Homesteading Classes

It wasn’t long after we moved to Antiquity Oaks more than 20 years ago that people started asking us to teach them things — how to make soap or cheese, how to raise chickens, and so on. The first few years we spent quite a bit of time teaching and helping people one-on-one for no cost, but as we became busier, and as the requests became more numerous, we realized it would be more efficient to start teaching classes on the subjects most often requested. The homesteading classes scheduled below are group classes, but we do offer private classes on request. Every class listed is the result of someone asking us to teach them, so if you’re interested in learning something not listed, don’t hesitate to ask!

You can also check out Deborah’s classes at the Thrifty Homesteader Academy, which she founded in 2016. You can take online video courses about raising goats, goat birthing, making cheese, making soap, and more!

Online classes will be back on the farm in 2024

Schedule coming soon! If you want to receive an email when the schedule is available, click here.

Class Descriptions and Registration

Reservations are required for all classes because they often fill up early. The fee is refundable up to two weeks prior to the class.

Intro to Raising Chickens for Fun and Profit

Buff Orpington pullets in a chicken tractor

We will be walking around the homestead, so you can see chickens in their habitat up close and personal. You’ll get to see all of our different poultry housing options from brooders to an old-fashioned stationary coop, three different chicken tractors, and our hen-mobile. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of each housing option, so you can figure out which one will work best for you.  You will even be able to move the different tractors so you can see how easy or difficult it is for you to do. You’ll also learn how to handle chickens and other poultry. The focus will be on wellness, because when chickens are raised in a natural environment with a healthy diet, they don’t get sick. We’ve had chickens — usually about 50 all the time — since 2002, and I can count on one hand the number whose lives did not end as someone’s dinner (either ours or a coyote’s).

Fee: $47 per person.

Intro to Raising Goats

homesteading classes
Hoof trimming

Learn the basics of keeping goats, whether as pets, for milk, or for meat. Most of this class will be held in the barn and pasture, as we discuss what goats need for housing, fencing, and nutrition. Requirements for copper and selenium, and symptoms of deficiency will be included. We’ll also talk about basic health care, including parasites, FAMACHA, deworming, and dewormer resistance. You’ll see first-hand how to administer medicine to goats and how to trim their hooves. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long, well-worn pants or jeans, and dress warmly if the forecast calls for cold weather because we will be outside a lot. Be forewarned that our goats are very friendly and may jump on you like a dog, and their feet are not always clean. This class is free for one person per family who is purchasing or has purchased a goat from Antiquity Oaks.

Fee: $47 per person

Cheesemaking Basics

homesteading classes
Queso blanco cheese draining

We’ll talk about the difference between cow, goat, and sheep milk, as well as the history of dairy in this country. Deborah and Mike will demonstrate how to make mozzarella and queso blanco, and we’ll talk about how to make a variety of other fermented dairy products, such as chevre, yogurt, and buttermilk. You will also learn what equipment is needed to make soft and hard cheese. A handout with recipes, a list of books, and sources for purchasing equipment will be provided.

Fee: $47 per person. Class is limited to eight people.

Soapmaking 101

soap making
Pouring soap into mold

You’ll learn the history of soapmaking, how modern soapmaking is different, and how to create your own soap recipes. Watch every step of cold-process soapmaking from start to finish using goat milk. Learn to make your own soap recipes using whatever oils you prefer. Each participant will receive handouts, including a list of references for future use, and a bar of soap in your choice of scent (or unscented).

Fee: $47 per person. Class is limited to eight people.

Homesteading Consultations (previously Homesteading 101)

So, you think you’d like to live in the country, grow your own vegetables, milk goats or cows, and raise chickens? We’ll talk about the decisions that you personally need to make, but generally we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a homesteading lifestyle. We can talk about the practicalities of choosing land, building a house, choosing livestock to fit your lifestyle, and learning new skills, such as gardening and animal husbandry. We’ll walk around the farm as we discuss the basic care of different animals that live on Antiquity Oaks and how each one fits into a sustainable homestead.
Scheduled throughout the year at a mutually agreeable time; 2-3 hours.
Fee: $120 per person or couple. This is a private consultation and is scheduled at a time that works for you.