We browsed booths that advertised fabulous chick condos,
which went well until the Mister and I started measuring the dimensions and taking notes to build our own for far less money.
I enjoyed learning about skinny pellet stoves,
until we realized this guy has nothing to do with pellet stoves. He builds greenhouses. Or so he said. The only greenhouse he could show us was on his phone.☺
I did great sitting in on lectures and workshops, taking notes and even asking appropriate questions at the end. I learned about stocking a real food pantry from Lisa Kivirist, author of the cookbook, Farmstead Chef. I liked her so much that I went to her workshop on small farm business's for women and dragged my Mister along for the ride. I listened to Deborah Niemann, author of Homegrown and Handmade, discuss how to choose the right livestock for the homestead, and to Janice Bryant who talked about moving back to the farm. My Mister learned about home dairying and both of us enjoyed watching barefoot hippies build outdoor ovens out of clay. We visited with the lovely ladies at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Weston A. Price booths who supplied us with bumper stickers like, "Cholesterol is for Lovers," and "Don't Mess with Perfection~Drink Raw Milk!"
Which are now mounted on the back of my Expedition, right next to the Dutch Brother's Mafia (coffee) bumper sticker.
We saw Ed Begley, Jr. run past us after exiting the men's room.
|This guy is fast. And this picture is NOT from my camera.|
I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to take a picture of him there, but did have the pleasure of running into him later at a booth for composting toilets.
He was sitting on one.
I didn't have the heart to interrupt~the book he was reading looked pretty good.
We enjoyed listening to Will Allen of The Good Food Revolution. (He is featured in the documentary, "Fresh".)
Awesome guy. Big guy. And deserving of the standing ovation he received.
He made me cry.
And the lady next to us.
And maybe even my Mister.
But what surprised me the most was my visit with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.
|I'm pretty sure Mr. Salatin had security guards ready to take me out if needed.|
"Hello Mister Salatin. I just wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your books and can't wait to implement some of those same ideas on our farm," said my Mister.
"Well, thank you. That is very nice to hear," said Mr. Salatin, while shaking my Mister's hand.
"We're working on cross-fencing our field so that we can have the chicken tractor follow the cows, blah, blah, blah...." (my Mister)
"That is biologically, fundamentally, ecologically, unadulterated blah, blah, blah...." (Joel)
While my Mister and his new buddy, Joel, shot the breeze, I just stood there. Grinning. Laughing that stupid, uncomfortable machine-gun laugh that I get when star-struck, "Uh-uh-huh-huh-uh." And while I stood there, Mr. Salatin, who apparently didn't remember me from our little encounter last year, kept throwing worried glances my way. I'm sure he wanted to know if I had taken my meds before coming to the fair, but was much too kind to ask. During this little visit, I didn't hear much except the beating of my own heart. Since the room was spinning, my vision was a little blurred. And because my armpits and hands were sweating rivers of joy, I kept my hands firmly stuffed into the back pockets of my blue jeans while coming up with brilliant things to say like, "I like eggs. A lot."
Thankfully, I couldn't remember how to take words and make sentences, so my brilliance never left my mouth.
Guess I can be glad for small favors.
If I could go back to those 8 minutes, I would tell him what a remarkable speaker he is. I would thank him for inspiring so many of us with his words, tongue-in-cheek humor, faith, and wisdom. I would mention that it is not only adults he is inspiring, but 12 and 16 year old boys, who want to be farmers just like him. I would ask him questions about the types of grain he uses for his hogs and chickens, where he buys his electric netting, and what time of the year he has his animals bred. I would ask him how many hours it takes him to butcher his 400 broilers and compare notes on butchering weights. I would ask him how he manages to fit it all into one day and if he ever gets to take vacations with his wife.
And I would ask him about his hat.
Maybe I should practice some before next year's fair.☺