Living Off Grid - Our First Mother Earth News Fair

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/living-off-grid-our-first-mother-earth-news-fair.aspx


Booth 001Well yes, we did attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA June 2, 3, 2012. What an event!
It seems like everywhere we go, no matter what kind of event, street fair or country fair, they are all pretty much the same. Not this one. This one stands out. This one was the Mother of all Fairs and seriously, no pun intended.
 
There were over 150 Do It Yourself Workshops and 250 Exhibitors. They had more than 8 stages and a tree house all going at the same time. I never did see the tree house but it was in the brochure so it must have been there. There would have to be at least five of me to see everything and attend all that is available. Of course Laurie and I had to stay in our booth the whole time and try to sell something but we each managed to sneak out occasionally to see the sights.

I’m sure one of the MEN (Mother Earth News) Pros will write about this soon and give you all the facts and statistics but here is my take. It was wall to wall people from opening to closing and that being said, it was the most organized and well run event I have ever attended. Just to prove it, one of the MEN staff brought us a cookie on Sunday afternoon when we were on our last reserves of energy.

Side Booth We met a lot of people from Utah. We should probably consider having one there if there is no sales tax. Our booth, Good Ideas For Life, No 427 was a big hit. One of the items we sell on our online business is Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. We took eight cases and sold out by 3:00 Saturday. Whoops, our bad. Next year we will bring a Semi truck full of them.

MEN BookstoreMEN had a bookstore in the middle of this event that is bigger than anything we have around here where we live. Here we order books online and the library sends them to us via the Post Office (for free!). I don’t think MEN has that kind of a service but they did put all books on sale 30% off the last hour. Hundreds, if not thousands of books all helping you to live a better, happier, and healthier lifestyle. If I were unhealthy or unhappy that is where I would get a book. Grit Magazine and Backwoods Home Magazine were both there as well.

Vendor cooperation was great! The Seed people heard we had seed tape at our booth and were sending people our way. We were giving out cards for other vendors like Earthineer and they were doing the same for us. It seemed everyone had the fairgoers best interest at heart.

Natural Clothing, electric cars, tree seedlings, trees, all kinds of natural products, wood stoves, masonry stoves, cookware, garden supplies, books and more books, birdhouses, seeds, Heritage Seeds and more seeds, wool spinners, hydroponics, survival tools, people dressed as pioneers, garden equipment, eco builders, goats, chickens, and bunnies, compost toilets, and yurts – these were a few of my favorite things. All of those and more at the Mother Earth News Fair.

StagesThe speakers were knowledgeable and to the point. They didn’t keep you any longer than necessary. It was obvious they had done this before. The building was perfectly set up for this type of thing. There were always multiple speaking events going on at the same time but the only one you heard was the one you attended.

I am being serious when I say it was the coolest event I have ever attended and I will be truly torn between going as a vendor or regular ticket holder next year.

The only thing I would do different is stay in a different hotel. The one we chose had duct tape on the concrete steps up to our room. They used both gray and black although I'm pretty sure they both have the same concrete structural repair strength.

DT ST 01 Ed and Laurie Essex live off grid in the Okanogan Highlands of Washington State where they operate their website goodideasforlife.com  and offgridworks.com.