What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR?
I will be speaking twice at the FAIR! My first topic is Planting by the Moon - Gardening in Harmony with the Cosmos.
My life's work has been studying the cycles of the planets and their influence on life. Gardening in harmony with the cycles of the moon puts us in touch with the natural rhythms of the cosmos. Daily gardening and farming activities can be planned by two factors, the phase of the moon based on the 4 quarters, and the sign of the moon, based on the 12 zodiac signs. I love this connection between earth and sky and have found lunar gardening tunes me in to exactly the right things to do at just the right time. I plan my gardening life around the moon cycles and have always found that this enables me to be working in a way that is beneficial and practical and it is a system that works very well and is easy to follow. My friends often called me to ask when it was a good time to plant and the frequency of the calls led me to start publishing a Planting by the Moon calendar. It was very successful but time consuming and after 5 years I took a few years off because of being too busy, but the requests kept coming so I have completed a 2012 calendar and am very excited to have one done for such a powerful upcoming year.
I am also going to be giving a demonstration on Crafting Herbal Salves. I've been in love with plants for as long as I can remember and have had a lifelong interest in natural healing. I am a nutritionist by profession and am always touting the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, but plants are potent healers for all ailments and I specialize in using plants for healing skin ailments. I grow all of the plants I craft my salves with and have successfully been running my own business “Sue's Salves” for over 10 years. In 2005 I won $25,000 from The Ben Franklin Technology Partners “Big Idea Business Plan Contest”. They loved my business plan of using organic plants to craft organic beauty care products. This money really helped me to launch my home business into the success it is today. I also do a lot of public speaking events educating women about the need for safe cosmetics, limiting their exposure to toxic chemicals and why plants work so effectively to heal the skin. I am happiest when I am growing, harvesting and crafting things with my plants. My energy feeds off of the plant's energy and the plants feed off of me! The ability to grow and craft healing products from plants grown in my own garden is the most rewarding thing I have ever accomplished.
What are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees?
I am really looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm about plants as medicine and also about how all of life is connected-from the cosmos to the mother earth. Living in a connected way is the basis of my life's energy and the work I do.
Tell us about your background with your particular topic.
I have a degree in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics from Penn State University but my true passions in life have also been astrology, organic gardening and homesteading. I studied medical astrology in London for 6 years in the 1980s, and it was there that I learned about the work of Nicholas Culpeper, a 17th Century physician, herbalist and astrologer. Over the years I have been able to combine my love of natural healing, nutrition, organic gardening and astrology in the crafting of medicinal herbs into remedies by following the planetary cycles and the planetary relationships of plants and the planets. It is not a subject that is widely known, especially in the US. People find it highly unusual but I can assure them that the connections are very powerful and the traditional system used by the ancients and in medieval times is highly valuable. It works for me and the cosmic connections are never lost on me!
Why should fairgoers attend your presentation?
Because they will learn about things they may never had thought about before, ideas they may not have ever been exposed to. My information is highly practical and simple to understand. I enjoy giving people something brand new to contemplate, new tools to use and new perspectives to take away with them so they can enjoy healthier lives and feel more connected to the world they live in.
How will you get to the FAIR, and how far do you have to travel?
I will drive to the FAIR. I live about 3 hours north east of Seven Springs in Clinton County, Pa.
What are you most looking forward to at the FAIR?
I am really looking forward to having a larger audience for my work, to connect to more people who are like minded and would really get something valuable from what I have to share. I've been speaking to garden and herb groups all around Pennsylvania for many years but this will enable me to reach many more people and hopefully get them excited about the things that excite me and enable me to live a truly organic life!
What advice do you have for attendees?
I would suggest that everyone who attends goes home with as many new strategies for sustainable living as they possibly can learn. The MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR audience holds the key to our survival as a culture, a country and a species dwelling on the Mother Earth. If we each individually and collectively make the changes needed for the coming times of energy shortages, food shortages and water shortages and learn to conserve, preserve, revere and take care of the resources we have then there is hope for building the future. These are likely to be the people who will be in the forefront of the changing and challenging times to come.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose?
I would choose a compatible companion with good survival skills!
Thanks, Sue. We'll see you at the FAIR!