I ‘m back after a crazy busy few weeks. NatGeo is finished. What can I say about 2.5 days of cameras in one’s face? It was just a much fun as one might expect. Please remember what your mother used to tell you. Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see. I learned much from the experience.

Mother Earth News. I had a blast!!!!! Wonderful people, wonderful trainings. I met Amy and MaryEllen, commenters here, although I missed another reader that I know was there. I didn’t sleep but other than that found it worth the time. I can home with some new books and new connections. What I most appreciated was the conversation with people doing the real work in all the areas that most interest me.

If you’re a farm animal girl, especially a chicken girl, Carol Ekarius is the go-to person. I attended her chicken workshop and came home determined to add some Jersey Giants to my flock next spring. Tammi Hartung is an herbalist. I got her Homegrown Herb book and can’t wait to get to my herb garden and get planting. I got to follow Jackson Landers (The Beginner’s Guide To Hunting Deer For Food) in a presentation. It’s probably not wise to follow a guy with a gun, a big knife and a side of bloody venison on the table when your big prop is a canning kettle. I got a copy of his book for my son. Ron and Jennifer Kujawski (Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook) are about the nicest people in the world. Ron is a Yankees fan but nobody’s perfect. Andrea Chessman is smart, funny and a genius with root vegetables. I have a couple of her books. Serving up the Harvest is one of my favorite cookbooks. She has about got me convinced that I need to plant Salsify. Jenna Woginrich is a riot. She wrote Made From Scratch and Chick Days and talks as funny as she writes. I can’t wait for Barnheart to come out in December.

I came home with sets for multiplier onions and garlic and I picked up a new apple peeler. Mine clamps to the counter and it kept sliding around. This one has a big suction cup and I think it will stay put. As I came home to another 300 pounds of apples to sauce, dry and press, I need all the help I can get. I also bought a lot of books (what a surprise!) and that was about it.

The crowd was interesting. There were very few young people. I would say this was a middle-aged, middle-income bunch. A lot of people are getting edgy about the economy and a lot just think we have gotten off track. This country life calls to them, softly, insistently. It whispers in their ear when they are sitting in a cubicle or waiting in a traffic jam. They know there’s a better, calmer life out there. They want friends, not co-workers. The need neighbors, not to keep up with but to cooperate with. They want food they can trust and time to enjoy the gift of a sunrise. I was inspired by the passion and the creativity. I can’t wait to get to my day. The potatoes need to be pulled and the apples need saucing. First though, the sun is coming up and she needs an audience.

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