The Great Pacific Northwest, and more locally, our neighbor Puyallup, is one of two venues in the country for the Mother Earth News Fair. It's happening this weekend at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. (Their other fair will be held in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, September 21-23.) We were busy for several hours Saturday just looking at exhibits and occasionally hearing a bit of a workshop presentation (plus allowing time to visit the chickens, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and alpacas).
Mother Earth News has for many years promoted sustainability and self-reliance. The range of topics featured at the fair draws folks like-minded on those principles and goals, and yet diverse in their particular interests and lifestyles. And the many dozens of workshops and exhibits seem to have something for everyone. For farmers, for example, there's info on small-farm management, choosing livestock, heritage breeds, home dairies, CSAs, and marketing to the green consumer. As home gardeners you can pursue gardening with heirlooms, seed-saving, organic gardening, the edible front yard, city-farming, chickens in your garden, cover crops, composting, year-round harvests and gardening with children. Or maybe instead you'd like to skip all that gardening and just learn to find and prepare wild edible foods. Home-grown or gathered, presentations on food preservation have ideas for processing your harvest. Even more on food--a number of workshops on making such items as cheese, yogurt, jams, tofu, beer, pickles, and whole-grain breads.
Builders and re-modelers can take a look at energy efficiency, green building options, solar plans, and water conservation. Or maybe the tiny-building home? Or straw-bale construction? Or light-earth walls?
For children there are special presentations on planning a garden, drawing farm animals, and cheese- and butter-making. All ages can appreciate the Fort Nisqually Historical Museum reenactors demonstrating Dutch-oven cooking, spinning, rope-making, blacksmithing, and timber-squaring. .
Having recently watched Who Killed the Electric Car and then Revenge of the Electric Car, we were very interested to see the Alternative Energy Car Show. The Tesla, the Leaf, and Mitsubishi's i-MiEV were there, as well as several electric conversions. Not all the cars were electric. The Max, a home-built sports car that gets over 100 miles per gallon, runs on diesel, bio-diesel or straight vegetable oil. Like to do it yourself? Build Your Own Hybrid Car is the title of a Sunday workshop. (Plus another on Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle.)
All this and lots more--I'll add pictures the next few days to fill in some of the blanks.
And there's still time to go--the hours Sunday are 9 to 6 pm. Maybe see you there? Speakers, workshops and exhibitors are detailed on the Mother Earth News Fair website: http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/Puyallup.aspx