Whether it’s making a low-tech chicken waterer, composting, beekeeping or gardening, the Mother Earth News Fair provided exhibits, lectures and hands-on workshops for any individual with a passion to enrich the natural Earth around them.
The fair, held Saturday and Sunday at the Frederick Fairgrounds on E. Patrick Street, offered everything from farming and gardening demonstrations to talks on healthy eating to making your own gin. Fair goers could also sample local spirits and beer from area breweries and distilleries.
Laurie Meyer came from Hamilton, Virginia, to attend the fair as she’s an avid reader of Mother Earth News Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys planting vegetables and flowers.
“We bought a really ergonomic log carrier to help us carry in our firewood, and a book,” she said after sampling some of the vendors.
A lot of the exhibitors were interesting, she said, especially one that offered attachments to a mid-size tractor.
“It would give you a lot more versatility,” added said.
The fair was a unique way to connect to its readers, and others far and wide that are passionate about making the planet a cleaner, greener place.
“It’s fantastic,” Meyer said of the fair. “I will be back next year.”
Scott Smith, owner of Earth 2 Earth compost pail — a pail to help reduce one’s carbon footprint — was a vendor at the fair to try and promote his product.
“You’re doing all of your own composting yourself,” he said. “It’s designed for every household on the planet. This is for people that want something easy, you could turn it with one finger.”
Although his goal was to promote his product, he enjoyed meeting and talking to new people.
“I like all the different types of people that care about the environment,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of nice people. I’m trying to educate a lot of my new customers.
“The thing about recycling, composting, caring about the planet, it’s something that everyone needs educationally,” he added. “It’s not something you’re born with.”
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people were anticipated to attend the fair on Saturday, said Andrew Perkins, events and business development director for Ogden Publications, on Saturday afternoon. He wouldn’t have final numbers until the fair was over.
Ogden Publications, along with the Frederick News-Post, sponsored the event.
This is the second time the fair was held in Frederick, but there are six other fairs nationwide, including Asheville, North Carolina, Seven Springs, Pennsylvania and Swoope, Virginia.
“We started doing our first fair in 2010 when we talked about wanting to figure out a way to bring the magazine to life,” Perkins said. “People read about and get inspired by the articles we publish, which is geared toward people who want to live a more sustainable, more self-reliant lifestyle.”
The magazine covers everything from raising small livestock, growing your own food, beekeeping, cutting down on your electricity use and much, much more.
“So why not bring the folks who provide that written content in the magazine out to one location where people can hear about it in person, get the supplies they need and connect with other people interested in the same things,” he said.
Organizers of the fair strive to cater to what the community wants and what they’re interested in, such as cheese making or health and wellness, so that the fair can offer all of those components to its audience.
But the fair offers much more than that.
“It’s about giving the people the skills they need to do the things that we take for granted,” he said.
The Mother Earth News Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Frederick Fairgrounds. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Motherearthnewsfair.com.