Retreats & Workshops


Come learn at the farm!

Discover the Sassafras Farm experience.
All retreats and 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. See 2016 workshop schedule and information below, and email Suzanne at CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up!

See also: Private Groups, Birthday Parties, and Family Reunions, Corporate Retreats and Company Picnics, School and Camp Groups, and Tastings and Tours.

Retreats at the Farm2016 retreats currently OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

Spaces are limited! Sign up to hold yours!


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 four popular workshops all in one day. Milk the cow and make mozzarella cheese, grind grain and bake bread, create container candles, and whip up a batch of hot process soap. Yes, you’ll really do all of that in one day–and take it all home along with some great memories! Take-homes include your candle, soap, and bread. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. One-day workshop. $100.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016


Goat Cheese, Soap, Fudge & Ice Cream Workshops

clovermilkstandFrom 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, and make your own goat’s milk fudge and ice cream as well as how to make homemade waffle cones, 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 fudge. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are included. One-day workshop. $100.
Saturday, November 5, 2016


Soap Making Workshops

IMG_8307Learn to make cold process goat’s milk soap, hot process beer soap, liquid soap, and a build-your-own soap in which you calculate the recipe! In this full day, you will create your own soaps from scratch using natural ingredients and a variety of methods as you learn the basic chemistry of soap, how to use additives and colorants, what is superfatting, and how to develop safe personalized recipes using a soap calculator. We’ll also make homemade lotion as well as explore ideas and resources for packaging, gifting, and even selling your creations. Take-homes include some of everything! 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is included. One day workshop. $85.
Saturday, November 19, 2016


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 retreat 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 managing a family dairy, hands on. Leave with hard cheese demystified and the skills to make your own at home. 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. One-day workshop. Lunch is included. $60.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

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. Retreat days include meals 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.
Accommodations are not included. See the Suggested Accommodations page.

Kids are welcome. Sassafras Farm retreats 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 retreat.

Cost: Cost includes ALL instruction, supplies, meals and snacks, and take-homes. Prices vary per workshop, please see detailed descriptions for specifics per workshop. A 50 percent downpayment will be required to reserve your place. The remaining balance will be due 30 days before your retreat. If you sign up, please plan to attend. Retreat reservations are nonrefundable. If you can’t attend for some reason, your reservation payment may be applied to another retreat of your choice where there are openings available. (Retreats also make great gifts to friends and family!) And yes, many men attend workshops here!

Sign up! Email Suzanne at CITRevents@yahoo.com with the full name for each attendee to sign up. (You may sign up for a friend if you are coming together.) Payment information will be sent at that time.

Private groups, corporate retreats, and school groups: See information here for Private Groups, Birthday Parties, and Family Reunions or here for Corporate Retreats and Company Picnics or here for School and Camp Groups.

Looking forward to seeing you at the farm!

Suzanne McMinn

Email CITRevents@yahoo.com to sign up!

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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