When this magazine's first seminar series wound to a close on July 14, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' staffers weren't about to rest on the laurels they'd earned during what–in spite of a record amount of rainfall– had been a very successful program. Nope, everyone involved with the seminars put the "month off" to good use in order to guarantee that the next Mother Earth Week would be better yet!
Sure enough, by the time the August 13-18 seminars rolled around, the "stage" was set for an even more successful series of "shows" than the July program had offered! And this time the always fickle mountains weather cooperated too!
Better Than Ever!
During the six days of Mother Earth Week Number Two, our readers occupied some 1,300 classroom seats learning and sharing their own knowledge about topics that ranged from alternative energy sources (such as wind, solar, hydro, and alcohol) and practical housing (including log and earth-sheltered home construction) to wholistic health, organic gardening, foraging wild foods, and more!
But although the classroom work was the focal point of the wee, and while the courses were chock-full of information and "see it, touch it, do it" opportunities, our visitors found a number of additional programs and services available to help make their already busy days and nights even more worthwhile.
Mother’s Child Care Center
Since our seminar planners aimed to provide an educational and interesting time for everyone who visited our Eco-Village, our child care center not only offered carefully supervised play and mini-classes in mountain handicrafts to the youngsters of seminar attendees, but lined up a whole passel of entertainment for the tots as well! And what with a traditional Appalachian tale-teller, a children's musician, a puppet show, our used-tire playground, and the high-enough-to-be-fun but low-enough-to-be-safe tree house, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' grandchildren who came visiting had a fine time, indeed!
"Extras" for the Big Folks Too
Of course, our seminar "students" ended up with an occasional unoccupied moment or two themselves. And it's a good thing they did, because MOTHER EARTH NEWS had an assortment of free-for-the-attending daytime and evening activities all planned and ready to make valuable use of such "spare time."
Folks who had a hankerin' to do some "hands on" building, for example, found the opportunity waiting for 'em at a stackwood dome construction project conducted by Jack Henstridge (see "Build a Low Cost Economical House").
Meanwhile, those people whose wood-working plans were on a slightly less ambitious scale could visit our log cabin registration center and learn how to build wildlife-attracting squirrel and wood-duck nest boxes. First aid classes and informal question-and-answer sessions on gardening, livestock care, and so forth were also available.
And the list of activities didn't shorten a whit come evening, either, 'cause our seminar crew had lined up any number of fine around-the-campfire programs including–on Tuesday and Thursday nights–old-fashioned weenie roasts featuring preservative-free Shiloh Farms hot dogs. In addition, a number of audiovisual shows were presented in the seminar buildings, while Ed Walkinstik had the Amazing Solar Chariot parked right on our grounds and was always ready and willing to demonstrate its many sun-powered wonders.
All in all, Mother Earth Week Two provided an information-filled and entertaining six days. In fact–as with the goin's-on in July–it was a tossup whether our visitors or staffers enjoyed the experience more!
And if you happen to be one of the folks who weren't able to join us for one of the 1979 seminars, don't feel too bad. We'll soon have some information for you about next year's shows. Stay tuned! The 1980 seminar series is going to be bigger and better still!
Some Wondrous Wieners!
The Tuesday and Thursday evening hot dog roasts were among the most popular events held during our August seminars. Of course, many commercially available sausages are preservative- and pesticide-laden nutritional time bombs. So to assure the quality of the food served at her "table," MOTHER EARTH NEWS contacted Shiloh Farms, a company located on a 267-acre spread of Ozark hill country that has gone beyond the flimsy government food-quality standards and set its own higher specifications for chemical-free victuals.
The good folks at Shiloh were glad to work with us too, and provided not only tasty franks but some delicious whole wheat buns as well (MOTHER EARTH NEWS did, of course, also have non-meat treats on hand for her vegetarian visitors). The Shiloh Farms sausages were a real hit!