Giveaway: Mother Earth News Fair Weekend Passes

You know I love me some Mother Earth News, right? It’s been the official publication of simple-living folks and wanna-be simple-living folks since 1970!

Every year, The Mother Earth News people put on the Mother Earth News Fair, which is a giant expo dedicated to urban and rural homesteading and greener, more thoughtful living.

Mother Earth News Fair Logo

There are hundreds of presentations and demonstrations from experts in, well everything: gardening, permaculture, food preservation, modern home economics, herbal medicine, animal husbandry, solar renovation, off-grid living, raising poultry, green and alternative building techniques, fermentation, farm financing strategies and more.

In fact, my biggest problem with the Mother Earth News Fair is that I inevitably miss presentations I’d love to attend because there are multiple compelling speakers at the same time – there are 14 speaker’s stages this year for goodness sakes!

To simplify the arduous selection process, I do have a few must-see speakers I recommend for new attendees:

Must See Speakers

Joel Salatin is one of the keynote speakers and you must go see him. I’m sure you know him as the “Grassfarmer” in Omnivores Dilemma, and maybe from his own fantastic and fascinating books too. In person, he is like watching a high-energy version, hilarious version of every anti-industrial food rant that’s ever popped into your head.

Jessi Bloom is a local-girl, garden designer and expert on chicken-keeping and systems-based gardening. She wrote what I consider to be one of the essential books on chicken keeping and she’ll be talking about “Easy Peasy Edibles” and how to combine chickens and gardening (“What The Cluck?!”) at the MEN Fair. Great, compelling speaker – make sure to seek her out.

Lisa Kivirist is a pro at combining economics and earth stewardship, both in and out of the home. She has written several books detailing how to move from a corporate life to a considered life. Her latest work is a cookbook inspired by the recipes she uses as the owner of an ecologically-focused Bed & Breakfast in Wisconsin. Last year I was highly impressed with her MEN News presentation “Farmstead Chef: Organic Eating On A Dime” so I’m very happy to see she’ll be doing that presentation again. If you are trying to eat well but your budget is tight, she has excellent tips.

Ira Wallace, owner of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, has literally traveled the world building up an encyclopedic knowledge of edible plants and seed saving. She gives wonderful, fun and personal-knowledge-backed presentations and has cooler hair than probably any other presenter. She’ll be talking about “Extending The Harvest,” “Seed Starting Simplified” and “Growing Great Garlic.” Pick one or all, you won’t be disappointed. Just remember that her varietal suggestions will be based on her extensive experience growing in the Southeast, so Northwest gardeners may need to adapt the specific varietals.

Meet Up With Me (And My Super Cool Friends) to Chat Sustainability!

At past Mother Earth News Fairs, I’ve been lucky enough to run into readers of this blog and meet some the wonderful people who make up this community. This year, I thought it’d be fun to formalize a get together time.

So, I’ll be hanging out in the food court area (lots of tables) from 2:00 to 3:00 (ish) on Saturday afternoon, drinking coffee and talking to my inspirational friend, simple living expert Lisa Kivirist, about sustainability, women in agriculture, gardening, getting out of corporate servitude*, living a homesteady life and whatever else pops into our heads.

Drop in any time – if you come and join us, we can talk about whatever pops into your head too! Gardening questions? Composting? How to balance kids and  jobs and productive homekeeping? Whatever. It’s basically a coffee break.

I know a few other amazing writers and speakers who will be at the fair, and I’m going to try to sweet talk them into joining us, too, if their schedules allow. This could be a really fun group of folks!

All You Need To Know: The Mother Earth News Fair Basics

What – A giant weekend of modern hippie living awesomeness!

Where – Puyallup, WA at the Puyallup Fair Ground

  • 110 9th Avenue Southwest
  • Puyallup, Wash. 98371
  • (map)

When – First weekend in June.

