Monday, September 26, 2011


Antlers, I am home. Hundreds of miles, a slight fender bender, and six presentations later: I just completed my first every Mother Earth News Fair. It was amazing, and I am not using that term lightly. I spent the entire weekend around other Storey authors and experts in the Homesteading/farming field. I got to listen to Joel Salatin's Keynote address on Sunday (and deliver my own keynote address on Saturday!) I also did 3 intro-to-chickens workshops and two meat rabbit workshops (assisted by a new Silver Fox Doe I bought from Mule's Ear Farm) who had animals to sell in the ALBCA tent).

I was very happy and comfortable teaching those beginner workshops, but I was literally shaking before my keynote address. I'm not used to talking about me outside of this blog, not in front of hundreds of people. I didn't prepare a speech either, just a piece of paper from the resort's complimentary pad and pen.

I'll be posting photos and videos from the event all this week, as well as sharing stories and links. So keep checking back and if you were there and took the time to hear me speak, I want to thank you so much. So, so much.

And whoever shouted "WE LOVE YOU JENNNNNNNNAAAA" when I walked up to the stage: You were the reason I was able to relax enough to get through that ordeal! Thank YOU!


Blogger sheryl said...

it wasn't me who shouted, but I was there and you did great!
I really appreciated your casual style and lack of powerpoint (information is good, but staring at all those TV screens all weekend did my head in!)
thanks for doing what you do!

September 26, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

No powerpoint... I didn't even know we could have them!

September 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

(thank you sheryl!)

September 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

The first one's always the hardest, and now it's behind you...
Can't wait to hear more about the fair.

September 26, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Wow, I wish I could have been there and I'm so glad that someone shouted the collective sentiment of your blogreaders. I realized how much I love reading your adventures when there is no news for THREE WHOLE DAYS!!! Maybe next year I can go to the Mother Earth Fair myself and learn a thing or two.

September 26, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Spiderjohn said...

Pretty cool Jenna! I would have been scared s*@tless! I have never been comfortable speaking in front of people. Even very small groups.I could play my guitar and sing, but talking.... forget about it! Good job, proud of ya!

September 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

Good for you! Public speaking is always a challenge. I'm halfway through Made From Scratch, eagerly awaiting the delivery of Barnheart via Battenkill Books. Really missed your blog entries.

September 26, 2011 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Valri said...

And what a nice home you have to return to!! Anyway, I'm sure you did great and I only wish I could have been there...maybe next year.

September 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't make it this year, so I am hoping you are there next year! I wish all of the presentations were taped so we could watch it.


September 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

You were great, Jenna! My sister and I were right up front for both your rabbit talk and keynote speech and loved every minute of it!! If you were nervous, it sure didn't show. And my sister bought three new silver fox rabbits right after you bought yours; 2 does and a buck. We're quite impressed with this breed. They sat right through Joel's talk with no problem. Well, the buck wanted to sit in my our laps the whole time. Quite a conversation starter.

Keep up the speaking. It is really encouraging!

September 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Cosgray Gardens said...

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September 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Victoria Nidetch said...

Mazel-tov on speaking so well. We all knew you could do it. Courage is being scared to death and doing what you have to do anyway.

September 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Cosgray Gardens said...

We DO love you Jenna, your insight and determination are an inspiration

September 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna-I really enjoyed your Keynote Address and the Intro to Chickens class. I feel like I am you....5 years ago! You have inspired me to start a blog of my journey to a sustainable life and to keep taking steps towards my own 5 year plan! Thank you!!

September 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Little Terraced House said...

We ALL love you, you big duck egg, you make our days with all the updates from CAF. Really glad it went well for you, wish I could have been there too.

Love and hugs Babs xx

September 26, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachele said...

You did great! We went and listened to your meat rabbit speech yesterday with all three of our kids and you were able to keep their attention (which is BIG)and my 6 year old came away knowing more about meat rabbits and I think that's our next adventure here on our little farm. Thanks! And the fair was so much better than we could have imagined. The whole family had a great time. :)

September 26, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

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September 26, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

I also loved how laid back you were for your workshops. I just drank in your meat rabbit workshop! It totally sold me on meat rabbits.

I did notice you were a little nervous during your keynote, but I could tell everyone appreciated your sense of humor and even though I follow your blog and am inspired by you all the time, you still inspired me with your talk. I was actually nervous to meet you (I was first in line for you to sign my books), only because - how do you cram a whole conversation with someone you'd love to chat with into 30 seconds? Ack!

I'm so glad you were able to come to our neck of the woods and I hope you're able to come back next year. Whew! That's quite a drive for you!

September 26, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Jenna, I wish I had been there and I would have been the one to shout that out! I love all that you choose to share, and soon I hope to meet you in person.Glad to hear from those that attended that it went so well. Peace to you and all your furry family-Karen from CT

September 26, 2011 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger bree said...

Welcome home Jenna. I missed you and your blog!

September 27, 2011 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

So wish I could have been there - it sounds like a heck of a time, and sounds like you did a bang up job! Well done, lady.

September 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger onesilentwinter said...

listening to john katz on radio right now. npr!

September 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say you were so awesome on Saturday! You're such an inspiration to me (something I kept repeating to my husband Saturday night as I replayed the days events over and over for his listening pleasure) and I loved the motivational pep-talk :-)
I really hope you enjoyed your stay in W. PA; we were quite glad to have you there!

September 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your rabbit talk at Mother Earth News!

September 27, 2011 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger Getting off My Ass to Write said...

Jenna-- this is Bailey-with-the-pink-boots who sat behind your adorable parents at your keynote address. I have apparently been living in some neglected corner of the world, since I hadn't heard of your before MENF, but your speech was so inspirational that my family and I have begun really talking about the logistics of living on a small farm, instead of just dreaming about it. THANK YOU!

September 27, 2011 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger ziegefrau said...

I went to your chicken class and the keynote. You were such a natural and funny too! I have not stopped taking about you since we got back, have Barnheart bedside and cannot wait to learn more. Thanks for pathing the way Jenna!

September 27, 2011 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

hey! I loved those pink boots! I hope you stick around the blog and keep reading!

Thank you all who came out to a class or talk, man did it feel good to be a part of that FAIR!

September 28, 2011 at 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...what was the fender bender???

September 29, 2011 at 5:39 AM  
Blogger k mcc said...

Jenna, You did a great job at the fair! Having just a few notes allowed your personality and vignettes to be genuine - do it the same way next time!

October 1, 2011 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Poppy said...

I just heard Joel Salatin will be a keynote speaker for the Liberty Forum in NH. That might be a very interesting conference to hear him speak.

October 10, 2011 at 2:19 PM  

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