Jamie McCloud will teach how to make simple but luxurious soap at the Great Appalachian Homsteading Conference.
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A pair of Slogger boots with a chicken pattern will be given away as a door prize at the Great Appalachian Homesteading Conference.

If you go

› What: Great Appalachian Homesteading Conference.

› When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT Saturday, April 2.

› Where: Cumberland County Fairgrounds, 1398 Livingston Road, Crossville, Tenn.

› Admission: $32.64 adults, $16.82 children 4-12.

› Website:

The Great Appalachian Homesteading Conference on Saturday, April 2, at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds in Crossville, Tenn., is designed for those destined to live so self-sufficiently they can triumph over man-made snafus and crises. It's also designed for those who just want to can some fruit or try an herbal remedy instead of an over-the-counter med.

The wide range of topics includes classes on herbal medicines, an explanation of solar power and how solar cells work led by an alternative energy engineer and a how-to on baking Dutch oven and cast-iron skillet dishes. The latter is taught by the Middle Tennessee Dutch Oven Society, which will offer demos on how to bake bread, pizza and something called Hillbilly Pie in the metal cookware.

Tina Creamer is traveling from Lucas Farms in West Virginia to teach an introductory course on raising dairy goats and cows. One tip for anyone who thinks goats are easygoing because they allegedly eat anything: Think again.

"Goats are very high-maintenance," Creamer says. "They are temperamental. A person really needs to think about whether he or she has the patience and the steady personality to deal with goats."

The event is hosted by Patara Marlow of Appalachia's Homestead, who has set up a Facebook page where new speakers and classes are posted as they are confirmed.

So far, the classes include Canning 101, How To Raise Baby Chicks and Chicken Breeds, Homemade Biscuits and Wood Stove Cooking, Basic Soap Making, Keeping a Winter Home Warm With a Wood Stove, a class on how to offer solid home schooling to one's children and Producing Meat on a Homestead.

For those who find that hard-core pioneer spirit too much a leap of faith, the classes that teach visitors to master individual elements of homesteading like veggie and fruit growing might be more user-friendly than the class on complete off-the-grid living.

And there's live music by The Alley Family and a drawing for a pair of Sloggers boots designed for farmers who must venture into the hen house for eggs.

Contact Lynda Edwards at or 423-757-6391.


Note: All times are Central. Lunch is at noon.

Conference Room A
9 a.m. Raising Baby Chicks and Chicken Breeds

190 a.m. Medicinal Herbs for Your Homestead

11 a.m. Canning 101

1 p.m. How To Start Homeschooling

2 p.m. Off-Grid Living

3 p.m. Off-Grid Living

4 p.m. Introduction to Herbs

Conference Room B
9 a.m. Solar Photovoltaics 101

10 a.m. Raising Dairy Cows & Goats

11 a.m. Producing Meat on a Homestead

1 p.m. Organic Tunnel Gardening

2 p.m. Organic Gardening

3 p.m. Homestead Preparedness

4 p.m. Wood Heat 101

Outdoor Classes
9 a.m. Cast Iron & Dutch Oven Care

10 a.m. Introduction to Soap Making

11 a.m. 18th Century Food Preservation

1 p.m. Homemade Biscuits & Wood Stove Cooking

2 p.m. Homemade Biscuits & Wood Stove Cooking

3 p.m. 18th Century Food Preservation

4 p.m. (no class currently scheduled)

In addition to the above classes, the Middle Tennessee Dutch Oven Society will offer Cast Iron & Dutch Oven Care at 9 a.m., Bread Baking in Your Dutch Oven at 10 a.m., Making Pizza in Your Dutch Oven at 11 a.m. and Hillbilly Pie in Your Dutch Oven at 1 p.m.


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