Monday, September 22, 2014

Mother Earth News Fair, Seven Springs, PA

Premier's booth at the 2014 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA. 

Another Mother Earth News Fair has come and gone. This latest was in Seven Springs, PA (which happens to double as a ski resort in the winter). Cool weather was predicted so I packed up a few extra layers of wool socks and flannel shirts (is there a better combination in existence?). I made sure to wear at least one article of wool clothing each day (two if you count both feet). Why wool? Premier is a sheep company at it's core, it would be bad form to wear something acrylic (oh the horror!). Also wool is warm even when wet—and rain was in the forecast.

The show was scheduled for a long weekend (Friday to Sunday) so I needed to trek out early Thursday. After leaving Iowa before first light and traveling many miles and toll roads later I arrived in PA just in time to set up the booth for Friday's show. Fortunately the show started at noon on Friday, so I could have daylight for any finishing touches on the booth. Once finishing touches were completed, I was ready for the start of the fair. A few of the items I brought along were netting, our new Heat Lamp Plus, ChickBox, Heating Plate, Chick Stand,  QuickClean waterer with legs, FiberTuff Posts and a few PRS 50 Solar Energizer units (I gave one away Sunday as a door prize).

The booth before the show started on Friday. Two of the straw bales would later be broken up to stop the scourge of an impromptu flood. 

High-points and interesting tidbits from the fair:

  • Despite rainy weather on Saturday, turnout was excellent. Wool socks certainly earned their keep. 
  • Folks wanted to keep everything from rabbits to cattle in and rabbits to bear out. There was mixed consensus on rabbits (some raise them for meat while others want them out of the garden). 
  • It was unanimously agreed that bears should be kept out. 
  • I spoke with someone who uses the Feral HogNet to keep in piglets. The lowest strand is 4" from the ground (2" closer than Pig QuikFence) so piglets pre-weaning were easier to keep contained. 
  • Most folks I spoke to were interested in raising poultry and goats. Other interests included cattle, bees (for honey), horses, sheep, deer (keeping out) and of course rabbits (in and out). 
  • Bedding your booth down with straw during a rainstorm keeps the mud at bay. However, though it looks immensely comfortable, it is unprofessional to nap on a bed of straw while working. No worries, I resisted the temptation, though I did envy the alpacas in the next booth sleeping on their own bed of straw. 
Speaking of Alpacas (and other fiber animals) I picked up a few skeins of yarn from the folks of Underhill Farm (a lovely lambswool), Misty Mountain Farm (alpaca) and Hopping Acres (Leicester Longwool wool). Hopefully I'll have a few surplus pairs of wool socks for the next rainy show. 

The next show will be in Topeka, KS the weekend of October 25-26. If you're in the area be sure to stop by.