Sunday, June 2, 2013

Farmchick Fuel: The Mother Earth News Fair

Every year (though usually a little earlier than June) I need a farm chick mental rev-up; a little shot in the arm in the form of inspiration to really get me energized and excited about the upcoming growing season. Normally, I re-read something like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or just about anything by Gene Logsdon or Michael Pollan to get my juices flowing. This year though, I was off to a slower-than-normal start and needed a little extra something to get me pumped up about getting outside and playing in the dirt and slogging critter poo hither and yon.

This year it wasn't a book that got me going, but an event.

I spent the last two days at the Mother Earth News Fair at our state's fairgrounds in Puyallup ("Pyoo-al-up") attending some fascinating, exciting seminars and classes on everything from planting bee-friendly medicinal gardens, choosing the right heritage breed turkey and building your own cob oven, to quickly and efficiently processing your homegrown poultry. It was pretty dang awesome.

The folks in attendance were a very interesting mix of people, primarily composed of two camps - uber-liberal, crunchy granola types and the very conservative, dressed-in-their-Sunday-best types - and very few from the middle of the spectrum, a fact which I found fascinating.

We brought the kiddos along, one of whom was slightly less than thrilled to be going. But, after a day spent wandering through the poultry barn to check out some rare and beautiful chickens, eating local, organic ice cream and going home with a new, free German angora bunny, I daresay she actually really enjoyed herself.

The other kid and I straight-up drooled over some beautiful chickens, but somehow managed to resist bringing any home. My Bird Girl took the following picture of her favorite breed on display -

An Appenzeller Spitzhauben. Gesundheit!

I, myself, am madly obsessed with the Showgirl chicken. Which is essentially a naked neck Silkie. *swoon* Someday...

Tempted though I was to bring home some fancy new hens, I managed to just say no, and instead mostly binged on books. You're familiar with my obsession for reading-all-things-farmish, right? Did you also know that I'm a hoarder collector of rare and signed books? Guess who had the best day ever? 

This gal!

Seriously. I got to meet Joel Salatin and he signed my books. Farm nerd/book geek nirvana! I was so pumped, that even after spending 8 hours tromping from one end of the fairgrounds to the other and back again a zillion times, that I came home and went straight to work in the garden, planting another two beds of melons and medicinal and edible flowers. It felt great to take some of what I had just learned and put it to use straight away. 

Consider my farming batteries fully recharged. ;)

1 comment:

  1. There was a sustainable fair on yesterday, I couldnt get to it but our state fair (we call it the show)is coming soon so will be able to get my fix from that.