  • Saturday June 1st, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Sunday June 2nd, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Speakers & Demonstrators – too many to list.

  • Full schedule here.


  • One day (Saturday or Sunday) tickets are $20 if you pre-order and $25 at the gate.
  • Weekend tickets (both Saturday and Sunday) are $30 if you pre-order and $35 at the gate.
  • Youth 17 and under free. Like, totally, totally free, so bring the kids.
  • Or enter the giveaway and maybe you can go for free!

Everything Else – more info here.

Giveaway! Massive Giveaway!

I want as many people as possible to come to the Mother Earth News Fair and soak up this info. And Mother Earth News feels the same way, so they’re sponsoring this giveaway of five (FIVE!) pairs of weekend passes to the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup. Each of these five prizes is worth $70!

Each winner will have their two passes left at the will-call pick up window of the Puyallup Fairgrounds under their name.

This is a fantastic giveaway! I ask that you only enter if you are actually able to attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA on June 1st and/or 2nd. It would be a shame for these free tickets to not get used, so if you live in New York or something and know you can’t fly out for this, please refrain from entering (check out the other locations the MEN Fair will be this year).

To enter to win one pair of free tickets to the Puyallup, WA Mother Earth News Fair, leave a comment below telling me what topic you are most interested in learning about at the Mother Earth News Fair, or which speaker you are most excited to see. Five winners will be picked at random. One entry per person, please. Additional entries will be disqualified.

Contest is open until Sunday, May 19th at 8:00 pm. Winners will be notified on Monday, May 20th by email. Winners must respond to my email by Wednesday, May 22nd at 8:00 pm or their prizes will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen. This is to make sure all winners have appropriate time to make any necessary travel arrangements.

Good luck! Hope to see you at the Fair!

Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Deon, Kristina, Nicole, Tanaya and Ginelle. Please check your email for instructions on claiming your prize.

*hat tip to Sarah at Dogs or Dollars for introducing me to the phrase “corporate servitude.”



  1. says

    I would love to hear about the organic cooking on a budget. Such a helpful topic, And how to grow a good organic veggie garden out here. all of that is interesting to me.


  2. Carolyne Thrasher says

    I missed Joel Salatin when he was in Salem, OR a few months back because I was sick. I would love another chance to hear him but even without him there I think it would be an awesome event to go to. Plus I could take a girlfriend and leave the kids at home with the hubster!!!

  3. Sarah Nansel says

    I would love an opportunity to hear Joel Salatin, I love his book “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.” I am also researching options for solar/wind for my home.

  4. Amy says

    Wow, I’d love to go. There are so many things I’d want to see… from permaculture classes to food preservation classes (esp fermenting) to duck keeping. Great stuff!

  5. Mari says

    I haven’t been able to go in years past but this year the dates work! Hurray!
    I really would like to see a food fermentation demonstration. I have read lots about it but am still scared of the process. I think I need a visual demo.

  6. Michele Ojalehto says

    We missed the event last year, but would love to go this year! Especially interested in Joel Salatin, my hubby talks about Joel’s methods to anyone who will listen! I just bought the Gardening with Chickens book for myself, LOVE IT. So will be thrilled to see both of these great authors! We have a little hobby farm north of Seattle, and are learning as we go. Just added some runner ducks to our farm for slug eating. Still have so much to learn, but enjoying the really rewarding life….

  7. says

    Hmm, don’t know if I could pick! But I’d love to learn more about fermentation, seed saving, and to hear Joel Salatin speak!

  8. Crystal S says

    I’ve been living here in WA for 5 years now and still have yet to go! What is wrong with me?? I’d listen to as many speakers as possible! How can I pick just one to be excited for?

  9. says

    I am so excited to attend this year and it actually falls when I have a day off and an open schedule! I am looking forward to all of it, but Easy Peasey – plant once reap the harvest for years has especially caught my interest.

  10. Julie2 says

    I would love to attend and learn as much as possible, organic gardening, fermentation, seed saving… Thanks for this opportunity.

