2016 Farm Events at Red Gate Farm - Classes and Clinics

Do you want to see a working, sustainable farm in action? Interested in using livestock to clear your forests, or raising free-range chickens? Do you need ideas for edible landscaping or gardening? Have you wondered how draft horses are used in a farm setting today? Perhaps you'd like to learn more about intensive management rotational grazing, or how to keep animals without turning your yard into a dusty, smelly, manure-filled lot?

Red Gate Farm, which is located in central IL, Petersburg, has lots of exciting opportunities available this year! Because all calsses and clinics have limited registration slots in order to maintain the quality learning and experience for each attendee, Red Gate Farm requires the registration fee up front in order to reserve your slot.

You can find more detailed information on their website:

http://www.redgatefarmllc.com/tours__events

The following events are scheduled for the 2016 season

Meat Rabbit Raising Class ......................................................................$20/person

If you've ever considered raising meat rabbits, this is the class for you! By the time you leave, you will have the basic knowledge you need to set up goals and plans for raising meat rabbits, whether to sell as a business or to provide meat for your dinner table. Topics include:

  • Meat rabbit breeds

  • Selecting breeders for your starter herd

  • Breeding rabbits

  • Kindling rabbits

  • Culling and selecting rabbits for replacement breeders and meat

  • Cage Building

  • Housing options

  • Colony raising

  • Disease Management

  • Handling weather extremes

  • MORE!

This class is held partly outdoors in our "Rabbitat", so you will see and handle real rabbits and not just photos. You will get to observe the breeding process, try different techniques for holding rabbits, and more. You will leave this class ready to start your own rabbitry, and take a step toward self-sufficiency. Class size is limited.

Dates: March 18 (4-6 pm), June 2 (5-7 pm), August (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses classes.

Chicken Raising Class ........................................................................... $20/person

If you've ever considered raising backyard laying hens, meat birds, or just a few fun pet chickens, this is the class for you. Even if you're already raising chickens, you will find all sorts of useful information and insights in this class. Topics to be covered include:

  • Different methods, pros and cons, for raising chicks

  • Different breeds of chickens

  • Feed options

  • Pest and predator control

  • Housing options

  • Differentiation between birds from different years

  • Identifying active layers

  • Molt

  • Pests and Disease

  • Egg Care

  • Mixing Poultry species

  • MORE!

After the class session, we'll take you on a first-hand tour of our chicken facilities, including our chick brooder, portable meat bird tractors, and layer coop. We will discuss the reasons and risks involved with the way we raise our chickens, and the many services and products that derive from home-raised chickens. Class size is limited.

Dates: April 1 (4-6 pm), April 22 (5-7 pm), and May 27 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses classes.

Raising Pork Naturally ............................................................................ $20/person

This class is a great opportunity to really learn the details about raising pork in an unconventional manner! When most folks think of raising hogs, they often think of the overwhelming stink, flies, disease, pollution and filth that accompanies it. This class proves that there is a better way, where raising hogs can actually be a very fun and enjoyable experience! Topic of this class include:

  • Breeds and types of hogs

  • Sources for pigs

  • Choosing a location to raise your hogs .... or not!

  • Housing options

  • Fencing options

  • Management methods

  • Reduce or eliminate flies and stink!

  • Feeding options

  • Using hogs for land improvement

  • Knowing when to process

  • MORE!

After the classroom session, you will get to tour the farm and see first-hand how we raise our hogs. You will see how we have used hogs to convert portions of our woodlands into other uses. Note that this class does NOT cover the topics of breeding and farrowing. Its focus is limited to raising feeder hogs and pork production. Class size is limited.

Dates: June 28 (5-8 pm), July 28 (5-7 pm), August 14 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses classes.

Rotational Grazing Class ....................................................................... $20

This class dives into the nitty gritty details of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG). Whether you are considering switching your livestock over from traditional pasture grazing to MIRG, just getting started with grazing livestock, needing to find a way to improve your current pastures, or just want to explore the concept of MIRG, this is the class for you! This class involves a walking and driving tour of our grazing pastures. You will see before and after photos of land healing using grazing animals, and observe the animals at works. Discussions will include:

  • Benefits of MIRG for livestock, soils and plants

  • Seeing the unseen

  • Listening to your forage

  • Life below the surface

  • Transiting stock to MIRG

  • Animals per acre

  • Using portable fencing

  • Developing a grazier's eye

  • Seed

  • Encouraging diversity in flora and fauna

  • Stacking to get the most from your land

  • Forming your plan

  • MORE!

This is unique opportunity to really see pasture land and grazing from a new perspective. After this class, you will leave much more prepared to go home and start designing your own MIRG program!

