Located in Kempton, PA and surrounded by wooded hills and rolling farmland, the festival was quaint, charming, enlightening, and exciting all at the same time. First, there was a special place right next to the entrance gate for anyone driving a hybrid, bio-diesel, or other alternative mode of transportation. I parked my bug out with the rest of the traditional cars. Walking up to the gate, we were serenaded by a group playing kettle drums. Then, as I walked around getting my bearings, a three-person bicycle rolled by and I don't think anyone but me gave it a second glance. This had to be one of the most laid-back and low key group of people ever to gather in one place. And yet still quite a diverse crowd. There were crunchy-granola, hemp and cotton-wearing folks mingling with polyester-clad nerds, and everything in between. Several tents were filled with vendors selling everything from alternative power sources to goats milk soap. And quite a few more tents were set up for the seminars which is where I was headed. First stop was a seminar on cover crops. Next up was growing and harvesting healing herbs. The keynote speaker for the lunch break was a freelance writer for Wired magazine talking about America's power grid. Speaking of lunch, numerous options were available. Skipping the vegan selections, I got a Thai chicken kabob with peanut sauce followed by baklava and some truly wonderful coffee. In the afternoon, I learned about Spin farming as well as growing exotic fruit in Pennsylvania (paw paws, quince, jujubes, and figs). During the spin farming demo, a circular five person bike sporting an umbrella went whizzing past (it looked like fun). And by then it was time to head home. A full day in a beautiful setting with a most interesting assortment of people and some good information.
Would I go again? Probably. And certainly I'd encourage others to go, if only for the ambiance.