RISON – Medicinal herbs, foraging and starting a home orchard are among the topics scheduled for the Arkansas Homesteading Conference to be held Saturday, March 23, at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Rison.
Herald publisher Britt Talent, who organizes the Arkansas Homesteading Conference, said early indications are this year’s conference may meet or even exceed last year’s single-day record-setting crowd of about 300 attendees.
“I announced this year’s conference on the Arkansas Homesteading Conference Facebook page last Thursday afternoon, and by Monday morning the post had reached more than 22,000 people and had been shared more than 200 times,” he said. “By Monday afternoon, we had more than 175 people sign up on email list for more information.” The Arkansas Homesteading Conference will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year after Talent put together the first event in April 2014 at the Pioneer Village in Rison. Since then, the conference has been held at least once a year in Rison as well as in Mountain View, Harrison, Mena and at the St. Joseph Center in North Little Rock.
Over the years, Talent said he has met a lot of people who have been involved with the homesteading movement in some form or fashion, including some who are full-time homesteaders.
Among the early presenters at the conference were herbalists Cindy Faulk of Hot Springs and Debbie Tripp of Royal as well as Gary “Pa Mac” McWilliams of the Farm Hand’s Companion YouTube channel and website. All three are on the schedule for this year’s conference.
“Cindy and Debbie have always been a crowd favorite,” Talent said. “Debbie grows the herbs and Cindy converts them into tinctures, salves, lotions, teas or any other way you can use a herb. Debbie is a little more structured in her presentation style while Cindy could be described as the Paula Deen of herbs.” Faulk and Tripp will be presenting a session on medicinal herbs thatpeople can grow at home and use in natural folk remedies…