Dates: May 21 (9am - 11pm), June 21 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses classes.

Backyard Dairy Goat Clinic .................................................................... $30/person

Have you considered adding (or maybe already did add!) a few goats to your homestead, but aren't sure where to start? Are you interested in drinking raw goat milk, or supplying your family with goat meat? Do you have thick brush or the dreaded Illinois honeysuckle you'd like cleared, but don't have a lot of time? If you answered "yes" to any of these, this class is for you! Topics include:

  • Breeds of goats and their practicality on the small homestead

  • Miniature, Standard, and large breeds

  • Selecting your goats

  • Breeding and kidding

  • Culling to meet your goals

  • Horns...or not

  • Hoof trimming

  • Using goats for brush clearing

  • Kid goats and their requirements

  • Milking dairy goats

  • Management to prevent "off" or "goaty" flavors in your milk

  • Using dairy goats for meat

  • MORE!

This educational class involves hands-on opportunity to play with kids, milk dairy goats, test your hoof trimming skills, and witness the practicality of goats on the homestead first-hand! You will leave this class well-prepared to add goats to your homestead or farm. The class concludes with an opportunity to sample different items made from goat milk. Class size is very limited.

Dates: April 15 (5-7 pm), May 13 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses clinics

Bread Baking Clinic ............................................................................... $30/person

Most folks would agree there is nothing as heartwarming as a warm slice of fresh, homemade bread! Have you ever wanted to learn to bake bread from scratch? This clinic is your chance. We will make several types of breads and rolls, using a variety of tools (including your hands!). Discussions will include:

  • Types of common grains

  • Grinding grains into flour

  • Types and purpose of flour

  • Whole grain vs. processed flours

  • What's so great about gluten?

  • Using fresh dough

  • Storing and again dough

  • Using the same dough for different breads

  • Using loaf pans and baking tools

  • Converting bread into other useful kitchen foods

  • Storing homemade bread

  • Tips for increasing health benefits

This clinic is designed for beginner to intermediate bakers. It is very hands-on, so you will leave mentally prepared to go home and start baking! Between this and the Dairy and Cheese Clinic, you can serve up some real treats for your family and guests! The best part is after the clinic, when you get to sit down and taste different bread creations. You won't even have to feel too guilty, since homemade is almost always healthier than store-bought!

Dates: March 5 (9am - 12pm), May 28 (9am - 12pm), July 9 (9am - 12pm)

Click HERE to register for this clinic

Dairy and Cheese Clinic ... ................................................................... $30/person

Who can refuse a pad of fresh, homemade butter?! Maybe you'd like to find that perfect soft-cheese topping for your crackers. What if you could stop paying the high prices for yogurt and just make your own?! You can learn all this and more at the Dairy and Cheese Clinic. We will work with both store bought and farm-fresh, raw milk to create a variety of delicious treats, using standard kitchen tools that you likely already have at home. Clinic topic include:

  • A brief discussion on proper, hygienic management of dairy animals

  • Safe handling of milk and dairy products

  • Store bought milk/cream vs. raw milk/cream

  • Separating cream to make butter and other cream products

  • Methods of culturing cream for flavor

  • Best ways to store butter for best flavor

  • How to make butter, yogurt, and soft cheese start to finish

  • Tips to increase health benefits of dairy items

You will be directly involved in making the items, so you will be mentally prepared to go home and try it on your own. This class concludes with an opportunity to sample your creations of the day! This is a unique clinic you don't want to miss! Between this and the Bread Baking Clinic, you can serve up some real treats for your family and guests! Class size is very limited.

Dates: April 23 (9am - 12pm), May 14 (9am - 12pm), July 16 (9am - 12pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses clinics

Chicken Processing Clinic ..................................................................... $35/person

We will be processing several Cornish-cross meat birds, and you will have an opportunity to be directly involved in the experience. Clinic includes discussions and demonstrations for:

  • Minimal-stress, humane killing using cones

  • Proper scalding technique

  • Hand-plucking and using a mechanical plucker

  • Proper eviscerating

  • Keeping the work area clean and safe

  • Options for packaging

  • Legal issues related to home processing

  • MORE!

Best of all, you will select and harvest a chicken. At the end of the class, you get to go home with the chicken YOU harvested, so you can show off your handywork by serving it at your next meal time! Class size is very limited.

NOTE: This has proven to be our most popular clinic. Don't delay registering if you've been hoping to attend this clinic! Also be sure to allow yourself extra time, as these clinic occasionally run a bit longer than stated.

