Livestock, gardening and more on the agenda for upcoming homesteading conference
By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
March 18, 2016
- Conference to focus on self-sufficiency and necessary skills
- 27 grow beds will be on display
- Admission is free; $7 fundraiser dinner Friday night
RISON, Ark. — Raised bed gardening, cane berries, herbs, needlecraft, small livestock and other topics are scheduled for educational sessions at the South Arkansas Homesteading Conference in Rison.
The conference is scheduled for April 8-9 at the Pioneer Village, 200 Yaney St. in Rison.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the Cleveland County Herald are teaming up for the third year in a row to present this conference dedicated to teaching skills needed for a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, April 8, and admission is free. The Rison Community Garden, located at the Pioneer Village, will have an open house to allow visitors to see some growing trials that are underway. The garden is made up of 27 beds, some of which are dedicated solely to growing trials.
In addition, the garden also features a do-it-yourself 18-by-30 foot “hoop house” that allows backyard and small farm gardeners to extend their growing season. Seven of the 27 beds are located inside the hoop house.
“Our emphasis is always on finding affordable ways to help people produce more of their own food, whether its in their backyard in the suburbs or out in the country,” said conference organizer Britt Talent of Rison.
Les Walz, staff chair for the Cleveland County Extension Office, oversees the growing trials in the Rison community. He will be on site April 8 to answer questions. Walz is currently conducting growing trials to see how various crops react to an extended growing season using the unheated hoop house.
Friday evening, the Friends of Pioneer Village will be hosting a “Beans & Greens” fundraiser supper beginning at 5 p.m. to help support restoration efforts of the historic buildings that make up the Village. The cost of the meal is $7.
Friday’s agenda also includes a vendor expo, demonstrations and two educational sessions: “Chicken Tractor Design Concepts” and “Making a Wild Elderberry Folk Remedy.”
Gates will open at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9, with educational sessions beginning at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth ages 7-17; and free for children age 6 and under.
Session topics include developing healthy garden soil, herbs, natural beekeeping, needlecraft, tomato grafting, raised beds, homesteading cow, growing cane berries, small ruminants (goats/sheep), homestead enterprises (revenue opportunities), and preserving heirloom recipes.
In addition, there will also be youth activities throughout the day and ongoing demonstrations and displays on blacksmithing, Dutch oven cooking, poultry, needlecraft, sheep and more.
For more information, visit the Arkansas Homesteading Conference on Facebook or http://www.arkansashomesteader.com/. Conference organizer, Britt Talent, can be reached at (870) 325-6412 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service