  11. Grace says

    Finally, kids old enough not to nag and bother, and a weekend unscheduled! I would love to hear Lisa Kivirist, because I can’t yet seem to afford the considered life, without the corporate dollars, despite integrating MMM principles, and ditching our Evil Cable Service.

  12. victoria carleton says

    i have the very first 10 years of mother earth news….i want to hear joe salatin speak..i want to learn more about EVERYTHING…i want to be inspired…we have two acres of producing gardens and there is always more to learn …and mother earth news is always there for us…and june 2 is my birthday…what more could i ever want?

  13. Hannah Ireland says

    I can’t even narrow it down. Gardening with children, Perfect Pie Crust, DIY Solar Panels, Easy Peasy Edibles and Put ‘Em Up are some favorites! Will have to go this year now that I have weekends off!

  14. Chris U says

    I’d love to hear Christopher Shein speak. His book (“The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture”) is the first book about permaculture that actually sounds do-able to me!

  15. Deon says

    I Have Always Wanted To Attend And If I Were To Win No More Excuses. I Have Always Been To Lazy To Get A Fall Winter Harvest Planned So Thats Is What I’Ll Concentrate On. TheCapitalization Of Every Word Is Thanks To My Phone, Which Apparently Is Really Excited To Go As Well.

  16. says

    OOH, ooh, I want to come! I am very interested in Lisa Kivirist’s presentation; any time I can learn more and connect to economic systems that are mixing other valuations in with the ‘normalized’ money valuation, I get very excited. As someone who’s chosen to step out of the corporate bubble and set up as a freelancer, I know that the balance is crucial- I make less money, but I have more time to garden and feed chickens and take care of other creatures which allow me to SAVE more money, so it evens out. Anyway, any tips and tricks and encouragement that help me and my home-team eat better for less- huge! Seed saving tips also sound pretty appealing…

  17. says

    Would love to meet both you (been following you on Facebook for a couple of years now) and Joel Salatin–I’ve read his books and loved them. Also super interested in learning more about saving seeds; permaculture and way, way more….way too much to list here….all of it! I’ve lived off the grid for 7 yrs at one point; then moved into an intentional community and learned so much more about permaculture and sustainability–one can never have too much knowledge~!
    Also been a long, long, long time subscriber to Mother Earth News but never been able to attend so winning would be a once in a lifetime event for me!
    Ria from Ria’s RE-Sacks

  18. says

    I would also love to see Joel Salatin – I missed him when he was at Willamette University because one of my kids (4) had noro… worst. three days. ever.

    Other than that, would love to see Matt Reed’s presentation on Natural Beekeeping, Sylvia Bernstein’s presentation on Aquaponics Gardening as we’re considering adding this to our modest property, presentations on garden permaculture, alternative energy, yogurt making, TOO MUCH AWESOME STUFF…

    My wife could also use the break from the kids, and there are a bunch of presentations she would love to see as well. She’s been a subscriber for a VERY long time, I would really love to take her up there, but it’s sadly not in the budget.

    Thanks for making the giveaway available.


  19. Amy says

    Wow! I have read Mother Earth News for ages and I never knew they had a fair. Would love to go and learn more about permaculture and apple growing and grafting. My son saw the exhibit on making bows and arrows and said, “Wicked!”.

  20. Emily says

    Hard to say as so much looks so good but I will pick Jessi Bloom. I’m always trying to get my garden and my chickens to do their best :) thanks

  21. Renate says

    Sooo many things I want to learn about and speakers I want to see, but one of them is definitely beekeeping. I’ve attended in the past and loved it!