Dates: May 9 (5-7pm), June 13 (5-7pm), July 25 (5-7pm), October 2 (5-7pm), November 7 (5-7pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses clinics

Rabbit Processing Clinic ...................................................................... $35/person

We will be processing several meat rabbits during the clinic, and you will have the opportunity to be directly involved in the experience. Clinic includes discussions and demonstrations for:

  • Minimal-stress, humane killing

  • Proper skinning technique

  • Proper eviscerating

  • Inspecting organs for infection or disease

  • Keeping the work area clean and safe

  • Options for packaging

  • Legal issues related to home processing

  • MORE!

Best of all, you will select and harvest a rabbit! After the clinic, you get to go home with the rabbit YOU harvest, so you can show off your handywork by serving it at your next meal time! Class size is limited.

NOTE: This has proven to be a very popular clinic, and slots are limited to ensure you get the individual instruction you need! Don't delay registering if you've been hoping to attend this clinic! Also be sure to allow yourself extra time, as these clinics occasionally run a bit longer than standard.

Dates: May 2 (5-7 pm), July 11 (5-7 pm), September 26 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses clinics

Standard Tour Group Event ................................................................. $10/person

If you are interested in our standard Farm Tour, but wish to share the cost with others, this event is for you! You still receive all the education benefits during our walking tour, and sometimes again even more by listening to questions, answers, and information from other participants. We must have a minimum of 6 people to offer this tour.

Dates offered: June 20 (5-7 pm), August 25 (5-7 pm)

Click HERE to register for one of theses tours

FARM DAY ............................................................................................. Donation

Our annual Farm Day is the biggest event of the year here at Red Gate Farm, and definitely our favorite! It's the day where customers, homesteaders, city folk, health nuts, and others who are just curious about farming, all get together and learn about what we do here and why we do it. The day is full of fun, hands-on experience, education, and food! As we tour the farm, discussions are designed to be family-friendly summaries of our more in-depth, topical classes and farm tours and include brief discussion on:

  • Milking Dairy Goats

  • Raising Pork in the forest

  • Using animals to clean up and convert woodlands

  • Rabbitat Rabbits

  • Raising Chicks

  • Deep bedding

  • Raising Broilers

  • Raising Turkeys

  • Pastured Layers

  • Grass-Fed/Finished Beef

  • Farming with Draft Horses

  • Horses in a Pasture Paradise

  • Permaculture Farming

  • Livestock Guardians

  • Milling Lumber

  • Growing Food in otherwise useless spaces

  • Rotational Grazing

  • Healing Pastures and forage lands

  • Creating savannahs and silvo-pastures

  • and so much more!

The day includes a draft horse pulling demonstration, an optional horse-drawn wagon ride ($2/person), samples of some of our farm products, opportunities for the kids to play with baby animals, and so much more! While this is a family-friendly event, this is still a working farm, and there are dangers that inherently exist. Children MUST be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times! While we do provide samples and light refreshments, we encourage you to bring sunscreen and a sack lunch to enjoy after the tour, listen as we share the story of our life journey and the real basis for why we farm the way we do, mingle with others of like-mind, and just spend some time enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of Red Gate Farm.

Note: Although there is a no charge for this event, we ask that you consider a donation to help support the many costs involved in hosting this event. Also, it is considered a private event, so registration is required in order to attend, and to us ahead count.

Date: Saturday, June 11 (8am - 12pm)

Click HERE to register for this event.

Draft Horse Plowing Demonstration.......................................................... Donation

Every year, on the first Saturday in May, Lincoln's New Salem State Park in Petersburg holds an antique farming day, which includes preparing the fields for spring planting using draft horses. In 2014, we began using our team of Belgian drafts at this event. We hope to do the same this year. The park requests a donation for entering, but the plowing demo is FREE! Come join us for a great day of fun and history!

Date: May 7 (10am - 4pm)

Date and times are subject to change and event is weather-dependent. There is no registration required for this event.

Consulting Services ................................................................. $25/Hour+ $2/mile

Are you considering purchasing a farm but need some advice? Do you have a farm and want to make it more sustainable or permaculture-oriented? Do you dream of homesteading, but need ideas to help you get set up efficiently? Are you stuck in a rut with your farming beliefs and desire assistance to get you thinking "outside the box?"

Whatever you desire, we can help! We have been studying and involved in permaculture and sustainable farming for over 10 years. Sean has a degree in engineering, and Danielle even has a degree in farm management. We can come to your farm, take a look around, give you a feel for your options, and help you develop short and long term plans to help you get started on the right track to be successful in your dreams!

Consulting services is arranged by appointment, so CONTACT US today to get started!

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