There will be something for almost everyone at the Ozark Homesteading Expo Friday September 6 and Saturday September 7 in Neosho. The event brings together indoor and outdoor vendors for two days of workshops, demonstrations and speakers on a wide variety of topics ranging from soap making to foraging to solar and wind power.
"It started out as an educational gathering that I wanted to do," Cheryl Franklin, Beeman Hollow Farm, organizer of the event said. "It grew and it keeps growing. More and more people want to be part of it. We have unique vendors that you just won't find anywhere else. This started out to be a small event and it's grown into something you will get plenty of value for admission price."
Admission is $5 for adults with ages 16 and under free.
Participants include Uncle Mud who will demonstrate rocket mass heaters, pizza ovens and things kids can built with mud. Those kid-friendly sessions will be at 11:30 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Uncle Mud - also know as Chris McClellan - will let the kids get muddy.
"They can hose off, afterward," Franklin said.
Topics will include homesteading, blacksmithing, gardening, foraging, butchery, soap making, canning and preserving, elderberries, beekeeping, livestock care, cheese making, prepper gear, home brewing, solar and wind power, hands on chicken processing, ancient grains, dairy, goats, barn quilt making, and cob making. Master Gardeners will be present and there will be many activities for kids including a Future Farmers of America petting zoo.
"I'm making an opportunity to share what knowledge I have, what people gave me," Franklin said. "It's a good time to do this. A lot of people want a simple lifestyle, to go back to basics. It's been a way of life for generations in the Ozarks and it's not that unusual for a lot of people. It's my goal not to lose these arts, these skills."
Numerous vendors will be on site as well including Mother Earth News, who will bring along a bookstore. Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, will bring their Jessup Wagon 2.0, a modern version of the agriculture education wagon first used by George Washington Carver.
Kevin and Sarah, Living Traditions Homestead from Ava, Missouri will be present. Kevin and Sarah have a small farm in the Ozarks where they practice a simple, self-sufficient and debt free life of modern homesteading. The couple have a You Tube Channel with a wide following. Their channel can be found here:
"I want the Expo to be more than a You Tube video," Franklin said. "I want people who attend to smell it, touch it and experience it."
Speakers will present on the hour both days of the event, indoors and outside.
Hourglass Films Producers Matt Wechsler andAnnie Speicher will hold a special screening of the award winning film, Sustainable, on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
Sponsors for the event include Beeman Hollow Farms, Quapaw Nation, Tatum Motor Company, MARET Center at Crowder College, Cackle Hatchery, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
"We're excited to have Crowder College involved with the MARET Center," Franklin said. "We're thrilled to have Art Boyt, developer of the MARET Center and the first inductee into the Alternative Energy Hall of Fame along with current solar instructor Andrew Poore."
Food trucks will be on site for the event. In addition, there will also be a village set up under the trees at the edge of the event grounds, hosted by Freedom Farms that will feature Ozark crafters.
"It's going to be fun," Franklin said. "It will be a wonderful, educational event hanging out with like-minded people. I encourage people to come early - space may be limited to see some things. We're excited about all our speakers. They are top notch."
The Ozarks Homesteading Expo will be from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. both Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7th at the Newton County Fairgrounds, Neosho, Missouri.
"I like having it in Neosho," Franklin said. "We're able to draw people from all across Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It's a nice, central location, a great venue with a true Ozarks feeling."
T-shirts will be available for $15. Admission is $5 for adults, free to those age 16 and younger.
For more information follow Ozarks Homesteading Expo on Facebook or visit their website at
The fairgrounds are located at 700 Field Avenue on the south edge of Neosho near Crowder College.