Well, we were over-the-top busy this month (no wonder I didn't have time to blog lately!) We hosted and led CHEC's first FAMILY HOMESTEAD DAY last Saturday May 18 here on BLESSED CREEK FARM. Now that I caught up on my sleep this week, here's the news!
We had many of our fall HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP alumni request a venue for their younger children to attend. You have to be 13 y.o. to attend the BOOTCAMP with your parent(s). These workshop 'centers' were a 'light' version, with simpler skils taught, and each center only 45 minutes long. Families came for a half-day session.
Families registered with Christian Home Educators of Colorado (www.chec.org). CHEC also helped publicize the event for us, and did the recordkeeping.
Over the last 3 months (in-between snow storms) we planted trees and gardens; fixed up buildings and corrals; and organized for a couple dozen workshops, including several that had 40 sets of supplies prepped.
40 families registered, which meant about 160 people here - half in the morning and half in the afternoon; some overlapped during picnic lunch (photo above). It was great! Like labor, the painful memory soon fades, and the birth of the baby is worth it all
First I have to say that I have the greatest family in the world, who work so hard, and are just wonderfully hospitable to our guests. Sharing their knowledge, making visitors feel welcome; it was true Christian outreach at its best.
Cary and Jesse taught the Horsemanship ceter first. Cary talked about grooming and handling horses for work and pleasure. Kids got to sit on one of our faithful horses and have their photo taken.
In the photo at right, during the Woodworking center, Cary and Jesse helped kids and their parents make bird feeders out of old fenceposts. They cut them to 10" length, drilled 1-1/2" dia x 1/2" deep holes, nailed in perches, added a screw eye at the top, then filled the holes w/ suet - our good pork lard rendered and mixed with grains including millet and sunflower seeds.
Zane taught about Bees and Pollinators; in the photo at left he is teaching about how a hive is made and used. At the table during the center, the participants sampled honey on bread. Yummy!
In his center on Furs and Leather, the kids learned about different hides, tanning, and made leather bolo-style necklaces.
Eddie led Take a Hike, where kids and parents could find treasure of insects, flowers, and rocks, while enjoying the scenic beauty of our pastures and pond. In the photo at right, they are catching insects on their walk to the pond.
Destiny led the Family Milk Cow and Products center - she is a superb milk maiden, and everyone enjoyed the soft cheese samples - that Labna is to die for! (I'll post the recipe soon!) In the photo at right, she is encouraging a young lady to use ACV (apple cider vinegar) mixed with water to clean off the cow's udder prior to milking.
I, Shari taught the Sock Dollmaking workshop, and the Small Livestock (Poultry and Rabbits) workshops. (Sorry, no photo, put I'll blog about it another time).
Families came early to participate in the morning livestock feeding, or stayed late to help with the evening feeding. Cary ad Eddie showed about cattle and horses. Zane and Jesse did swine and sheep. Destiny and Madison did rabbits and poultry. Our baby pigs were the cutest of all the farm critters, and a huge hit with the crowd! Here they are in the photo at left.
Second, we have some amazing friends who gladly gave up their Saturday to come and share their knowledge of homesteading skills.
Joanne - thanks for sharing your horitculture knowledge in the Home-grown Salads workshop! In the photo at right, Joanne (in the hat) is talking about our Apartment Balcony Garden demonstration area with veggies growing in containers, and a 'dead' refrigerator that Zane made into a cold frame for tomatoes and herbs.
Lisa and Shiloh - everyone loved your sheepshearing and fiber skills workshop! Don't know how you had the energy after running a foot race earlier in the morning!
Val, you are always so fun with the kids - they loved your Bucket of Dirt workshop. I know you loved digging for all those earthworms!
Tammy, you are so sweet and smart - thanks for teaching about Insects, Flowers, and Herbs! Your lovely bouquets are still gracing my tables.
Mickayla and Karen - your tortilla workshop was a huge hit! Yummy! And my wonderful Megan came all the way home from college(Johnson & Wales, North Miami, FL) to help teach about grains and the grain mill!
In the photo at left, the girls are showing kids how to roll out tortillas, and grind the grain.
Such nice families attending made the whole day memorable. It is worth all the work and stress to see the cherubic faces of children raised in a Christian homeschool lifestyle by their loving parents, who sacrifice a second income and their personal time in order to teach their children as God teaches. We were also pleased to host many grandparents who tagged along with the younger generations for the long day. BTW, the good Lord graced us with perfect weather: a gentle breeze, partly cloudy skies, and 70s! Praise Him!
Whew! Now, on to the fall HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP (Sept 20, 21) preparation, which will take all summer. Of course, we'll manage to squeeze in 4-H projects for the county fair, and some fun at the pool along the way!