CHEC's First Annual FAMILY HOMESTEAD DAY at BLESSED CREEK FARM
Saturday May 18, 2013
Families should select either the:
MORNING SESSION 8am-Noon;
or the AFTERNOON SESSION 1:30-5:30pm
Please read the following information carefully, and then proceed to registration below.
Registration fee for either Session is $60/household, which admits all immediate family
members, including adult children and/or grandparents if they live in your home.
Registration for EACH Session will be capped at the first 20 families paid in full.
After that, a waiting list will be started in case of cancellations.
Planned Activity Centers (workshops) include:
Suggested for toddlers through age 7 years:
1. Home-grown Veggies; Growing, Harvesting, Preparing, and Eating fresh salads
2. Life in a Bucket of Dirt; Worms, slugs, bugs ? how they help and hurt gardens
3. Catch and Identify Insects; Learn about grasshoppers, butterflies and metamorphosis
4. Pet a rabbit, catch a chicken, hold a duck; Learn how to raise small livestock
5. Edible Herbs and Beautiful Flowers; Enjoy herbal tea while you make a floral bouquet
Suggested for ages 8-12 years:
6. Animal furs and leathers; Touch different hides, then try your hand at leatherworking skills
7. Watch a sheep shearing demonstration; Learn about wool; use a drop spindle
8. Learn basic woodworking tools and safety; Assemble simple bat houses or bird feeders
9. Make an apple faced doll; Learn about dehydrating fruit and hand-sewing
10. Learn about different grains; Hand grind flour, rice, or corn; mix, cook, and eat tortillas
Suggested for all ages:
11. Plant a 3 Sisters Garden:(corn, beans, squash) Learn how Native Americans farmed
12. Horsemanship: help brush, groom, and saddle a horse; Parents can take your picture
13. Taste home-made cheese and yogurt; Learn how to care for and hand milk a cow, goat
14. Learn about pollinators, including bees; Learn how beehives work, and taste some honey
15. Take a hike! Walk the farm pastures and creekbottom; find rocks, wildflowers, take photos
A note about the Activity Centers: the same Centers will be scheduled in both Morning
and Afternoon Sessions, though group dynamics will undoubtedly make each one slightly
different. There will be 4 Activity Center time-slots in each Session; this includes 3 for
the Centers listed above, with the 4th slot being for the Livestock Feeding Centers of:
1) Cattle and Horses; 2) Dairy Cows and Goats; 3) Poultry and Rabbits; 4) Sheep and Swine.
This makes for a possible 19 Activity Centers for your family members to divide up in groups
Parents: ?It is very important that you are with your children?the entire time you are attending this event. ?Farms can be somewhat dangerous with large machinery, lots of places?to wander off, snakes, standing water, and?tall trees.?In the interest of safety, we require?that every child be with an adult (or a responsible, vigilant teen)?at all times.?Please attend the centers?with your children, and?help?them to enjoy and learn from the?activities alongside you.
1. Why is CHEC hosting this Event?
Our very popular fall HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP is 'sold-out' every year, and alumni have
requested a similar event for their younger children. At the BOOTCAMP, children attending
with their parents have to be 13 years or?older. The BOOTCAMP is 2 intense days of 90
minute workshops that require maturity and long attention span atypical of younger children.
CHEC's FAMILY HOMESTEAD DAY is in response to these requests for a venue to include
younger family members, so the whole family may attend together in order to gain a unified
homesteading vision. Workshops, called Centers, are only 45 minutes long, and the Event
is a half-day in order to accommodate the abilities and needs of younger children. We
recommend that parents and their age 13 and up children consider returning in the fall to
learn the specific Beginning and Advanced skills taught in the HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP.
2. Where will the event be held?
BLESSED CREEK FARM is owned and operated by the event co-hosts Cary and Shari
McMinn. The McMinn family members also co-host and lead the CHEC HOMESTEAD
BOOTCAMPand have since it's inception 4 years ago. Their 240 acre dryland farm is located
in the remote northeast corner of Adams County, CO. The farm is 25 miles south of Fort
Morgan, and 35 miles northeast of Byers. Driving times are 1.5 hours from the Denver
metro area; 2.5 hours from Fort Collins and Colorado Springs; 3.5 hours from Pueblo, CO,
southwestern Nebraska, and northwestern Kansas. Directions will be emailed to regisitered
families about a week before the event, along with final instructions.
3. Who should attend CHEC's FAMILY HOMESTEAD DAY?
Families with children of all ages, especially those who have Toddlers through age 12.
Families who are interested in learning more about Homesteading, to grow a vision and to
obtain skills. Both Urban dwellers and rural property holders are encouraged to come.
