Category Archives: Presentations

Meat Production & Butchering Workshop!

We have put together a spectacular workshop on our farm for June 10-11 that will show you everything you need to successfully raise and butcher poultry, pork and rabbit on your homestead.  While the information presented will be aimed at personal production, all of the information and mechanics are scale-able for those interested in starting a profitable business.  But don’t take our word for it, take a look at what one of our students had to say from our 2015 workshop:

“As my brain is decompressing I’m trying to wrangle, slow and organize my thoughts. My prior workshop experience consists of 3 Mark Shepard Restoration Ag courses, PV2 (Permaculture Voices 2) and a (Geoff) Lawton online PDC. What you did this weekend stands tall with those and in many ways stands taller. The notebook of slides (which my wife loved), your personal approachability, seeing how you do your farm by being there on your farm and your open book approach on management and finances sets your approach above the rest. Be proud.”

Instructors at the workshop will include Darby Simpson (Simpson’s Farm Market), Greg Burns (Nature’s Image Farm), Patrick Rhoerman (MT Knives) and others including local homesteaders Seth Ross and Andy Higginbotham.  You’ll also get to meet Rob Kaiser of Deliberate Living Systems who will emcee our barter blanket session at the end of our event.

The two day workshop will include the following (and much more):

  1. Eight hours of classroom instruction that include:
  • Raising pastured meat broilers
  • How to build a chicken tractor
  • How to make and assemble a poultry killing cone
  • Raising pastured pork
  • Low-cost infrastructure for pigs
  • Breeding and raising pastured rabbits
  • How to make and assemble a rabbit tractor
  • Proper selection of knives for butchering
  • How to properly sharpen and maintain knives
  • Costs associated with all of the above
  1. Eight hours of on-farm instruction that includes:
  • How to butcher chickens (broilers and old laying hens)
  • How to process a hog from start to finish
  • How to butcher rabbits
  • Required equipment for all of the above
  • An exhaustive tour of Darby Simpson’s farm where you can see everything up close and in action for yourself
  1. A spiral bound notebook of all presentations given that will also include lots of how-to photos.  This valuable reference material is yours to keep and take notes in as we go thru each presentation.  You’ll have it on your bookshelf to reference once you return home!
  2. We’ll also be providing all three meals for each of the two days with GOOD FOOD (all local and/or organic in nature) that will be prepared by local chef Joshua Henson (Fermenti Artisan).  The food will include all meats raised by Simpson’s Farm Market, local/chemical free veggies and fruits, homemade dessert, snacks, bottled water and locally roasted organic coffee (Harvest Cafe).
  3. Two nights of informal campfire chats with all of our presenters in addition to our weekend finale:  the barter blanket!  If you have never attended a “barter blanket” then you are in for a real treat.  This session will be hosted by Rob Kaiser of Deliberate Living Systems who has attended other TSP/PermaEthos events and is a TSP Barter Blanket veteran!

The barter blanket is just that:  A place to barter goods and services with all of the other attendees you’ve just spent the weekend getting to know.  Typically, the event host will open up the festivities by offering something of value that anyone can bid on.  After hearing all of the offers, they can accept their favorite deal or decline all together.  Whoever wins the first item then has the floor to present the next item to barter.  This continues until everyone is done bartering and it can last several hours.  You’ll often find side deals going simultaneously as well, which is completely allowed and encouraged.

Examples of barter items are:  silver, seeds, plants, gear (tactical stuff, flashlights, etc), professional services, vacation stays in a guest house, homemade goods (soaps, foods, household items), ammo, HAM radio gear, etc.  Please feel free to bring as many items as you would like for the barter blanket!


The cost for this workshop is only $375/person or $725/couple, but please note spaces are limited.  Please visit our registration page for complete details.

To see the complete schedule for the workshop, checkout our weekend itinerary page.

For additional details including where our farm is located, lodging options, directions, on-farm policies, etc. you can visit our general information page.

We look forward to seeing you in June at this fun, exciting, learning filled event!  For questions please email us directly.

Interview With Diego Footer of Permaculture Voices

Recently, I sat down and recorded an hour long interview with Diego Footer of Permaculture Voices.  The conversation was a blast, and we covered everything from how we started farming in 2007 to what our operation looks like today.  We discussed the transitional period while I was working full-time off farm, and dealing with the startup phase of our operation simultaneously.  We also talked about how difficult and stressful that time was, as well as the many blessings that come from this type of lifestyle.

I think that this interview will give anyone who listens to it an excellent view into what farming full time is really like.  If you have ever wondered “how” I got my start, you’ll find this chat with Diego very informative and a bit entertaining.  As a teaser there is also some really exciting news at the end, but you’ll have to listen for yourself to discover what that is!

You can listen to the interview at Permaculture Voices, and be certain to chime in afterwards and let me know your thoughts.

Workshop At Our Farm!

This coming Labor Day weekend, we’ll be hosting the first ever workshop on our farm located in Central Indiana, just south of Indianapolis.  We are limiting the class size to a maximum of 24 seats in order to keep things personal, and as of August 12th we only have 9 seats remaining.

Taking place on Friday & Saturday, September 4th and 5th, we’ll spend one and half days together covering the following subjects:

  • A Guided “Walk & Talk” Tour of the farm with Darby
  • Pasture Management
  • Livestock Management
  • Whole Farm Infrastructure
  • Business Planning
  • Business Marketing
  • Campfire Chat Lead By Darby & Brandy Simpson:  What It Takes To Farm Full-time

On Friday afternoon and evening we’ll spend 2 hours together on a guided tour of the farm, where you can see everything we use to produce poultry, pork and beef.  This will be followed by a campfire chat about what it really takes to farm full-time from the mental aspect, and the lifestyle you take on to make it happen.  On Saturday, we’ll enjoy 8 hours of classroom time covering a myriad of subjects while sharing three meals together.  The weekend will culminate on Saturday evening, as we once again gather around the campfire to take part in the barter blanket.  Be certain to bring a few items to barter away with your fellow classmates!

To learn more you can visit the information page we have put together.  There you can find out about accommodations including camping on the farm, the food we’ll be providing, directions to the farm and much more.  You can also checkout the complete weekend itinerary that will give you a very detailed look at everything you’ll see and learn about while here!  This page even includes some suggestions to bring along for the barter blanket.

The cost for the class is only $199/person or $375/couple if paid in full at the time of registration.  There is also an option to simply place a deposit at the time of registration which will hold your seat(s) for the class and allow you pay the balance upon arrival.  You can find all of that information and sign up for the class on the registration page.

If you have any questions regarding the class please feel free to contact me.  Thank you!