Earth Fairs & Eco Expos

June 7, 2011

Kelly Lerner leading her workshop.

Beth Mort and I just returned from Puyallup, WA and the first Mother Earth News Fair on the west coast. We attended workshops, listened to speakers, sampled organic and regional foods, almost test drove an electric car, and researched lots of great, regionally-made products for Sun People. To our surprise,we also ran into Sun People co-owner Kelly Lerner, leading a great class on strawbale construction on behalf of the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild. We will better coordinate next year!

Mother Earth News has been publishing articles and stories on sustainable living for the past 40 years. It was heartening to hear Darrell Frey, author of Bioshelter: Market Garden and owner/manager of the successful permaculture farm in Pennsylvania, Three Sisters Farm, state that he first read about permaculture in the late ‘70s from a Mother Earth News article. With a readership of over 3 million readers worldwide, it is great to see that they are having such a long and far-reaching impact on how many of us choose to live our lives.

The Fair was organized into approximately 15 different stages including organic gardening, eating well, herb companion, natural home stage, renewable energy stage, wiser living, grit stage and american livestock. It reminded me of many of our departments at Sun People! Overall it was great to see so much diversity in both the population that turned out and the workshops offered—everything from “How to Create a Green and Resilient City” to “Raising Hair Sheep: The Basics.”

The diversity of the sustainability movement is often what appeals to me the most. It is not just hippies from the ‘60s, although, gratefully, there are plenty of them, but it is also young families concerned about their children’s health, it is evangelical Christians, wanting to live more self-sufficiently and it is aging (and not aging) environmentalists who are terribly concerned about where we are headed as a world community. As Richard Whittaker, so succinctly stated last month, when he introduced Robert Kennedy Jr. to a Spokane audience, “it is a beautiful planet and we are all just damn lucky to live here.”

Spokane launches its first Eco Expo this coming Saturday, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Spokane Community College Lair. There will be lots of vendors and nonprofits there, along with Sun People. Come by and say hi and enter your name in for a drawing of some our great products!


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