Join me at the Mother Earth News Fair this year! I will be speaking at two Mother Earth New Fairs in 2018: June 2-3 in Frederick Maryland and at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania in September 14-16. I have been a featured speaker annually since the first fair in 2010.
Speaking at the Mother Earth News Fairs always feels like a home coming of sorts. The fairs are produced by Ogden Publishing, which publishes Mother Earth News magazine. When I was a beginning homesteader in the late 1970’s, Mother Earth News Magazine was a great source of inspiration and practical information. It was in those pages that I first learned of Permaculture. Bill Mollison was interviewed in the Nov/Dec 1980 issue. He described permaculture design as a way to design sustainable homes and settlements by applying our knowledge of environmental science and a good design system. I knew immediately I would become a permaculture designer.
To me, permaculture design has always been a search for positive, engaging solutions to the dilemma of our human relationship to our planet. It has been said that design is basically problem solving, hopefully blended with creativity. As permaculture designers, the scope of the problems we are addressing, providing for human needs while regenerating the earth, requires a large tool box.
Human needs, of course, start with the basics: shelter, food, water, energy and community; and expand from these to many disciplines. Waste management, contact with nature, engagement in meaningful activities, education, cultural amenities and steady employment are all high on the list. The knowledge, skills and tools to provide for and fulfill these needs ecologically (that is, in a way that builds soil, promotes biodiversity, and preserves clean air and clean water), form the basis of permaculture design.
Access to this base of knowledge, skill and tools is of vital importance. Sustainability is defined as the managing our resources in a manner that does not diminish the quality of life for future generations. The permaculture concept of regeneration goes beyond this, seeking not only to preserve, but to revitalize and build soil fertility, biodiversity and cultural diversity.
I find that the Mother Earth News Fairs offer one of the greatest assemblies of information vital to our sustainable and regenerative future that I have ever seen in one event. Here you can get your hands in the mud with natural building, plant vegetables in straw bales, and learn grow and preserve food. Here you can find dozens of speakers presenting on gardening, mushroom cultivation, animal husbandry, permaculture design, solar design, wind power and many related topics. The Mother Earth News Bookstore offers hundreds of books on these topics.
This year marks the eighth year, and eighteenth time, I have given presentation at the fairs, for a total of nearly fifty presentations. These fairs are held up to six times each year, this year in North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Kansas and Texas. Join us at the one nearest you. You will be glad you did!