The Arkansas Homesteading Conference will be coming to the Northwest Arkansas Fairgrounds on Friday andÂ Saturday, June 2-3, to bring the event to Harrison for the first time, announced Britt Talent, organizer of the conference.
Talent describes âhomesteadingâ as the practice of developing a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle. He said the conference focuses on providing information that will help people achieve that mission: gardening, small scale livestock, food preservation,Â alternative energy, herbs/folk remedies, and more.
âMost people picture homesteading taking place in a rural setting, but we try to tailor our conferences for ideas that can practiced on a smaller scale in the suburbs or on a much larger scale in the country,â Talent said. âWe try to hit on as many subject areas as we can.â
The conference is in its fourth year, and this will be the first time for it to be presented in Harrison. The conference has been held during the spring for the past four years at the Pioneer Village in Rison and during the fall for the past two years at Mountain View.
Talent said the conference has attracted people from across Arkansas as well as from Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
The Friday sessions at the Harrison conference will be the most extensive the conference has ever had on alternative energy, Talent said.
âWe always have lots of folks who want to learn more about ways they can use alternative energy at home or on their farm so we have lined up some speakers who will just about cover every aspect of the subject,â he said.
Dr. Kate Shoulders, an associate professor in the agriculture department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville who studied using alternative energy methods on farms, and Flint Richter, owner of Richter Solar Energy at Fayetteville, are on the schedule as well as author Jake Beaty, who has first-hand experience of growing up off-grid in the mountains of Washington state.
âIf you have every considered going off-grid, Dr. Shoulders has an eye-opening demonstration and assessment method that really shows you what you need to do to get there,â Talent said.
The Saturday sessions will focus on other homesteading themes like gardening, small farm livestock, food preservation, herbs and more.
âWe have a team of speakers who have expertise in various fields of homesteading that make presentations at our conferences, and we usually add in a few local folks who bring something special to the table as well,â Talent said.