  22. carrie s says

    I would really like to learn about making cheese and cultures then organic gardening and saving seeds

  23. says

    I would love to win tickets to MEN Fair weekend! How to narrow my interests?? I am an avid gardener, but only last year began a functional/edible garden, so I’d like to learn more about growing my own veggies, extending the harvest, then how to make the most use of them. Plus the baking topics on the King Arthur Flour Baking Stage as I’m no longer eating packaged foods (or should I call them non foods); oh & the quick & simple cheeses sounds fascinating! Like you, I won’t get to see everything if I get to go!! Thanks for the opportunity.

  24. TJ Johnson says

    Loved the fair last year. I really want to attend and learn about season extnsion and gardening in response to a changing climate.

  25. says

    Oooh – pick me, pick me! I can’t go to both days and you made up my mind to come on Saturday to meet you in person and chat it up! I have never been before and definitely just want to go and feel the vibe and hippy it up with the rest of the cool kids.

  26. Debbie says

    Joel Salatin! I’d love to ask him how it feels to be a rock star farmer! But my husband’s retiring in June and I think a reminder and tips from Lisa would be very beneficial. It’s a four hour drive (our small farm is 10 miles from the Columbia River in the Gorge) but I’ve got family to stay with in the area if I trade a ticket for one of their comfy beds.

  27. Sarah Kobeski says

    i am definitely interested in learning more about introductory gardening and also keeping chickens. but i agree with all the other comments that there is WAY too much good stuff to select from!

  28. Neta says

    I want to see it all and hear them all. I’m sure I will have the same problem you mentioned, too many speakers and not enough of me to go hear them. Gardening and composting with chickens is my interest right now but want to see if there is anything on backyard ovens.

  29. says

    Looking forward to seeing Joel Salatin! Visited his farm as a freshman in college back in Virginia, inspired me to learn more and dedicate my life to sustainable agriculture.

  30. P Spink says

    I would love to go! I just got a job on a small organic farm, it’s amazing! I am very interested in what Joel Salatin has to say, but the whole thing sounds fantastic! I want to learn as much as I can about this so I can one day have my own farm.

  31. Robin Whiting says

    OMG! I had no idea Mother Earth News did this and I live so close. I would love to win tickets and the item I’m most interested in is Seed Starting Simplified but seriously I have many many more that interest me too! Thanks for spreading this wonderful news.

  32. Chad Whiting says

    I would really like to see and listen to Jessi Bloom (how to combine chickens and gardening ) my wife wants to raise chickens.

  33. Shandi Hetzel says

    I’m new to organic/considered living and its becoming a bit overwhelming. I’ve never been taught how to grow things (and my dad is in the agriculture business!) so I mostly kill the plants I do have. I mean, I’m having a hard time keeping tulips alive! :( Honestly, all of the presentations would be interesting and beneficial to me! But, now that I know you’re doing a coffee get-together, I’d love to meet you, Joel Salatin and listen in on the herb gardening presentations!

  34. says

    I love Joel Salatin, but I always wonder how he has any time to do any farming because he’s always talking, touring, or writing. I did recently read Holy Shit, at his recommendation. Great book.

    Family and interns, I guess. I gotta get me some of that.

  35. Amanda says

    So many things to learn about! Food Preservation, DIY Solar Panels, Ecothrifty Living, Backyard Composting, etc. etc. all look like fun things to learn about.

  36. Jennifer Ross says

    My gosh.!There are so many topics I want to hear about and see. I would love to hear about aquaponic gardening: growing fish and plants together, the half-acre homestead, hands-on healing remedies, organic farming manual, etc. I could spend so many hours on all three days and never run out of great topics to learn about. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!

  37. says

    I haven’t purchased my tickets yet, so I’d love to win!

    Last year I just went and was a bit overwhelmed with everything to see, so this year I’d like to just sit and soak it in a bit more.

  38. says

    I’ve been hemming and hawing about going since I’ve never been before (I’ve always had to work on Saturdays). However, I didnt’ know that Joel Salatin was speaking and he is my absolute hero in food justice. I would love to see him speak. As far as what I’m interested in learning about… that would be beekeeping.

