Rural Living Day 2019

Harrisburg High School

400 South 9th Street
Harrisburg, OR 97446
United States

Sat, Mar 9, 2019 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Cost
$25 per person
Contact name
Teagan Moran
Contact phone

If you are a small acreage/rural property owner or considering a move to the country you won’t want to miss this event. Workshops throughout the day offer something for everyone.  Classes on Bee Keeping, Compost, Pasture Management, Well Water Management, Soils, Tree ID, Wildfires and more.

Link HERE to register. 

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by February 20th to Teagan Moran 541.766.3553


  • 8:00am - 9:00am: Check-in with coffee & tea
  • 9:00am - 10:00am: Welcome and Presentation: 10 Most (un)Wanted Weeds
  • 10:00:am - 10:15am: Break
  • 10:15am - 11:45am: Session A
    • Wildfire: A Hot Topic
    • What can I do with my small farm?
    • Rainwater Catchment
    • Composting Materials on Your Property
    • The Basics of Functional Agricultural Biodiversity
    • Sharpening Hand Tools
  • 11:45am - 1:15pm: Lunch
  • 1:15pm - 2:45pm: Session B
    • Pasture and Grazing Management: The Basics
    • Intro to Woodland Management
    • Understanding Water Rights
    • Preserving tomatoes and tomato products. Salsa and canning demo
    • Agricultural Biodiversity Part 2 - Planning
    • Chainsaw Safety Class (held during session B and session C)
  • 2:45pm - 3:00pm: Break
  • 3:00pm - 4:30pm: Session C
    • Soil: What It Is and What You Can Do With It
    • Conservation Planning and Funding
    • Living with Your Well and Septic System
    • Making, Smoking & Curing Sausage
    • To Bee or Not to Bee... Is beekeeping right for you?
    • Chainsaw Safety Class (held during session B and session C)

Session Descriptions:

Wildfire: A Hot Topic 

We will reference the Lane County Wildfire Protection Plan of 2008.  Lane County is over 3500 square miles, 90% forested, and extends from the ocean to the Cascades.  Climate, vegetation, and fire history are complex and diverse. Over 350,000 people live in the County, with about 100,000 living adjacent to forests.  Learning fire history and ecology of this are will be a good reference to defensible space and fuels reduction strategies. Presenter: Daniel Leavell, OSU Extension agent, Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center and Assistant Professor (Practice). 

What can I do with my small farm? 

This session will introduce the many factors involved in making decisions related to the use of small-farm property. We will discuss the small farm as a hobby, an agricultural tax deferral, and a family income. We will introduce how to match crop choices to the farm's physical resources, such as soil type, irrigation potential, and climate, and how to choose a production technique, select traditional or specialty crops, and market crops. We will discuss the importance of considering the family's financial resources, credit options, strengths, and goals. Includes lists of additional resources.

Rainwater Catchment

Learn strategies for catching, storing, and using rainwater on your property.

Composting on your property

Compost 101 - Learn the basics of how to compost materials on your property. 

The Basics of Functional Agricultural Diversity Part 1 and 2 

Functional Agricultural Biodiversity (FAB) is the adoption of practices that increase biological diversity on your land.  This biodiversity occurs at numerous levels from the genetic, to soil microbial, to plant and to animal levels. Increasing FAB has multiple benefits for landowners including Soil health, biological pest management, increase native pollinator populations, weed management and reduced needs for chemical input. Learn how to recognize already existing FAB on your land and practices you can use to enhance and increase it.

Part Two, Planning: The Basics of Functional Agricultural Biodiversity is a pre-requisite for this session.  We will practice developing FAB plans for landowners using practices discussed in the first workshop. Timelines, site selection, site preparation and specific habitat plant selections will be discussed.

Presenter: Gwendolyn Ellen is the owner/manager of Agricultural Biodiversity Consulting. Gwendolyn has over 3 decades of diverse, practical experience working in sustainable and organic agriculture as an organic vegetable farmer, ornamental and research greenhouse manager, farmers market manager, field consultant in biological pest management, agro-ecological activist and educator.  She has done research on in entomology, botany, plant pathology, and crop and soil science in diverse western agro-ecosystems.  She has managed agricultural programs in functional agricultural biodiversity (FAB) in land grant universities and the non-profit sector and currently facilitates a Western Region FAB Work Group.

Sharpening Hand Tools

This sessions isn’t just discussion about how to sharpen tools used on your farm or garden, you’ll get right down to business and do it.  If you’d like to be a bring a hoe, spade, hand pruners or other hand tool, you’ll leave with it sharpened.  Patty Driscoll, a long-time gardening expert will give demonstrations, share about sharpening options and teach you how the art of sharpening.
Presenter: Patty Driscoll, OSU Extension Service Lane County 

Pasture Grazing and Management: The Basics

Are you working to manage pasture for grazing animals and are not getting the quantity or quality of grass you'd expect?  Pastures under controlled grazing have less wasted forage, especially in the spring, and plants have an opportunity to rest and recover between pasture rotations, leading to increased forage production.  In this session we will cover topics such as how grass plants grow, rotational grazing systems and pasture fertility.
Presenter: Melissa Fery, OSU Small Farms Program

Intro to Woodland Management

If you are new to woodland management and want to learn how to take care of the woods on your property, then this is the class for you.  We’ll talk about the basic art and science of caring for, tending and working in your woods.  We will discuss what you want from your forest, what you want it to look like, and how to get there.  We will talk about how trees and stands grow and how tending an established forest (thinning or other actions) can help keep it healthy and moving in the right direction.

Speakers: Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Extension Forestry Agent - Benton, Linn, and Polk counties Extension Forestry agent - Lane County and assistant professor (practice)d associate professor and Lauren Grand, OSU Extension Forestry agent - Lane County and assistant professor (practice)

Everything you need to know about your water rights

Lanaya Blakely,  Watermaster for Oregon Water Resources Department will be explaining the ins and outs of water rights and how they affect your use of surface and ground water on your property.  She will share about exemptions, how to use your water right, limitations of domestic wells for irrigation, how to apply for water rights and more. This will be a great time to ask questions and get answers from the expert.

Preserving tomatoes and tomato products

Join OSU Master Food Preservers to learn about options for preserving tomatoes and salsas. Review current methods of canning, freezing, dehydrating and how to make and safely preserve your own salsa based on up-to-date research.  

Chainsaw Safety and Operation Part 1 and 2

Take this class before you ever touch a chainsaw, ideally, or of course to improve your felling techniques even if you have years of experience already.  Take either or both sessions of this chainsaw class, as we will cover sharpening, maintenance and basic use in the first session and take it outdoors for some actual cutting and demonstration of felling trees in the second. 

Soil - What it is and what you can do with it

Join us to cover the fundamentals of what soil – not dirt! – really is. What is a “loam”? Why does organic matter, well, matter? We’ll also cover easy ways to evaluate the soil you have and some common agricultural uses of our local soil types. Presenter: Victoria Binning, OSU Small Farms Program 

Conservation Planning and Funding

Join the Soil Water and Conservation District for a conversation around conservation planning for your land and funding opportunities available to you. 

Making, Curing and Smoking Sausage

Lane County Master Food Preservers share information and tips for safely making a variety of sausage products from fresh meat as well as smoking and curing.  Recipes and references provided. 

To Bee or Not To Bee...Is Beekeeping right for you? 

This class outlines the work and money required to start beekeeping, along with beekeeping basics and how you can help bees if you decide beekeeping is not for you.  Presenter: Carolyn Breece, Senior Faculty Research Assistant Honey Bee Lab, OSU

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