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Archive for January 2017

The Winter It Was Weird

Jan
16


These are some of the newer Blue Swedish ducklings (all grown up!) that I got a few months ago, along with the Black Swedish and Cayugas. This picture is from last week when we had around 3 inches of snow followed by a few days of single digit and teens temperatures. Then it was nearly 70 degrees. Then it was 40. And now it’s back to 50s and 60s, supposedly for the rest of the month. What is that about??? I’m not complaining, but this is not looking like the bad winter we were supposed to be in for. Of course, we haven’t had February yet, so maybe Winter is taunting us… The grass and the trees aren’t going to know what to do!

Meanwhile, finally recovering after the mad rush of Christmas on Etsy, and finding my way into a routine. My best shipping days (for baked goods and 1-3 day priority mail) are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, which gives me more “free” (ha) time in the second half of the week to work on other projects and get back into writing. (Just a head’s up to those of you checking in that I’ll be around more here the second half of weeks than the first.) This is a weird Monday–speaking of weird–because it’s a Monday holiday. No shipping today.

A couple notes to respond to questions: One, Precious is fine! And Pepper is a girl, FYI. I put a dress on her this week to help her feel more girly after so many people thought she was a boy! Also, update on the kids for those of you who asked–Weston is at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, over halfway through his stint in the Army. Ross is halfway through his first year in Morgantown at WVU, and Morgan is still at WVU. They’re all doing really well, and it was nice to have them all here at Thanksgiving, though Weston couldn’t come back for Christmas since he only had Thanksgiving leave.

Cows are bred, I think/hope, and new little layer hens are growing and in the big chicken house with the big chickens. The ducks are quacking in the non-stop puddles from all this rain, and the goats are mostly staying behind their fences. And I’m BAKING! A LOT!

How is your winter weather? Weird or as expected? I can’t figure out this winter.

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2017 Workshops at the Farm

Jan
9

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Come learn at the farm!

Discover the Sassafras Farm experience.
All workshops take place at Sassafras Farm– home of Chickens in the Road–located in the beautiful Appalachian foothills of Roane County, West Virginia, approximately 30 minutes north of Charleston, WV. Workshops start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Price includes lunch, all supplies and instruction, and take-homes: $75 per person.




See 2017 workshop schedule and information below, choose your workshop and date, and sign up for your adventure! Directions and other information will be emailed to attendees closer to the time of the workshop. If you have questions or need other information, feel free to email me! Workshops also make great gifts!

TO SIGN UP: Email me at CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail OR sign up online using a credit or debit card or Paypal on Etsy! To register via Etsy, go here: Sign up on Etsy.

2017 workshops currently OPEN FOR REGISTRATION–

Taste of Sassafras Farm Workshops

IMG_2139All the fun that can be packed into one day! It is a true “taste of Sassafras Farm” touring you through my most popular workshops all in one day. Milk the cow, hands-on, and learn about managing a home dairy, make mozzarella cheese, grind grain and bake rustic-style bread, and whip up a batch of hot process soap. Yes, you’ll really do all of that in one day–and take it home along with some great memories! Take-homes include your soap and bread. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. Price: $75.
Dates:
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Goat Cheese, Soap, & Cupcakes Workshops

IMG_8389From the barn to the kitchen, this full-day workshop has it all. Learn the basics of selecting and raising dairy goats, along with management, housing, feeding, and milking. Practice hands-on milking a goat then learn how to make your own goat cheese. You’ll also make a batch of goat’s milk soap as you learn the hot process method of soap making, then we’ll bake cupcakes, practice using decorating tips for beautiful creations, and make cupcakes in jars, ending your day with your own sweet treat! This day also includes plenty of chances to pet the goats, feed treats, and play with the babies! Take-homes include your own goat’s milk soap and cupcakes. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch is included. One-day workshop. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Soap Making Workshops

varietypackLearn to make both cold process and hot process bar soap as well as the liquid soap process used for shampoo, body wash, hand and dish soap! In this full day, you will create your own soaps from scratch using natural ingredients and a variety of bases including milk, water, tea, and beer as you learn the chemistry of soap, how to use additives, what is superfatting, and how to develop safe personalized recipes using a soap calculator. We’ll also explore ideas and resources for packaging, gifting, and even selling your creations. Take-homes include some of everything! 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch is included. One day workshop. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Saturday, November 4, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Hard Cheese Made Easy Workshops

IMG_5757Explore the basic how and why of milk, cultures, rennet, cheese presses (homemade and spring-weighted), as well as resources and education about the basic supplies and equipment to set up a home cheese cave. You will practice hands-on making two hard cheeses–a washed curd cheese and a cheddar–from pot to press along with drying and waxing. Whether you’re thinking of getting your own cow or goat, or just want to experience the whole process from barn to kitchen, this workshop is for you. Every attendee will get hands-on practice milking a cow or goat both by hand and by machine and learn to handle fresh milk from filtering to skimming cream. Learn all about handling dairy livestock, breeding, housing, feeding, and managing babies along with maintaining a family dairy, hands on. Leave with hard cheese demystified and the skills to make your own at home. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Home Artisan Soft Cheese Workshops

