“The Mother Earth News Fair provides you a rare opportunity: a living and breathing marketplace where you can interact with exhibitors, authors, and innovators whose passion for what they do is matched only by their authority in the industry. Our exhibitors are ready and willing to demo and discuss a vast array of products that will help you live better. Now you can shop the latest sustainable products, compare prices, witness demos, and take advantage of exclusive deals and incentives – all in one place.” – MENR Website
I attended my second Mother Nature News Fair in Belton, Texas in 2020. It was a little lack-luster compared to my first year attending – but that’s probably because I saw most of the same exhibitors/vendors and several speakers from the year before. However, this year the Fair really focused on special guests and famous YouTubers. I really liked the Fair’s approach with attracting expert speakers and niche celebrities.
You can see the various types of vendors and exhibitors below, ranging from selling seeds to chickens and low-tech tools to high-tech equipment, like outdoor power sources and the robotic ROVA chicken coop.
There were many other vendors and demonstration areas throughout the conference hall grounds. I took a special interest in the American Guinea Hog Association as well as the Guinea Fowl booth. Both of these animals have low impact on a homestead, with even greater yields and help with pest control.
Other areas of the conference had indoor honey bees on display, a working blacksmithing demo area, chicken shit bingo and chicken races for the kids, as well as a rocket stove demo and build area.
The speakers were who interested me the most this year to attend. I sat in and listened to a lot of speakers, even though I’m only highlighting a few here.
My former mentor, Nicholas Burtner with the School of Permaculture, was speaking so I dropped in on his intro to permaculture seminar to say hi! I also attended a local Texas and survivalist podcaster, Jack Spirko, and listened to his indoor hydroponics presentation and got to this this setup at his booth. A former coworker turned me onto Justin Rhodes of The Great American Farm Tour, a YouTuber who’s video series was turned into an Amazon Prime documentary. The main attractor for most of the attendees was Marty Raney of Homestead Rescue. His presentation was full of jokes (dad-style) and he talked about how the American Dream has changed and it’s different for each person.