It's been nearly a month since I last posted. September was filled with lots of tomatoes that finally came in along with tons of peppers and winter squash ready for picking, fall apples making an appearance, and my first real vacation in almost six years (an overnight boondoggle to Monticello doesn't count). September was a rush of preserving right up to the day we left for the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Resort in southwest PA. Even then I left a third of a bushel of not quite ripe tomatoes on the table hoping I'd return to tomatoes ready to can and not a deteriorating fruit fly incubator. I'm happy to report the losses were few!
It seems that every year the Floyd Harvest Festival and something else I'd really like to do land on the same weekend. This year Michael and I decided to give the Harvest Festival a miss and attend the Mother Earth News Fair. We booked a package deal at the Seven Springs Resort where the fair is held, arranged for Shana to look after Franklin and the girls, and off we went.
The Mother Earth News Fair offered seminars on just about every topic imaginable pertaining to homesteading (urban and rural), green living and alternative energy, small scale agriculture and gardening, livestock, and more. There were six hour-long time slots per day with 14 different venues for seminars per slot. Of course I scheduled a topic for each slot for the 3 days the fair ran. Unfortunately, as I discovered on Saturday, tickets for the fair were sold both as a 3-day pass or by individual days with Saturday being the most popular, there was no registration for the seminars and it was first come basis for seating. All well and good for Friday and Sunday. I was able to get into everything I wanted. Saturday I was able to get into only two of the six seminars I had scheduled. Lots of disappointment there but the two I managed on Homestead Butchering and Turkey Raising Basics were very good indeed. The trick I learned about getting into seminars is to show up 45 minutes before it's scheduled to start. Or buy a VIP pass which entitles you to reserved seats. Next time I'll pop for the VIP pass. If there is a next time.
Speaker presentations and handouts are available here and videos from the Mother Earth News YouTube channel are available here. Photos of the fair are here.