I have been going for several years but after missing last year, I noticed several changes to the fair. First, many of the big brands that were mainly information booths were not there. Meyer Hatchery, Brinsea, Purina, Manna Pro and many more used to attend the fair and get big booths where they would hand out free samples or coupons and information all weekend long. These weren't sale booths, they were just to introduce attendees to their product. I didn't see any of these companies there and only a few of this type of booth there. I also didn't see any of the magazine or website booths as I had in recent years.
Next, there were a ton of 'vendor' type booths. People were selling darn near everything and there were a lot of them! There were a few demonstrations but mostly there was row upon row of herbal concoctions, soaps, creams, foods, seeds, natural products and tools. The maple cotton candy people were back, and it was just as yummy as last time. Oh...and there were mashed potato martinis! I kid you not!
There were a lot of other cool things to see though. I finally got to check out a container house! ...and like a complete Idiot (yes, with a capital I!) I only took 2 pictures. *sigh*...but it was awesome, and somehow smaller then I thought. Well, not really smaller, but it was $60,000 for the small off grid container and it could have been configured better inside. Or maybe it's that they put the double bed in the small container which is really better suited for a single bed. The large container would definitely be better for 2 people then the small one. Either way, it was way more luxurious then I had imagined.
We also got to take a look at the new Fords which I was curious to see. I appreciate their new "going Green" approach with everything from sustainable fabrics to better gas mileage. I was very interested in their new Explorer. I loved mine back when I had one and if ever things changed and I didn't need a pickup truck, I'm definitely getting one of these! They had an interactive display with a game wheel and a 'customize' your own T shirt booth. They also handed out reusable bags and this is the first bag I've seen with a cross body strap. Way cool. We'll both use this bag a lot!
Numi organic tea had a booth inside and along with samples of fresh brewed tea and some cute little tea bag packets they were handing out, was the brochure I have pictured. This kind of information is fascinating to me! Think about this: 1 apple takes 70 liters of water to produce. That's crazy! No wonder their slogan is It All Boils Down To Water! You should check out the Numi website for information on what they're doing to provide clean and safe drinking water to the nearly 1 Billion people who live without it. This is a product and project that I can really get behind!
I got to see Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily speak on Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally at the Livestock Conservancy stage. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any others but I did peek in on the Mother Earth Living stage twice and watched a very cool log splitting machine demonstration. This thing made planks from a tree! Seriously, push a tree in one end and out comes planks. I have never seen anything like it. I also got to see an electric car for the first time. There is no engine. Just storage in the trunk and under the hood. It's quite bizarre.
Well, there you have it. I only went 1 day this year and really enjoyed seeing all the different sustainable living products. Even though it wasn't the same as it had been in the past it was still great and I will definitely make the 2 hour drive again next year!