Heritage Harvest Festival and Mother Earth News Fair

Reader Contribution by Cindy Conner
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There are two exciting events coming up in September that I want to tell you about. I’ll be at both of them as a speaker and in the Homeplace Earth booth. The 7th annual Heritage Harvest Festival will be held at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville, Virginia on September 6 and 7, 2013. The Mother Earth News Fair will be at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania September 20-22.

The Heritage Harvest Festival is hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in partnership with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. On Friday September 6 all the activities take place at the LEED-certified Visitors Center. On Saturday September 7 the action is at the Visitors Center and up on the mountain on the grounds surrounding Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. Jefferson was a champion for small farmers and for innovative ways. What an appropriate place for such a celebration!

At the Heritage Harvest Festival you will have an opportunity to learn about many things, listen to some great music, and mingle with like-minded folks. There will be workshops and presentations on growing food, fermentation, seed saving, homestead animals, and other topics of interest for people seeking a more sustainable lifestyle.  The title of my presentation both days is Grow a Sustainable Diet. There is a seed swap that you can participate in, even if you don’t bring seeds to swap. There will be lots of people there, but then, there are lots of places for them to be. On Saturday, when the most people are there, parking is at a nearby community college and buses will transport you to the Monticello Visitors Center. There are also buses to give you a lift up the mountain to the activities at Monticello, however you can enjoy the walk up or down the mountain on a well-maintained path. Imagine the people who once populated Monticello are walking with you.

This is the fourth year for the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania. You will find workshops and presentations on animal husbandry, green building, modern homesteading, natural health, nature and community, organic gardening, real food, and renewable energy. My presentations will be on Grow a Sustainable Diet and Solar Food Drying. All of the presenters are great people with interesting ideas to share. You will find vendors, of course, giving you an opportunity to see products you may only have read about and to talk with people who know about them. The Homeplace Earth booth is #2209. When I’m not speaking, that’s where I’ll be.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like if your favorite magazine came to life, visit the Mother Earth News Fair. It will be as if you just walked into the pages. You will meet folks writing the articles and books and be surrounded by everything the magazine is about. You can make new friends if you take the time to introduce yourself to the folks, just like you, who will be waiting for a talk to begin. There will be large crowds at the Mother Earth News Fair, but the staff anticipates that and will have taken measures to accommodate all the people. Having been there each year since this event began in 2010, I’ve made friends that I look forward to seeing when we are there. For us, it is like a homecoming celebration or a family reunion—the “family” being people brought together to be recharged with the ideas and the passion they are experiencing. If you are planning to attend and will need lodging, you would be wise to make your reservations now.

There is a cost to these events and most people I know are trying not to spend more money than they have to these days. Considering how much you could learn in a weekend, however, these events are a bargain. If you feel the need to economize, pack a lunch. Check out the schedules ahead and plan your time carefully. You can save some money by pre-ordering tickets to the Mother Earth News Fair.

Over the years I have learned so much from others by reading their books and magazine articles. I have valued the opportunities to meet them in person and hear them speak, adding another dimension to my learning. The diversity of ideas and people floating around at these events are something you don’t want to miss. See you there!

Learn more about Cindy Conner and what she’s up to atwww.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.