Homesteading workshops at Alan Day Community Garden in Norway this weekend

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By Christopher Crosby

NORWAY — Seed saving? Scything? Solar power?

Community Roots has the answer.

The local agricultural group is teaching farm and homesteading skills through free demonstrations from practitioners at the Alan Day Community Garden this weekend.

Founder Christopher Easton said the workshops target people with a backyard who don’t quite know what to do with it.

“They might want to start a garden or try a few chickens,” Easton said.

Chickens, but also cows: demonstrations this weekend range from raising and slaughter a cow (title: Scottish Highland Cattle, Pasture to Table), raising dairy cows (Raw Milk Dairy, From Cow to Bottle) to beekeeping and a discussion on conserving farmland.

The demonstrations continue Community Roots’ drive to build what Easton calls a “sustainable community” – teaching people to be more self-reliant and productive with the land they have so there are more “producers and fewer consumers.”

“If you can’t grow something, then find somebody who will grow it as opposed to always going to [big box stores],” he said.

Spreading that message has sometimes been tricky, which is why the group is going from the Oxford Fairgrounds to the Alan Day Community Garden. Though held on the same weekend, the workshops at separate from the Foothills Food Festival.

Presentations run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, and Sunday, Aug. 14. Vendors selling bee products, glassware and children’s books will be on-hand.

A full break down of their schedule follows below:

Saturday, Aug. 13

Presto Pesto: 10 a.m. at the Pavilion with Lisa Moore and Cindi Tinsley.

Seed Saving: 10 a.m. at the Barn with Mark Silber.

Raw Milk Dairy, From Cow to Bottle: 11 a.m. at the Barn with Bill and Darcy Winslow.

Solar Power: Noon at the Pavilion with Shawn Kane.

Scything: 1 p.m. at the Pavilion with Jesse Cottingham.

ME Farmland Trust & Western Foothills Land Trust: 2 p.m. at the Barn with Erica Buswell and Lee Dassler.

Scottish Highland Cattle, Pasture to Table: 3 p.m. at the Pavilion with Dottie Bell.

Sunday, Aug. 14

Pruning, Grafting & Orchard Management: 10 a.m. at the Pavilion with Scott Miller.

Mulch Gardening: 11 a.m. at the Pavilion with Christopher Easton.

Sourdough & Baking with Local Wheat: Noon at the Barn with Tim Gosnell.

Permaculture: 1 p.m. at the Pavilion with Scott Vlaun.

Beekeeping: 2 p.m. at the Pavilion with Christopher Easton.

To be announced: 3 p.m.

For more information, check out communityrootsmaine.wordpress.com.

ccrosby@sunjournal.com