  39. Iforonwy says

    I have been a great fan of Mother (Mother Earth News) since I purchased my first copy on my first visit Stateside in 1982. I have been a subscriber for about 5 years. I just love it and have learned so much.

    I woult love to be able to chat with folk about our solar heated/solar electric home and about our little garden where we manage to grow lots of fruit and veg. Visiting the Mother Earth Fair is on my “Bucket List” and I would just love to thank the folks for all the help and enthusiasm they give folk.

    Would also love to visit with friends in Washington State too!

    One small hitch though I am a fan from across the pond! Any chance of the air fare with the tickets? Only joking!

  40. Jill says

    I’ve been considering range free chickens -this presentation will be a must along with as many of the other “how to’s” I can fit in.

  41. Anne DeMelle says

    I am most excited to see Joel Salatin speak. Ever since I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma I have been inspired by his whole systems approach to sustainable agriculture.

  42. Marina says

    Yea! Back yard composting and organic gardening. This fair sounds so cool! I would love to see some of the cooking sections too. Yum, home made cheese!

  43. K says

    Matt Reed, his topic is just beginning beekeeping, but when you take a look at his website, he is into top bar and Warre hives, hard to get info on them, so that’s what I’d like to hear.

  44. Jessica Raav says

    Wow- the schedule is packed full of topics that sound very interesting! I see the hardest part is the choice of what to go learn about!! I’m intrigued abut the Food Gardening for Life- No money required: Sounds like a great way to remind myself and maybe teach others about gardening cheaply. Financial Foodshed and the Farming Manual would be great to help with my deep seeded aspirations to have more land to grow food someday. I’d love to learn more about aquaponics, natural building materials, and value-added foods as well. See? Deciding would be the hardest part for sure!!

  45. says

    I’ve never been and I have a lot to learn! I’d love to hear about yogurt, fermenting, pie crust, etc. I’m food motivated. :) Would love to go. Thanks for the chance to win!

  46. says

    Oh please, Oh Please, Oh please. Hubby just found out he actually has the weekend off, Normally he works all weekends. I call it fate. Hubby has been wanting to go for a long while now, but always has to work in the past. We live out of our garden so I would love to see Ira Wallace talk, anything to do with seeds, melts my butter. Thanks, Marcie

  47. says

    I’m really interested in urban backyard composting (small yard) and high intensity vegetable growing including vertical growing and living walls, and extending the growing season with cloches, covers and cold frames.

  48. Lisa Cotter says

    I started researching chickens, then gardening year round, then got into goats and now looking at beekeeping and permaculture design for my orchard using Bloom’s ideas making a food forest garden with chickens…. so may things I want to learn. I’ve been bouncing around it all because in 6 months I get to move to Nova Scotia, Canada and make our dreams of homesteading possible on 105 acres of family farm. Please, I’d love to absorb more information so I can start doing it right from the beginning!

  49. Tiffany Coleman says

    There are several dairy goat workshopsI’d really love to attend as we’re seriously considering a couple in the next year or two. Lisa Kivirist’s workshops all look fascinating too. Would love to see those! :)

  50. Nancy Sutton says

    Wow!! Yes, attending would be torture…. so many presentations are simultaneous… can’t do them all! DIY solar panels! natural beekeeping! ducks!!! Lloyd Kahn !!!! and on, and on, and on….. Oh well, if I don’t get there, the schedule will give me endless avenues and authors to explore ;) Thanks a bunch for being your adorable, hilarious, ingenious, generous self ;)

  51. Shaelyn Mead says

    I would love to learn more about composting and gardening in small spaces (like my tiny urban backyard).

  52. Diana says

    I live in the Puget Sound area and would like to attend the MEN event in Puyallup.
    I am interested in chickens and composting, as well as organic seed collection.

