Experiencing the Mother Earth News Fair

September 28, 2011

I had the opportunity to attend the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs PA this past weekend. It was a great event that I’ll add to my rotation of annual gardening shows and will definitely be recommending to others.

There was a flurry of activity with over a dozen stages running concurrent workshops from 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. In addition to the workshops and lectures there were plenty of exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, crafts, music performances, nutritious food, and fun activities for the kids.

Among the conference’s keynote speakers were; Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Bryan Welch of Ogden Publications, Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, Jerry DeWitt from the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

A Rundown of Fair Workshop Topics and Lectures

Mother Earth News FairgroundThe areas of interest and education for the Mother Earth News Fair included organic gardening, renewable energy, healthy cooking and eating, sustainable agriculture, food preservation, natural health and first aid, small-scale livestock management, food security, emergency preparedness, and various environmental topics.

Specific workshops geared towards the organic vegetable gardener featured:

  • Harvesting and Storing Herbs
  • Seed Saving in Your Own Garden
  • Fall and Winter Growing Techniques
  • Sustainable Backyard Beekeeping
  • Innovative Composting Strategies
  • Starting New Vegetable Gardens
  • Space Saving Gardening Ideas

Sharing Lessons and New Discoveries from the Mother Earth Fair

The speakers were excellent and shared their own personal experiences and perspectives during the workshops and lectures. Ah-Ha moments for me included the realization of how chickens can enhance the sustainability of a garden or community, and a revelation of just how far the nutritional profiles of foods that we are consuming have declined.

Mother Earth News provided me with a behind the scenes access and the opportunity to interview many of the workshop speakers. I’m going through my notes and during October will post a series of articles here related to those conversations and the breakout sessions that I attended. Until then here are a few photos to share some of the experiences from the Mother Earth News Fair:

Gardening WorkshopDavid Tracey: Urban Agriculture Workshop

Fiber CraftsFiber Craft Demonstration

Heirloom Seed SalesSouthern Exposure Seed Exchange

Antique Livestock on DisplayAmerican Livestock Breeds Conservancy Stage

Pat ForemanPat Foreman: The Chicken Whisperer

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Grandma Cindy September 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair. I have been a little disappointed with my gardening results this year due to the strange weather we had. I am expanding my gardening through the winter indoors – starting with some herbs and peppers. I am thinking “outside the garden” so to speak..

Kenny Point September 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

Hi Grandma Cindy, hope you get better results from your indoor winter garden. The weather and production here was not the best this year either.

Barbee November 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

You lucky dog, you.
BTW Mother Earth News is, by far, THE finest gardening magazine. Period.

CoirGreen December 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

Ann Johnson February 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Great posting! Do you know of any events/similar things to do in the area if I wish to stay in Seven Springs longer than the 3 days the fair is held?

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