Yesterday my husband and I went to the Mother Earth Fair in Lawrence. We both had a great time. They had a lot of exhibitors and a ton of scheduled speakers for everything from dirt to making cheese. We weren't able to stay over night so we didn't listen to many of those, but did catch most of one about having bees, learning some good tidbits in the short time we listened.
First we just made a circle around the outside of the park to see what all was there. We saw people selling cheese making kits, seed companies, animal education booths, lots of books, growing systems and a group selling gluten-free soda pop. We even bought a bottle of root beer, my favorite, which was very good even though I rarely drink pop.
We came across a place selling soap stone items, among other things, which I thought was really cool. Vermont Marble, Granite, Slate & Soapstone Company is the name of the place. You can click their name and see their store. They were
passing out soap stone ice cubes, made to put in the freezer and then into your drink and which don't melt, but will keep your drink cool. They have a woodstove/oven combo with a soapstone surround that ROCKS!! The soapstone surround radiates heat and creates a consistent heating surface on the top. That will, one day, be in my kitchen/living room. They also carry some very cool cups and mugs (I see a Christmas/Yule gift here) and even bed warmers, along with a plethora of other items, as gifts for yourself or others. Check them out, they have some really great stuff.
I bought a CobraHead long handled weeder and cultivator. I watched the guy work with it and while planning raised garden beds, this seemed like the perfect weeder. The raised beds would be about 6 inches or so high, while in a few cases we may actually dig down a bit, this weeder keeping me from having to bend over so much, saving my back from un-necessary aches and pains. I think I wrote earlier about the aging thing and how much that's beginning to suck, or maybe I didn't. In any case, this aging thing sucks. I did bring it home and kind of played with it in our hard clay dirt and it worked well. I was impressed with what it does and how easily it does it. You can find them here.
I've also been looking for dehydrated or freeze dried ingredients I can cook with. Dehydrated and freeze dried ingredients last much longer and I can stock up without them going bad. There's not a lot of organic freeze dried or dehydrated foods out there and finding another source was a benefit for me. They are called Thrive, and the independent consultant, having samples you could taste was a huge selling point. The samples were not reconstituted or cooked, but you could still taste how good it was and I was impressed with the flavor. My hope is that as my garden grows:-) so will my own dehydrated foods and eventually I will grow most of this myself. But that's still someday away....
We found a ton of information on all-natural and organic feed for chicken, goats and rabbits, how to raise them and eventually breed them. Someone even had a few mules and a mess of pack goats there, some of the sweetest animals, and incredibly tolerant. But they were getting lots of petting and scratching, so some of them may have just been in nirvana for the day.
If you ever get a chance to attend one of these fairs, I hope you do. It was well worth the time we spent driving there and home. I do wish we would have had more time to see more of the speakers but by next year maybe I can figure out a way to be in 2 places at one time.
- I'm a country girl working in the city (50 miles/day). I want to learn all I can about how to do for myself. My husband and I dream of a self-reliant homestead where we can live and work together, raising chickens, goats and rabbits, and growing and canning our own food.