Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
The South Dakota Sustainability Fair Coordinator, Anisah S. David, sent us a review of the great Homesteading Education Month event she helped put together.
The South Dakota Sustainability Fair (the first in the state's history, as far as we can tell!) just took place. Everyone who attended said they really liked that we took the initiative to start one. They felt it was due and timely.
No head count was possible, but we got some photos of various workshops and also our Town Hall meeting on Sustainability In South Dakota. The group talked about the general importance of sustainability and specifically what we need to do to move our Fair forward and hold it each year!
We worked hard to accommodate a variety of peoples. We had a toddler play tent for young attendees (and their tired mom's had rockers to sit in, while little ones played). We had the Breast Feeding Coalition hosting a consultation room in one of the nearby houses. Also, an essential oils consultation and workshop booth in the town hall. We had a booth representing the "rehoming of livestock and pets" and showing how even disabled animals, such as ponies, could be trained and rehomed. Their example was a completely blind miniature pony mare that was taught to pull a cart after losing her sight.
We had an author come and present information on how to train hunting dogs and other dogs (trained to hunt for shed antlers). We had a presenter who taught about worm tea and composting, as well as backyard poultry rearing. Another presentation was on butchering one's poultry. That course was hands-on!
Everyone seems to have liked what we put on our first year. We hope in years to come, we will have more workshop options and will bring into the circle of conversation more of the public, including area employers.
Our event took place in a historical town hall building that was built during the homesteading of South Dakota. Its a "rustic" building with no modern plumbing, and that helps remind many that such things should not be taken for granted. The public had access to a porta-potty and bottled water (water donated by a local grocer).
Thanks MOTHER EARTH NEWS for encouraging us to consider hosting this event. As our attendees said, "It was due."
Jennifer Kongs is the Managing Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. When she’s not working at the magazine, she’s likely working in her garden, on the local running trails or in her kitchen instead. You can find Jennifer on Twitter or Google+.
Photos by Anisah S. David