DSC_3033Master simple but artisan soft cheeses at home! You will practice hands-on making a number of soft and semi-soft cheeses including sour cream, yogurt, ricotta, feta, along with herbed and aged soft cheeses. Whether you’re thinking of getting your own cow or goat, or just want to experience the whole process from barn to kitchen, this workshop is for you. Every attendee will get hands-on practice milking a cow or goat both by hand and by machine and learn to handle fresh milk from filtering to skimming cream. Explore the basic how and why of milk, cultures, rennet, as well as resources and education about the basic supplies and equipment to make cheese at home. Learn all about handling dairy livestock, breeding, housing, feeding, and managing babies along with maintaining a family dairy, hands on. Leave with soft cheeses demystified and the skills to make your own at home. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Saturday, September 30, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Preserving Workshops

IMG_6383Learn how to preserve using boiling water bath and steam canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, steam juicing, and more! Learn the principles of safe home canning, proper processing and storing methods, how to use basic canning equipment along with the ‘magic’ of specialty equipment. In boiling water bath and steam canning, learn what can be safely preserved by this method. Pressure canning will take you to the almost endless possibilities in the world of preserving – meats, soups, stews and more! Learn to preserve low acid foods safely and economically, including meals in jars that are the best ‘fast food’ ever! Move beyond the fear of using a pressure canner and into the confidence of DIY. We’ll also explore how to use a dehydrator and a steam juicer as we prep food, prepare recipes, process, and taste! Take-homes include some of everything you make. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Candlemaking Workshops

IMG_5349Love those primitive country-style artisan cake candles? Make your own using a few specialty wax whipping and frosting techniques! Learn how to make a basic cake candle as well as how to apply the techniques to create cinnamon bun candles, pie candles, loaf candles, and more. We’ll also make container candles and rustic-style taper candles. Learn all about different waxes and wicks and creative candle presentations as well as the basics of safe candlemaking. This is a hands-on workshop and you will take home your creations. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

*****

Chicken Processing Workshops

IMG_5327regFrom chick to plate, this full-day workshop has it all. Learn the basics of selecting and brooding chicks, and managing, growing, and housing chickens, along with hands-on poultry processing. Whether you have a small farm or just chickens in your backyard, you’ll gain the experience to provide your own healthy, natural poultry. Included will be slaughtering, scalding, plucking, gutting/cleaning, as well as vacuum packing, pressure canning chicken, and even making chicken jerky. Every attendee will leave with their own fully processed bird. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $75.
Dates:
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours! Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail, or go here to register online via Etsy.

The Sassafras Farm Experience

Learn! Find old-time skills and fresh, new methods with in-person mentorship, in-depth and hands-on, at a real working family farm. Take home fun and functional know-how for self-sufficient living and old-fashioned crafting–and take home what you make, too. Workshop days include lunch from a health department-approved kitchen plus all your instruction, supplies, and take-homes along with an opportunity to milk the cows or goats, visit the chickens, give treats to the animals, and rock on the porch while you watch the calves frolic. All you need to bring is an apron (optional), muck boots (recommended for forays to the barn), and your enthusiasm to learn! Every workshop is HANDS-ON with teacher and milk maid Suzanne McMinn, writer and creator of Chickens in the Road.
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Accommodations are not included. See the Suggested Accommodations page.

Kids are welcome. Sassafras Farm workshops are family-friendly events. School-age children and teens may sign up to attend accompanied by a parent/guardian. (Both children/teens and parents must be paid attendees. Please be a good judge of your child’s maturity, behavior, and interest in the subject matter.)

Location: All workshops take place in the Studio at Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV, about 30 minutes north of Charleston, WV near I-79. Directions to the farm and other information will be provided to attendees in advance of the workshop.

Cost: Cost includes ALL instruction, supplies, lunch and snacks, and take-homes. The price per person per workshop is $75 and must be paid in full in advance, at the time of reservation. If you sign up, please plan to attend. Workshop reservations are nonrefundable. If you can’t attend for some reason, your reservation payment can be applied to another workshop of your choice where there are openings available. (Workshops also make great gifts to friends and family!) And yes, many men attend workshops here!

Sign up! Email me at CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up by mail OR sign up online using a credit or debit card or Paypal on Etsy! To register via Etsy, go here: Sign up on Etsy.

Looking forward to seeing you at the farm!

Suzanne McMinn

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See the “Traveling WV” video of Sassafras Farm at WCHS-TV here!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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