  53. zanetha says

    I want to learn about beekeeping, keeping goats/sheep for milk (artisinal cheese making), and certainly want to see Joel Salatin in person. He’s my hero! And I’d like to learn about building a small(ish) roadside farm stand.

  54. Nicole G says

    There are lots of great topics on the schedule! We newly transplanted ourselves from Nevada to WA and I’m ready to tackle gardening in our new place, but need lots of info what grows in the NW and tips so I don’t drown everything. Easy Peasy Edibles looks like a good place to start…

  55. Rick F says

    I’d like to hear anything about forest gardening and the development of wild edibles int the PNW!!

    Rick F

  56. says

    Wow, this is so exciting. It’s hard to pick, but I believe that the information on Growing Your Health Independence would be the most relevant to my current personal growth, but they are all amazing! Thank you for bringing my attention to this kick ass event!!!!

  57. says

    I want to learn more about permaculture and extending my harvest. And I would love to meet you! I live inPortland and could definitely go!

  58. Margaret says

    This is incredible, we are a family of 11 (4 generations) and have wanted to attend for years…but we were living in Alabama, now we are in Washington and this giveaway….This is great

    Picking A topic is hard so really I would have to say the top hive beekeeping would love because have wondered on that and we have just started beekeeping with 2 standard hives this spring.

    But I think the number 1 topic would be chickens and gardening because would like free range chickens and have my garden work for all of us, as feeding this group safely, healthily, organically on a budget is crazy if not done at home.

  59. Catherine Miller-Smith says

    I have gone to the Mother Earth News Fair for the last two years .. I think I could go for the next ten years and not get everthing in! Each year I have had to make hard choices between two seminars .. hourly and I always miss something that I wanted to attend. Well, after two years of attending I MIGHT be able to attend all the seminars I want to but this year I haven’t gotten tickets, it just snuck up on me too fast! So I don’t have a specific person I would like to see or a seminar I would like to attend, I just want to do it ALL! And one of the best options not available before this year? The opportunity to meet up with YOU! :) I’m just in Vancouver, WA so a short couple hours away. :)

  60. Carrie says

    Would love a pair of tickets. Interested in especially permaculture but would like to learn the latest in solar too!

    Thanks for the chance.


  61. says

    I definitely have the time free and I’m close enough to attend easily. I’m interested in pretty much anything to do with chickens. I see Joel Salatin has a poultry processing demo on the schedule. That could be quite the learning experience.

  62. Karen Schaeffer says

    Since I still have to work in downtown Seattle, where could I find affordable land with a non-fixer house that I can still commute from? I would like to start building a garden and orchard (and have chickens) to help me in retirement.

  63. Rene Bennett says

    Would love to attend this event. Love to learn more about gardening, living off the grid and solar energy. Would love to be able to make my garden more efficient than it is already.
    Thank you

  64. says

    Hi! Mavis Butterfield shared your event on her FB page, One Hundred Dollars a Month. It sounds wonderful! I would love to go! I’d especially like to hear Lisa Kivirist and her presentation “Farmstead Chef: Organic Eating On A Dime”.
    Thank you!

  65. Sarah Henry says

    I want to go so bad!! I’d have a really hard time narrowing down who I’d like to see the most, but how could I not be excited for Joel Salatin?

  66. Patrick Henry says

    Would love to be able to take my wife and the little one. Just want to learn more about how to turn our farming dream in to a reality…

  67. Temojai Inhofe says

    I would like to hear Ira Wallace. I have always been interested in collecting and suing seeds from my garden plants, and would greatly enjoy her suggestions. Also, I’ve wanted to do garlic for AGES! My 3 year old daughter has been out helping me in my garden, I think she would love this, too.

  68. Makisha Norwick says

    I am interested in hearing Jessi Bloom talk about “Easy Peasy Edibles”, as I’m researching my future with chickens!

  69. Robin says

    Hopefully I’m in before the deadline. I missed the garden show this year so this would make up for it. Would love to chat gardening with you,


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