Back to Basics workshop offered in April |

Back to Basics workshop offered in April

LONGMONT, Colo. — Anyone interested in raising chickens, learning beekeeping, growing wine grapes, raising goats or making cheese has the opportunity to learn at a “Back to the Basics” workshop April 1 in Longmont, Colo.

The daylong event offers a series of workshops by local experts in these fields, as well as informative booths that will appeal to those who are looking for more simplicity and a more direct role in providing themselves healthy foods.

The courses are:

–Meet the editor of Backyard Poultry magazine and discuss how to care for your own flock of poultry

–Learn to craft artisan cheese from fresh milk

–See what it takes to raise a herd of dairy goats and learn about the different breeds available

–Explore what it would take to start a cottage food business and the basics of home food preservation

–Learn about the best grapes and how to grow them for winemaking on the Front Range

–Discover the wonders of beekeeping and harvesting your own honey


• Kate Johnson, owner and “Cheese Coach” at The Art of Cheese, an artisan Home-Cheesemaking School in Longmont. She and her family raise Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf and Oberhasli dairy goats at Briar Gate Farm. She has won many champion and blue ribbons for her cheeses at the Boulder County Fair and taught cheesemaking classes for several years through Colorado State Extension Services, the city of Longmont, Front Range Community College, Boulder Valley Lifelong Learning, at local wineries and breweries before opening The Art of Cheese in 2014. She currently teaches most of her classes in the Cheese Education Center located within the Haystack Mountain Cheese Creamery in Longmont. Students can learn to make a wide variety of cheeses from goat, cow and sheep milk that can be sourced from local farms, dairies and grocery stores. Johnson also co-leads The Goats & Galore 4-H Club and is the utility goat superintendent for the Boulder County Fair.

• John Martin operates Stonebridge Farm Winery as part of Stonebridge Farm CSA just east of Lyons, Colo. In the micro-vineyard at Stonebridge 18 hybrid varieties are being trialed for suitability to this region. Martin teaches small-scale viticulture, pruning, and winemaking classes and consults on established vines.

• Pam Freeman is the editor of Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines. She is the author of Backyard Chickens: Beyond the Basics. Freeman’s chicken-keeping started after she received four Silver Laced Wyandotte chicks from the Easter Bunny. Her flock quickly grew and she launched She has hand-raised chicks, nursed chicks and chickens back to health, and experienced the entire lifecycle many times over. Freeman is also a resident “Ask the Expert” columnist for Backyard Poultry magazine and continues to write regular posts and articles about chicken keeping and homesteading.

• Anne Zander is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for Colorado State University Extension of Boulder County in Longmont. Zander is one of several agents who provide education and research from the CSU campus to residents along the Front Range. Zander has been conducting classes and trainings in food safety, food preservation, nutrition and health. Since the Colorado Cottage Food Act passed she and her team members are teaching monthly CSU Extension Cottage Food Safety Trainings that provide a three-year food safety certificate.

• Josh Vaisman is an avid beekeeper and instructor in northern Colorado. An active member of the Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association, Vaisman has been involved in the education of new beekeepers. Like most people who study apiculture, he started into beekeeping as a hobby, and offers valuable experience to those wanting to start beekeeping about the learning curve involved, what to do, and what not to do when getting started. Vaisman is a hospital administrator and partner at Avenues Pet Clinic in Cheyenne, Wyo. He lives in Firestone.

• The workshop, offering six different courses, will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Boulder Fairgrounds in Longmont. Seating is limited. For ticket information, go to:

The workshop will be conducted by Countryside Network, publisher of the magazines Backyard Poultry, Countryside, Dairy Goat Journal and sheep!. It has offices in Windsor, Colo., and Medford, Wisc.

For questions email or call (970) 392-4436.

Other major sponsors are “The Art of Cheese” and “Visit Longmont.” ❖


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