Earlier this year, MOTHER EARTH NEWS hosted another hands-on, sustainable-living FAIR. This time, the location was near Seattle, in Puyallup, Wash. Like last year’s FAIR in western Pennsylvania, the Puyallup event was a great success. There’s just no substitute for meeting face-to-face with other folks who share your enthusiasm for wiser living, and learning from experts who are eager to share their knowledge. Many attendees sought out editors and FAIR staff to tell us they loved the event and to say how much it meant to them for it to happen in their area. The FAIR brought together thousands of people from diverse backgrounds with one common goal: to have fun and get practical information on living a better, more sustainable life.
It was clear from the large turnouts at most of the 150 workshops and keynote presentations that FAIR Programming Director James Duft had hit a home run. There were seedspeople, stove builders, beer brewers, bread bakers, cheesemongers, eco-activists, broom-makers, wood carvers, soap-makers, 100-mpg-car inventors, log home builders, and booksellers. And lots and lots of really great books!
Keynote speaker highlights included Joel Salatin’s sermon to a standing-room-only crowd on how “ballets in our pastures” can challenge the industrial food system, veteran activist Ed Begley Jr.’s rousing speech, “Live Simply So That Others Can Simply Live,” and Dan Chiras on “The Monkey Trap” and how our society can find the determination to create a better future.
The livestock tent, sponsored by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, was packed both days. Maybe that’s because many folks these days have never seen farm animals up close. And those alpacas — could they have been any cuter!?
Mitsubishi brought three of its new i electric car, and dozens of folks got to test drive this fun and nimble subcompact that will be the most affordable electric car on the market when it goes on sale in early 2012 ($20,490 after the $7,500 federal tax credit).
Shopping for a super-compact, affordable cabin, studio or mini-home? ShelterKraft Werks offered tours of its cozy, energy-efficient CargoCottage, which is made from recycled steel cargo containers — 160 square feet for $35,000.
Ever heard of “abrasive waterjet cutting”? FAIR exhibitor Bob Powell is producing an impressive new broadfork using this remarkable technology. The machine cuts steel by blasting a stream of garnet dust at about two times the speed of sound! To learn more, watch Abrasive Waterjet Cutting With Bob Powell.
The ShelterWorks company displayed its ultra-durable Faswall building blocks, as well as raised-bed frames that were made from recycled wood chips bound together with 15 percent Portland cement.
FAIR sponsor Organic Valley offered free samples of their delicious and nutritious Pasture Butter, and Purina explained their “60 Day Challenge” livestock feed campaign. Another sponsor, Bon Ami cleaning products, charmed the crowd with a live version of their 120-year-old company’s logo: baby chicks.
For those of you who could not attend, we have posted some videos and presentations online on our FAIR blog. The next FAIR will be a return to Seven Springs, Pa., on Sept. 24 and 25. For details on the program, to order tickets, and to sign up for our FAIR newsletter, visit the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR website.
Hope to see you at a future FAIR!