Last weekend I attended the Mother Earth News Fair.
My life was made better by the skills I learned there last year: My pressure cooker is used a couple times a week (as opposed to sitting in the box, which it did before I attended), and as I’m writing this we have homemade sauerkraut in the fridge.
Me being me, I printed out the schedule well in advance and marked the sessions I wanted to attend. Of course, there were many time periods in which nearly all the classes were checked. I felt so fortunate that there was so much I wanted to learn.
Last year it was in the upper 90s. Thank goodness it was in the low 80s this year – many of my top choice classes were at outdoor venues, and it was quite pleasant.
Besides the weather, this year’s fair felt different. First, I wasn’t there for research for my novel. That gave me freedom to pick a wider variety of classes and also I gave myself permission to leave sessions that weren’t as interesting as I’d hoped. For someone that has been known to leave plays at intermission, that was liberating.
Despite not having the intent of researching for a novel, I accidentally did. I’ve already built my world for novel #3, and one of the presenters at the fair walked right into it. They are the MudGirls.
I immediately fell in love with this group of feminist, anti-establishment, collective-minded women. I bought a copy of their manifesto and got them to sign it, but I shied out of telling them I was using them in my next novel. It sounded pretentious, and I remembered how poorly my fan-girl experience went.
The most Tammy-like experience came while I was in a session about different ways of cooking meat. The instructor was starting to sound a little like the teacher in The Peanuts, when she mentioned flavoring meat with fungus. That was what my brain was waiting to jump on. There is currently a good size bag of koji on its way to me. Watch out meat and veg, fermentation is going to start soon!
Hillary has expressed an interest in attending with me next year. It could turn into quite the adventure.