Mother Earth News Fair Recap

Filling our water bottles at a natural spring

Filling our water bottles at a natural spring near our condo. Jason’s sorry the pictures are either too dark or blurry!

Last weekend Jason and I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Mother Earth News Fair, held in Seven Springs, PA. It’s only about an our southeast of Pittsburgh, and we were lucky enough to have family offer us a free place to stay and free childcare FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND. We were a little excited.

We arrived late Friday night to a sweet condo with a fireplace. We stayed up too late enjoying the quiet, the wine, and each other’s company, which meant that Saturday morning was a late one. Unfortunately, we missed the first set of sessions on Saturday, but we quickly found out that we couldn’t get anywhere near most of the rooms anyway. Several of the sessions were so full of people that just the long, wide hallways to get to the session rooms were packed enough to make my agoraphobia kick in. Jason attended sessions mostly held outside, so he was able to see and hear fine. His interest in alternative energy drove his session choices for the day, but he found many of the sessions to be less practically applied than he’d hoped for.

Although we missed out on the morning and early afternoon sessions, we had better luck with the afternoon & early evening sessions. We attended a bread making session together, which was fun because Jason is in charge of the pizza-making in this house.

A session about promoting and earning income for your farm through social media caught my eye. Jason was interested, so we went together and found it to be the most interesting session we attended all weekend (the funniest, too). Jenna Woginrich from Cold Antler Farm gave extremely practical advice that anyone looking to promote any homegrown business could benefit from.

Sunday morning we headed back over to the Fair a bit earlier where I sat in on a session about making easy soft cheeses and Jason learned how to build his own solar panel. Note: Jason is NO LONGER interested in building his own solar panels!

On Sunday the crowds were much, much thinner and we explored all the exhibitors, vendors, and the book shop. There were so many vendors both outside and in that it took a couple of hours to see everything we wanted. After some delicious vegan vendor food, we headed back to the condo to pack up, and then ran into the woods for a quick hike. The condo we stayed in was actually in Hidden Valley, very close to Seven Springs, but even closer to lots of beautiful hiking trails in Forbes State Forest. The next time we get to that area, I’d like to spend more time hiking–there were  tons of trails and back country hiking and camping, too!

We had a few takeaways from the weekend (aside from new bread and cheese ideas)…

If we go to the Mother Earth News Fair again, we would like to go on Friday instead of or in addition to Sunday. There was apparently a full day of sessions without the crowds.

If we go to that area again–and we will!–I want to spend more time hiking. 

I’m thinking that it would be a great area to take the kids camping next year, hopefully with some friends–close, but feels completely removed from our normal urban lifestyle.

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Go anywhere fun or learn anything new over the last couple of weeks?

 

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