A Review of the 2015 Mother Earth News Pennsylvania Fair
A few weeks ago, I took a long weekend and traveled to attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. This three day fair was held September 18-20 at a resort tucked away in the Laurel Highlands at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The weather was perfect and the short two and a half drive offered a sneak peek of the acclaimed area's fall foliage. I took my favorite traveling partner and self proclaimed hippie, Stephanie.
The modest entry fee of $30 provided access to over 150 workshops on topics. Workshops included a variety of homesteading related themes such as sustainable farming, animal husbandry and off grid power sources.
But the highlight for me was a variety of food related classes. My starred selections from the list included simple goat cheese production and backyard mushroom cultivation.
In addition to the extensive workshop selection, there were 100's of vendors that were happy to answer questions, share samples and knowledge. Most were offering resources to make homesteading life easier through earth friendly means.
Some offered products from their own homesteading trades such as soaps, seeds, food and apparel.
Although what struck me most was the diverse audience for this event. While my friend Steph fit right in with the small majority of bonafide hippies, there was a large hipster audience and most curious of all, the rest were a middle aged, middle class demographic. This is where I would best fit. Based on my extensive eavesdropping talents, I deduced they were like me . . . going back to their roots and looking for a simpler way. On this day, we were not guided by the internet or mass technology, but instead marveling at ways to chop firewood with a simple tool or use a handful of products available from animals and the earth to create food and sustenance. This was real.
If I were to attempt to identify the "hot" topics of the event, it would probably be anything goat, small scale or backyard animal production, seed vendors, along with tabletop mushroom farming.
The alternative energy vendors were definitely swamped. Notably absent were the small house builders. I've been following this movement and was disappointed to not discover them at an event like this.
Curious about what we took home? I couldn't pass up a variety of goat cheeses; maple cream from Paul Bunyan's Sugar Camp; and a handmade tote. Steph found some succulents in up-cycled containers.