How to do an On-Farm Workshop

How to do a On-Farm Workshop
Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below!

How to do a On-Farm WorkshopOn the farm this week we successfully planted an entire orchard in just a few hours! How did we get so much work done in so little time? With an on-farm workshop! On-farm workshops are a great way to help a farmer get a lot of work done in a timely manner, and a great way for farm dreamers and homesteady types looking to spend some time living the farm life get some real hands on experience.

But workshops can be tricky… How do you make sure they give both parties, the farmer, and the visitors, the experience they need?

We have been running workshops on the farm for years, most of them have been great. Over this time we have learned a lot about how to do a successful on-farm workshop. Here are some of the lessons we have learned…

Make sure your prepared for non farmers on the farm…
People who come to workshops are not farmers, and not familiar with the risks, dangers, and responsibilities of a farmer. They may want to bring children, go places they don’y belong, hurt themselves… If your going to do workshops protect yourself legally and inform your guests.

The visitors are not the same as hired help…
When you host a workshop you are getting additional hands on the farm. And this can be incredibly helpful for a small farm to get a big project accomplished…. BUT these are not hired workers. You will need to make sure your students enjoy the workshop, learn a lot (because that is why they are there) and feel like they enjoyed their day on the farm. Sometimes you will get more done than you normally could. SOMETIMES… Less…

It is OK to charge money, but consider what your getting from your workers….
Some workshops that you may plan give more to the students than to you. We used to do a chicken butcher workshop, this was only to teach others, it didn’t do anything for us as far as production goes, so this we charged a lot for. Our Orchard workshop however was very cheap, as we were paid in work done on the farm. The little bit of money from tickets was given to the instructor. Sometimes you as the farmer get paid in work, sometimes in money…

Everyone can get something from a good workshop…
If you plan ahead, treat your guests well, you can get a lot of work done and enjoy time with your local community!
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