I have to tell you about my exciting weekend. After a 4-hour drive, I arrived to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. It was 8:30 and the parking lot was filling up fast. The shuttles were hauling busloads of excited participants to the venue. “People Watching” could have been an event in itself. Needing to stretch my legs, I decided to walk, taking note of license plates from Kentucky, Arkansas, New York, Canada and Texas to name a few.
Everyone has their schedules in hand to select which workshop to attend first. Choosing the Paw Paw class, I head over to the Modern Homesteading stage. Only to find it already standing room only. This many people really want to raise Paw Paw? But this is how it will play out at every lecture. So you really need to arrive quickly to each class. I did promise myself that this year I would speak to every person sitting or standing to my right and left. Not once did anyone hesitate to answer any question I might toss their way or tell me their life story on their piece of land. Whether it was 1 acre or 40, there was a story. I picked up as many little tidbits from these talks as I did the lectures.
The next adventure was the vendors and there were so many. Visiting with homesteaders selling livestock to tasting gluten-free brownies made from hemp. Other popular stops were the solar ovens and booths selling seed garlic. The bookstore is another interesting place to visit. Tables loaded with varied selections to choose from. Keep in mind that they do sell out fast, so don’t wait too long to find a favorite author or topic. Moving on I purchased at least a dozen heirloom seed packets, hating the fact that now I have to wait until March to plant. Picked up a new knife for butchering chickens and of course you have to buy a Mother Earth News T-shirt.
If you’re considering one of these awesome fairs remember these hints: Book your hotel early, bring comfortable shoes, don’t try to attend every workshop if you plan to do any shopping. There just isn’t enough time. Enjoy talking to everyone about everything and don’t forget to try the brownies.