Mother Earth News Fair Recap

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Big Crowds in Belton

The first ever Mother Earth News Fair in Texas was a big success this past weekend. The whole [Grow] Network team came out to Belton, TX for the fair, and we all had a great time. The people were amazing – it’s so exciting to see a diverse crowd of thousands of people, all gathered together to learn about sustainability and self-reliance. And I know all of us, especially Marjory, really enjoyed getting to meet so many new people.

There were too many great booths and exhibitions to list. The place was buzzing with alternative energy vehicles, traditional folk arts and crafts, heritage and landrace livestock, homestead-scale saw mills, and so much more.

Expert Speakers

The speaker lineup was awesome, and I’m sure everyone who attended will agree that there wasn’t enough time to take in all of the information that was flying around. There were great talks on sustainability, herbal medicine, vegetable gardening, raising and processing livestock, alternative energy… you name it. Out of the few talks that I really had time to watch, there were a couple of standouts:

Ira Wallace: Ira gave a nice talk called Year-Round Bounty for the Home Garden. I missed her presentation on growing garlic, but I know I’ll get a second chance to see it at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.

Tradd Cotter: Tradd’s talk on medicinal mushrooms was great. He’s doing some really cool research about the antibiotic and antiviral properties of different mushrooms. I missed his talk on mycoremediation of contaminated soils, but I am definitely going to pick up his book to learn what he has to say on that topic.

Pat Foreman: Pat did a few presentations, and one of them was on home poultry processing. I wasn’t able to watch this one, but I heard that it was pretty impressive. Pat’s going to do a presentation on eggs at this year’s Home Grown Food Summit – follow our free newsletter for more information – sign up here.

Cody from Wranglerstar: Cody’s talk on old hand tools was really good. He shared some helpful tips about how to buy old hand tools for cheap, and how to restore them to ‘like new’ condition.

Marjory Wildcraft: Without a doubt, the biggest and most energetic crowd of the weekend was Marjory’s crowd for her talk about how to grow half of your own food in less than an hour a day, in your own backyard. It was so cool to see so many people from the [Grow] Network coming together in the same place – rather than online. You all are awesome.

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Marjory speaking to a packed house at the Mother Earth News Fair

How to Grow Half Your Own Food

Marjory rocked her presentation! It was a quick talk where she did some basic math about how many calories you need, and then walked through several different crops and livestock that anyone can grow/raise in a small space – like a backyard. The crowd was really great, and I know that Marjory loved the opportunity to speak to so many people in person – she was super excited for the rest of the day!

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Marjory Wildcraft during her talk “How to Grow Half Your Own Food”

We don’t want to leave out everyone who couldn’t make it to Texas for the weekend. So, if you missed Marjory’s live talk, but you want to hear what she had to say, you can watch a recorded version of her presentation by entering your name and email address here: Watch Marjory’s “How to Grow Half of Your Own Food” Presentation Online.

Don’t Despair if You Missed the Fair

Our video man Anthony was on hand for the weekend, and he got lots of great pictures and video to capture the event and share it with you. Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks – we’re going to share some videos and short interviews as soon as they’re ready.

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Marjory answers questions from the audience after her presentation

And, based on the turnout, I expect that Mother Earth News will hold another fair in Texas next year. Stay tuned to our free newsletter, and we’ll let you know about it when they announce the dates.

If you couldn’t make it to Texas, but you want to check out another Mother Earth News Fair in a different state, you’re in luck. There are five more fairs happening in 2016, and you can see the full schedule for the year here: Mother Earth News Fair.

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Many thanks to Mother Earth News Fair for all of the hard work that went into this event. And thanks to all of the fair’s sponsors who made the whole thing possible. Please support these sponsors. You can see a full list here: Mother Earth News Fair.

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Michael Ford


Contributor

Michael has been the resident editor at The [Grow] Network since January 2015. Michael grew up in St. Louis, where he became a lover of nature - hiking and fishing his way through the Ozark hills in Missouri. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, and he currently lives in Austin. Michael has background experience in small-scale farming, commercial growing, vegetable gardening, landscaping, marketing, and software development. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild in 2013.


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2 Comments
  • Paola

    Hi Michael. I was at the mother Earth news fair and it was an excellent presentation indeed! You can actually see me on the video front center in the green cardigan 🙂 when I was at the fair, I received a coupon for 50% off the DVD set, and there was a LINK to the growyourowngroceries.org/MEN website for you to claim the DVDs with the discount. Unfortunately, the website does not work. Do you know how I can get my discount for attending the fair?

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