and deep download on “why organic matters” for you as a consumer, for Kentucky farmers and farm land, and for our shared environment and natural resources.
Powerhouse Workshop: Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Eastern Kentuckians want clean and affordable energy and good local jobs. Join your friends and neighbors at the our “PowerHouse Workshop” to learn strategies and skills you can use to help lower your energy bills and strengthen our local community. This 90-minute workshop with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth offers do-it-yourself strategies for weatherizing homes and trailers, plus ways to benefit from solar energy. We’ll also connect our energy efficiency work to grassroots power, by highlighting opportunities to help each other out and get better results from our elected officials and utilities. This is the place to get your questions answered about energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to connect with other people who want to strengthen our homes and communities. Participants will receive a free energy efficiency kit ($25 value).
From Flax to Fiber
Are you a fiber enthusiast and always wondered where linen comes from? Join Candice Mullins for a workshop where we talk linen from seed to cloth and the basics of home production of flax. Participants will be able to see a dried bundle of flax, flax tools and what the plant looks like as it is processed. Candace Mullins is a Kentucky native and has held a deep connection to fiber since she was a young girl. Currently working in the field of food systems in Appalachia as the Associate Director at Grow Appalachia, she began a journey to connect her fiber and food work and landed with flax more than 3 years ago. Her own personal fiber walk has led her to discover a heritage of spider magic through ancestral fiber traditions in weaving, spinning and the home production of flax and cotton. She is excited about the continued lessons of flax and natural fibers and a connection to what and who has come before.
Kentucky Hemp and CBD
John Garey of Nature’s Rhythm Hemp Products LLC will share some general information on Hemp and CBD Processing, followed by a Q&A.
Presentation to include information about Hemp and its applications; processing Hemp for Cannabidiol (CBD); and understanding CBD product labeling and uses. Open discussion, questions welcome!
Raising Pastured Livestock
Joe Weber of Farmer Joe’s will share how his systems of raising pastured livestock have evolved since he took over management of the farm in 2013. He will give an overview of the processes he uses to raise several types of livestock, including egg layers, broilers, ducks, turkeys, sheep, pigs, and cattle. Perfect for beginning farmers or those looking to transition to a grass-fed system from traditional farming.
Simple Farmhouse Beer Brewing
Jereme Zimmerman discusses the simplicity of brewing beer using a basic beer-brewing kit that can be purchased from any homebrew shop, or even with equipment and ingredients you may very well already have in your kitchen. Before the modern homebrewing explosion, “farmhouse brewing” was the norm in nearly every household. Zimmerman provides tips on how to easily and affordably take up this addictive hobby, and he presents information for both beginning and intermediate brewers on using herbal and wild-foraged ingredients that were once commonplace in brewing.
Jereme Zimmerman is a writer and traditional brewing revivalist who lives in Berea, Kentucky. He has been published in various magazines and websites, and travels globally to speak on topics such as fermentation, natural and holistic homebrewing, modern homesteading, and sustainable living. He is an avid fermenter and researches extensively into traditional fermentation practices in order to revive lost food arts and to educate people on how to preserve food using traditional, natural, and healing ingredients and techniques. His first book, Make Mead Like a Viking, was published in 2015, and was translated into German as Met Brauen wie ein Wikinger in 2016. His second book, Brew Beer Like a Yeti was published in September 2018.