I had the absolute coolest, most informative, exhausting, tremendous three days ever. The MEN fair was all I expected and more. First, my workshops went really well. They were some of the best attended at the fair and the people were there to learn. They were taking notes and asking questions and making plans. Excalibur dehydrater sales should be up today.

The only problem with an event like this is that it’s hard to organized the information into a usable plan. I went from heritage livestock breeds to water pumps to solar systems to windmills to beekeeping to seed saving to composting to chicken tractors and back again. I was struck by how convinced so many are that we are headed for big problems down the road and how willing they are to put their money where their worry is. So now I need to spend a few days just organizing the information and getting a priority list going.

All of this is further complicated because it looks like my MIL’s house may have buyer. That will give me a bit of cash to work with. The furnace  and chimney are high on the list but so is the barn, the outdoor kitchen and the new stairs in the bulkhead and replacing our car and truck with one diesel truck and the list goes on. And now I want a chicken tractor. I’m incorrigible. Really.

I came home with only one book on food storage (always buy them) but a ton of magazines. I got some MEN anthologies so I can get rid of all of the old copies and donate them to our Sustainability Library and get some more space in the bookshelves.

I do want to say that I met some rock stars in the preparedness, alternative energy, food and livestock fields. Carol Ekarius is the nicest person and so dang smart she could be intimidating if she weren’t also funny and friendly. If you have livestock you already know her. She’s the man (well, the woman). She knows everything! I was introduced toa gy named  Matt Stein. We had been talking for several minutes before I realized he was MATTHEW STEIN!!!!! The guy who wrote When Technology Fails. I gave him an internet blip when the second edition came out. I met the man who made the 107 MPG car in his backyard. How cool!!!

So this is what I learned. The world will not be saved by politicians or academics or economists or generals. It will be saved by what The Archdruid Report calls the green wizards, backyard inventors and barn tinkerers. If there is hope, it lives in someone’s basement or kitchen. It is there in the homemade solar dehydraters or the breed that has been brought back from the edge of extinction by some dedicated farmer. It lives in that saved seed and in the odd-looking car. Hope lives.

PS I got to meet some of you. Thank you so much. It felt good to know I had friends there.

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