Mother Earth News Fair Review (Seven Springs, PA 2017)

Mother Earth News Fair Review

(Seven Springs, PA)

2017

mother earth news fair

I can’t believe it was already a week ago (last weekend) that I worked in a vendor booth at the Mother Earth News Fair for the 2nd year. This has become one of my favorite events to work! The first year at the event, I met some wonderful people including the women from Pittsburgh’s “Farm to Table of Western, PA.” Last year, I was amazed at how many vendors participate in this fair.

On a side a note, I’ll explain why I loved this event even more this year!  We all know that life isn’t always pleasant and peachy by any means, it also doesn’t always go as imagined or planned. (This has been especially true for me probably for about the past two years.) Sometimes we get to a point, before we hit a breaking point where we finally have to figure out what brings us any type of happiness… I was outside thinking one day when I thought, what is simple that makes me smile that makes me proud of myself?  Gardening…it’s such a small part of my life, but it was something that I knew that I enjoyed and wanted to learn more about. It all started with me planting small things from time to time, year to year. Nothing crazy, just mosty container gardening. Last year, I started to add a few perennials around the yard. This year, I decided early this summer that I wanted to take a basic gardening class. I was interested in creating a good soil. (Money is always tight, and always seems to be an issue and holds me back from many things. I researched and found a reasonably priced class and decided to register for it.) It was probably one of the best decisions and investments that I have made in a long time! I was so excited to attend! (I was the student that got there early and sat in the front row! A little nerdy, I know, but that’s okay in my book, haha!) This class was wonderful and I looked forward to attending it each week! Sure, you can read, watch YouTube videos, and learn online, but it felt really great and did me a world of good to take an hour for myself a week, with no interruptions, and educate myself in a roomful of individuals with the same interest as me. 

This experience gave me the confidence to expand and fill my backyard with new and old favorites of plant, flower, and vegetable varieties.  I felt that it wasn’t a waste of money because I at least had a little bit more confidence and knowledge now that I could take of care of these plants.  It’s the best feeling waking up, looking out your window and admiring the shapes, colors, and beauty these creations of nature provides us.  Also, there is fun in picking and cooking with your own herbs and vegetables!  It’s a hobby that I love and continue to learn more about!

Now, back to the Mother Earth News Fair Review! (Sorry for the long explanation and venting!) So knowing what I did from attending the event last year, I was kinda in (nerd mode) again and researched the fair weeks in advance. I looked at their website, printed out maps, calendars, and schedules for workshops. I also researched some of the speakers and got my highlighter ready for what I was interested in!

Unfortunately, I did not have time to participate in any of the workshops while working, but the research still paid off because as I took a break on Sunday, I was able to make a beeline and gather information from the booths that I knew I wanted to visit. One thing that I appreciated that Mother Earth Fair did was keep vendors in a similar set up from the year before. That way if you do have limited time, you can make sure that you hit up your favorite booths if you remembered where they were set up from the year before.

Seven Springs was a great location! It was gorgeous up there! The weather cooperated and we had chilly mornings and beautiful days! I would take that drive in the morning any day.  Such a burst of refreshing air, with leaves starting to change colors…Beautiful!!!  The venue was packed with people who varied from locals to visitors from various states. The pictures from the workshops were also filled. If you love gardening and sustainable living, this is one event that I highly suggest you go visit!

There are Mother Earth News Fairs held in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, and PA. Some of my favorite booths that I visited this year were: Funky Fresh Family Farms, Farm to Table Western, PA, The Gardener’s Workshop, Sow True Seed, Mockingbird Meadows Farm, Metalledwith, The Bookstore, Fruition Seeds, Mother Earth’s Natural Organic Root Cider, (I’m not sure if it was this or the Fire Cider that I had from the Herb Angel, but I noticed a huge improvement in my sinuses over the next few days without having to take anything for them.) I’m anxious to plant my Marshmallow seeds that I purchased from Herb Angel. Sacred Plant Traditions was another booth that I enjoyed. The lady working the Harris Seeds booth was so friendly and she hooked me up with free purple carrot seeds! I’m also looking forward to learn more about the PA Women’s Agricultural Network and see what they have to offer and how I can educate myself in the future through their workshops.

The 2017 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs was a success for the booth that I worked for, as well as a whole for the entire fair. I could’ve definitely spent 3 days learning new and different things each day, as well as attending workshops or taking it day by day to spend time at vendor booths and have time to talk to them and generate connections and network. Thanks, Mother Earth News for a great fair at Seven Springs! I’m already looking forward to attending next year!

Here are some pictures of me before arriving to the fair and our vendor booth at the fair.

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National Mead Day-August 5, 2017

Mead Day

August 5, 2017

mead glasses

Today is National Mead Day! You are probably either thinking what kind of day is she writing about and why, or you may be saying, “I love Mead! I’m glad this day is getting some recognition!” Currently, and for over a year now, I’ve been working for a new, local meadery in Pittsburgh. My experience there ranges from production work, administrative work, to organizing, planning, and staffing for festivals and events, as well as setting up and working them. You may remember me writing about KingView Mead back in November, when I wrote a post about supporting small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday. KingView Mead celebrated their one year anniversary this past May! You may learn more about KingView Mead as a company, as well as our give back; first in the nation, “Mead for Bees” program. The website is: www.kingviewmead.com.

Some of you may be wondering, “What is Mead?” Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, water and yeast. 51% or more of the alcohol must be fermented for this honey wine to be categorized as a mead. This delicious drink has many variations such as Traditional, Melomel: by adding fruit or fruit juice, Braggot: by adding hops, Metheglin: by adding herbs or spices, Cyser: by adding apples or apple juice, or Pyment: by adding grapes or grape juice.

Are any of you getting married anytime soon? If so, you may want to include this traditional wedding drink as your beverage of choice! Mead is the original wedding drink. It was given to newlyweds way back in ancient times to drink for an entire month to promote fertility and happiness throughout their marriage. This is also how the term “honeymoon” came about.

Now, after an explanation and some of my connection to mead, I’d like to share with you a little bit of background and history on National Mead Day. In 2002, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) observed the first Saturday in August as Mead Day! The tradition has been carried on over the years. This year, Mead Day will be observed today, on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

The AHA, started Mead Day to generate friendships of mead makers and to create and increase awareness about the oldest fermented beverage to others. It was a day which mead lovers would gather friends and family and create a batch of mead together. Others celebrate it by having competitions, sharing or comparing recipes, dressing up to enjoy the delicious beverage sometimes known as “honey wine” or just meeting up to discuss the craft of mead making. Mark your calendars for August 5th this year. Go outside, reconnect yourself back to nature, and have a drink or two of mead!

As craft beers are popping up, meads are now becoming more popular. Laws in PA have been changing and you may be seeing more of mead in beer distributors, wine & spirit stores, as well as bars and restaurants. If you’ve tried a mead before, and haven’t liked it, don’t turn it down the next time you see it somewhere. This delicious beverage can taste differently each time you try it. Remember, bees pollinate many types of flowers, therefore, the honey they make does not always have the same flavor. A few honey varieties for example could be: Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Lavender, Buckwheat, and there are many more. When these different types of honeys are used, it also can change the taste of the type of mead you are drinking!

Are you a mead lover? If so, what are some of your favorite meads to drink? I’d love to hear from you!  Raise your glass, and “Cheers” to Mead Day!!!