Sunday, September 9, 2007 in country living, holiday fun, travels

Falls Brook Fair

Yesterday, in the inexplicable heat, we went to a local eco-centre for their annual fair. The Falls Brook Centre Fair is billed as a celebration of country living. The centre is a collective of sorts exploring alternative energy systems, building techniques and organic gardening. I admit we came with extremely high hopes. We have been into this sort of thing for a long time – like 15 years at least.

When we left, I tried hard to find the word to explain here on the blog exactly how we felt – not disappointed exactly, but hungry for more. It was all well and good, but more Hippie Enviromentalist 101. Yeah, they don’t have to sell me on it, I’m there already. I  wanna know concrete hard information.

There were a few booths of information and people selling their wares, but not a lot. Just two tented areas with a total of maybe 10 to 12 seperate tables between them. About half of them were not manned a good amount of the time we were there. Oh, and a guy off in another area doing wood turning. Tons of food to choose from – a samosa stand, another near the adobe brick oven, a corn boil over an open fire, and their solar powered canteen.  I was surprised at the kinds of things I expected to see in booths but didn’t. No honey or soaps, no alternative washable products for women or babies. They also had live music – kinda loud, and we’re not quite into that.

I feel kind of bad not writing more glowing things – I really want to. Their climate change bus that runs on biodiesel is a portable educational vehicle of potential change. Emma did enjoy that and the puppet show. The craft area for kids was… meh. Understandable if you factor in the organizers most likely do not have young children. The staff all appear to be young adults.

They are pretty cute with their fresh-faced optomistic ideals in their eyes though.

After the puppet show, one guy did remember Emma from when we went to the Exhibition in town a few weeks ago. Emma handed out at least 6 hugs, and I did get to snag a picture of one near the end. See the joy she spreads? She’s getting really good at explaining why she hugs everyone too.

There was a small obstacle course with a half-dozen stops, a short muddy trail through a mushroom-growing & fern habitat, a few gardens, a well-labelled working compost area hiding behind a tent,  and a few others buildings – some of which were off limits I think. You had to go on a tour to hear the good stuff about them.

While this was local, it was off the beaten path – even for the area. It took us a good half-hour to get there – a hot and dusty one at that. The weather was also unseasonably humid and hot reaching 32 C.  Parking was along one side of the dirt road, and the more people that arrived, the further away you had to park. Then admission was $5 per person,  no family rate. On regular days, you can get tours for $2 a pop.
We did manage to snag loads of papers and more information, including details about workshops they hold. Those are probably what we’re looking for, as we want hands-ons info on how to implement solar heat and wind power, plus the chance to just talk to someone about it.

All in all, we might go again – just leave the kids home and take a drink.