Spend a day on Saturday, March 23 at Berkshire Botanical Garden considering the possibilities of adding a backyard chicken coop, a flock of sheep, a milking goat or cow or a flock of fowl.Â Join educator Meg Taylor and farmer Dominic Palumbo for one or more lectures on keeping farm animals in the backyard. Learn about the advantages of taking control of your food supply (milk, eggs and meat) managing your own manure pile and adding a four-legged lawn mower. Each program will cover topics including nutrition, shelter/coops, health, egg/meat/wool production, breeds, predators, regulations, general care and helpful resources. Attend one or more lecture and join the backyard farming movement.
9:30 am â€“ Chickens in the Backyard â€“ Meg Taylor
Calling all gardeners to join the backyard chicken movement! This beginnersâ€™ workshop will inspire you and give you the skills to start a backyard flock of your own.
11 am â€“ The Family Flock of Sheep â€“ Meg Taylor
Tired of spending your weekend morning mowing the back acre? There is a quieter and more attractive solutionâ€”sheep! Sheep are low maintenance, live on grass, can be surprisingly hardy and produce meat, milk and fiber. We’ll discuss important considerations before acquiring sheep, such as basic care, best breeds for the small farm, predator control, seasonal tasks, uses for wool and pasture management.
12:30 pm â€“ Fowl A Field: Turkeys, Ducks and Geese â€“ Dominic Palumbo
Consider a range of fowl that can be successfully raised in a backyard setting. Used for their eggs, meat or simply for insect control, these entertaining creatures add a lively atmosphere to the backyard farmstead.
2 pm â€“ The Milking Family Cow or Goat â€“ Dominic Palumbo
Possibly the most rewarding farm animal is the dairy animal (cow or goat). These animals provide organic, pasture-grown dairy for your family in addition to meat, great manure and some pasture control. This talk will introduce you to the basic information needed to consider one of these four-legged friends on the farm.
Meg Taylor is the Founder and Co-Director of The Farm Education Collaborative, an organization that designs and delivers farm-based education programs for all ages in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Meg has worked in the fields of environmental and agricultural education since 1994 and has worked as a farm educator for Mass Audubonâ€™s Drumlin Farm and at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. Meg and her family garden and raise fancy chickens, Shetland sheep and dairy goats at their home, North Wind Farm, in Williamsburg, MA.
Dominic Palumbo is a farmer and owner of Moon In The Pond, a small farm in Sheffield, MA. Moon In The Pond maintains a strong focus on the elegant integration of history (raising heritage breed livestock and heirloom vegetables, using select traditional farming methods) and contemporary â€˜technology.â€™
$75 for BBG members, $90 for non members. Bring a bag lunch. Sign up at www.berkshirebotanical.org.