Our trip to the Ozark Sustainability Festival was an interesting and inspiring one. There was so much to see and learn about. Not that we, the parents of four tag-alongs, had the luxury of doing a whole lot of conversing. But we visually took in whole bunches! We really want to do this thing, as crazy as it may seem. We really DO want to live simpler, more sustainable lives. So we're looking for knowledge wherever we can.
We hadn't been there very long when Noah was approached by a gentleman who needed a little help with his handouts. Noah and Saylor both helped and each earned a dollar.
For homemade ice cream! What else?!
Gabe certainly enjoyed his.
Then Paul and I split up for a bit. He went to a presentation on the use of solar energy, which is one method we plan to use when we, hopefully, "go off the grid." I went to one on seed saving techniques. I quickly discovered it wasn't for
me people with brown thumbs. I endured it, but was left largely unimpressed. It ended early, so I joined the "cool" solar energy talk, which was way better. But the kids were ready to move on by then. (After all, they had just ridden for four hours. Who can blame them?) So we went off to visit the plethora of animals all around.
Y'all. Atticus is something else. Of course, we all already know that. But really. He is! He is not only intrigued by animals, he is also not at all intimidated by them. He's always been that way. Walks right up to my mom's huge greyhound! That sort of thing. Well, he was in animal-lover heaven at this event! It seems he thinks they're people, because he walks right up to them and starts jabbering away! Here are a couple of shots of him having a very nice conversation with a captive audience. (Get it? Tap, tap, tap...Is this thing on?)
Saylor, who is ummm...not the animal-lover of the family found this cute, little dog and promptly fell in love with her. I think they sensed each other's princess-ness.
Noah was impressed by this blacksmith.
And I, as the homeschool teacher, was very excited for him to have the opportunity to see an anvil and how it is used in person! We've studied the Vikings and now medieval times, so it was nice to see somebody actually making tools, etc. in the same way people from long ago used to make them.
Rest assured, there is a pile of old metal stakes and rocks (to serve as anvils) in our front yard right now!
Then we got to see goats being milked and listen to a very knowledgeable woman speak about the benefits of drinking raw milk, how to store the milk, how to care for goats, and even how to make sure your glass jars are clean enough to store your milk. (Being a raw milk junkie, this was my favorite part of the day. Loved her!)
We gathered lots of names, numbers, and business cards. There were herbalists, merchants with handmade items and homemade yummies, and people teaching about how to dehydrate food to store it for indefinite periods of time. All of it was inspiring and encouraging and just what we needed.
One thing that cracked me up was that the "hippy" tent with all the hemp clothing for sale was right beside this tent:
One thing that's great about the Sustainable Movement is that it brings all kinds of people together. And what a great day to learn about how to better care for our own family. I mean, how can we knowingly look into these eyes...
...and ever again feed him anything less than the best we can find, grow, or make ourselves?
This post is linked with Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, one of my all-time favorite blogs.