Mother Earth News Fair – 2015 Albany, Oregon

Casey and I attended the Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, OR.  It was amazing to connect with like-minded people, and we gathered tons of information to help us on our journey to owning our own homestead!

We planned to attend several of the presentations in order to help us prepare for our homestead.  We attended presentations on heritage breed animals, bee keeping, intro to permaculture, and starting & improving gardening or other homestead principles.

We watched a live demonstration of processing poultry.  The presentation was led by Joel Salatin and David Schafer.  We also attended a second presentation by Salatin, entitled “10 Threads That Successful Startup Farms Knit Together.”  Of course, we were inspired by all the presentations we attended.

I think the most inspiring presentation for myself was “Making a living on 1.5 Acres” by Jean-Martin Fortier.  He discussed how to adopt intensive methods of productions to lead optimization of cropping.  This was in the structure of his land and where the crops were placed.  He studied his land before any development.  Before building or planting he had made a layout of where everything would go.  He took into consideration where he would be walking the most, in order to avoid back-tracking.  Also, all his methods used hand tools!  It was great to hear how he started and became successful by evolving his methods over time.

In between presentations we browsed the market. There were so many amazing booths to visit!  Everyone there was nice and helpful.  We found one booth that really peeked our interest.  It was for wwoofing.  What is that you ask? Well, WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  This organization facilitates placement of volunteers on organic farms, worldwide!  Casey and I are thinking of using this to help us connect with local Oregon farmers. Owning a homestead is a dream both Casey and I share, so the more we can learn before we begin then the easier the transition should be once we have some land.  Plus, if we intend to stay and homestead in Oregon it will be great to have a network of other farmers to connect with!

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