4. Can my teenagers and adult children attend?
Yes, all ages of children in your immediate family may attend. However, the activities are
geared to children 12 and under. Teens, Adult children, and even Grandparents can assist
the whole family by leading younger siblings in their own group, so the family can attend
more than just one or two Centers during each time slot. Adult children and Grandparents
living in your home are included in your registration.
5. How is FAMILY HOMESTEAD DAY different from the HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP?
The DAY event is open to the whole family. Therefore each the workshops are only 45
minutes long, so as to accommodate younger children who have a shorter attention span.
The DAY is actually a half day event; families choose to attend ONE SESSION, either in the
MORNING or the AFTERNOON. The workshops are called Activity Centers, and are basically
a 'light' version of what is taught at the BOOTCAMP event.
6. Will there be fellowship time with other like-minded families?
Yes, families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and either stay after the MORNING
SESSION, or come early for the AFTERNOON SESSION, in order to eat and fellowship with
other families doing the same.
7. Will there be breaks between the ACTIVITY CENTERS, and what about facilities?
Each 45 minute Center will have a 15 minute break afterward, in order to have a quick water
or snack break, use the outdoor privy facilities, and walk to the next workshop.
8. Will we get to see and learn about the livestock?
Yes, the first Center of the MORNING SESSION, and the last Center of the AFTERNOON
SESSION will be helping the McMinn family feed their various livestock herds. This will
enable families attending to learn about caring for cattle and horses; milk cows and goats;
poultry and rabbits; sheep and swine. Those who want to, can feed and touch some of
the more docile animals. Each Livestock Feeding Center will be focused on two types of
livestock, so if a family can split into 4 groups, they will learn about caring for all the livestock.
Remember, teens and adult children can assist their parents by leading a group of younger
siblings on their own.
9. What is the cost?
The registration fee per household is $60. for one half-day SESSION. This includes your
entire immediate family, including adult children and Grandparents LIVING WITHIN your
home. Adult children, Grandparents or other relatives LIVING OUTSIDE your home need to
register as their own household.
10. Are singles welcome?
Yes, but we prefer they attend the Fall HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP, as they will learn so many
more skills. Also, we want to limit the HOMESTEAD DAY registration to 20 households per
Session. A single person would then take the spot that could be for an entire family.
11. What should we wear? What should we bring?
You and your family members should dress for the weather forecast for either Byers or Fort
Morgan, CO. Layers are suggested as it can be cold in the early morning and evening, yet
hot during the day. Bring a rain jacket just in case. We suggest sunglasses and/or sunhat,
sunscreen, and footwear that can get muddy and is also sturdy when shoveling, or walking
on rough pasture ground. Tennis shoes are acceptable, boots are better; sandals and flip
flops are not acceptable. Please wear old clothes that can get dirty. If you have work gloves,
bring them. If you bring a picnic lunch, we suggest you also bring a ground blanket or folding
chairs. If your family is used to a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, bring something that can
be quickly enjoyed during our 15 minute breaks.
EACH REGISTERED FAMILY IS ASKED TO BRING FOR A SHARED STOCKPILE:
1) A CASE OF WATER BOTTLES
2) A MULTI-PAK OF TOILET PAPER
12. What if it rains?
Unless roads are impassable, we will still hold the HOMESTEAD DAY. If we have to 'rain
delay', we will hold the event the following Saturday May 25. If you can't come that day, you
may transfer your registration to another family. We will not be giving out 'rain delay' refunds,
so please try to plan ahead to attend the 'rain delay' of May 25, just in case. If our 25 miles
of gravel roads are not safe, we will make a decision to 'rain delay' by 7pm Friday, and email
everyone who has registered. PLEASE mark your calendar now to check your email May 17,
Friday evening after 7pm, to verify that road conditions are indeed safe to hold the event as
scheduled, or if we must 'rain delay'.
13. We live in the city; how would this event benefit our family?
Urban homesteading is vital to the 95% of our nation's population that live in the city.
Whether you have a large city lot, a small front yard and no backyard, or even if you are
an apartment dweller, you can still learn homesteading skills to benefit your family. We will
have several demonstrations of small gardens, container gardens, even gardens growing on
carpet and in aquariums! Rabbits can easily be raised for meat and fur in an apartment, and
most cities now allow chickens. Gardening can happen just about anywhere, so there will be
something for everyone to learn.
As economic times grow more uncertain, and the government regulates more areas of our
lives, a family who can provide their own food through gardening and livestock raising, is less
dependent on the outside world.
14. We are not Christians, and we do not homeschool; can we still register and attend?
Yes, you are welcome to come join us for a great day of learning and fellowship. We will be
teaching from a Christian Creation Worldview, but that should not hold you and your children
back from learning basic homesteading skills. The majority of families who attend will be
homeschoolers, so you will learn about that lifestyle, but your family has to decide for yourself
what education method works best for you and your children.
Please register using the form below: