This past weekend HB1 and HB2 joined me on a quick weekend trip to WI for the Mother Earth News Fair. I had never been to one before, but I love the magazine and website so I pre-ordered tickets months ago thinking that the whole family would go. As we got to planning out the summer, we realized that it might not work for the whole family to go. I initially thought we could incorporate the Fair with our annual summer trip to visit family in WI but that wasn’t going to work. Family is available on the weekends, and the Fair was on the weekend. So it was decided I would go, and if the older boys could behave themselves and take care of their chores leading up to the weekend they could come with me.
We left Friday afternoon and got into WI around 9:30 local time. We were staying with my grandma so after visiting for a bit, we hit the hay preparing for the next day. My grandma’s house is only 20 minutes away from the Fair location so we left around 8:15 wanting to get there a little early and get our bearings.
After waiting a few minutes for the gates to open we made our way to the main stage where Joel Salatin was going to be talking about Salad Bar Beef, about which he wrote a book. I have read most of the book, but I really wanted to hear him talk. One point that he made that stuck with me was moving the animals every day gives you an opportunity every day to observe the animals and see how they are doing. He initially started talking about large numbers of cows, but then took it down to a Homesteader level of cows and acreage. I may have to start moving the cows more on smaller sections of grass. We will see, the thing we have going for us is I already see the animals every day, they are right outside my bedroom window.
After Joel’s talk I was walking around some of the exhibitors’ booths, and who do I see walking down the path towards me, but the entire Wranglerstar family, of YouTube fame. I normally try not to make a big deal around famous people so as I was walking by I just said, “hey, I love your YouTube channel” and planned on continuing walking. The whole family stopped and said thanks and struck up a conversation. I got a Wranglerstar pencil, and we talked for probably five or ten minutes. I actually ended up talking with them for about a half and hour or more over the course of the weekend, and my boys ended up running around the Fair with Jack. The word I would use for the whole Wranglerstar family is genuine. What you see is what you get, they are an honest to goodness genuinely nice family who go out of their way to make everyone they are talking to feel as important as anyone else in the world.
On to the fair in general. I had a great time. There were multiple talks at every time period that I wanted to attend. So much so, that I am trying to figure out how I can go to another one. There were exhibitors who brought different breeds of animals, the most interesting to me were the American Guinea Hogs, miniature Jersey cows, and Idaho Pasture Pigs. There were also tractor manufacturers with test drives, natural products, geodesic domes (we ordered a kit so a blog/video will be coming shortly), food products, walk behind tractors, alternative energy, Chinese greenhouses, aquaponics, charcuterie and on and on. It was a ton of fun.
Not only was the Fair fun, but I got to spend some “guy” time with the older boys. In the car, at the Fair, and at my grandma’s. Time one on one, or one on two doesn’t happen all the time, and many times when it does it is busy time. So this laid back time was great.
If you have ever considered going to a Mother Earth News Fair, do it. If you haven’t considered it, do. It was a ton of fun, there were talks for everyone, and a ton of community building was going on.
Talk to you later…