We (Sherry & Savannah) had a great time attending the 2017 DIY Homesteader Festival out in Teulon, MB. This is the 2nd year that Generation Green has participated as a sponsor, but only the first year we have been able to attend. We are so glad we did because now we can tell you first hand what a great time we had, and more importantly what a great group of folks are involved in organizing, volunteering, and sharing their skills in workshops.
Our day began early as we headed towards Tuelon in the rain! We arrived to be greeted by all kinds of happy faces hustling to the first of workshops. Personally we loved walking through the rain and puddles and taking in all the fresh rain smells! The most difficult part of this festival is deciding which workshops to sign up for! There were so many great ones! You can check out the list here.
Our first of four workshops was Natural Home Building with civil engineer Francesco Zurzolo. A very good speaker that Savannah was super interested in as she hopes to one day build her own natural tiny-home! Francesco helped us understand what the best options are for building in our prairie climate and stressed it all begins with the perfect wall!. He also reminded us that when our environment reflects nature it creates a healing, healthy environment.
A quick break for a visit to the indoor farmers market and delicious Postal Cafe soy mochas and then on to workshop #2 – Medicinal Plants & The Art of Healing with Chad Cornell, Master Herbalist from Hollow Reed.
Chad showed us how to use local plants for healing. Also explaining the importance in appreciating and respecting the knowledge that can be gained when we allow our whole selves to be open to learning. Chad’s knowledge of not only herbalism, but Ayurveda and Chinese medicine is fascinating and makes so much sense when you realize how well they all work together. Our bodies are not just a series of parts but an entire ecosystem, when out of balance we create a “dis-ease”.
A break for lunch led us to a row of food trucks where we chose some delicious Japanese veggie curry from J. Curry and gathered with others to discuss what everyone’s favourite part of the morning was!
Our 3rd Workshop was with the delightful Laura Reeves, of Prairie Shore Botanicals called Your Edible Backyard. Laura is a botanist and knows everything about what to harvest, where to harvest, and how to harvest. You would not believe how many useful, delicious plants there are in our Manitoba backyards! When beginning, it’s great to create the need for the plant so you’re not wasting and this way you will be forced to move with the seasons and become more aware of our eco-system. We were then sent out to try to find as many as we could, which proved to be quite a challenge but one we were eager to accomplish. Laura reminded us to be respectful of the future growth of these plants. Definitely want to learn more!
After being in all the fresh air, we were revived and ready for the last workshop of the day, Backyard Mushroom Cultivation with Tom Nagy, of Barefoot Foods. Here we learned mostly about oyster mushrooms and using mushroom mycelium for growing mushrooms basically anywhere! In wood pellets, logs, or gardens. Tom has tons of love and knowledge for this fungi!
Before heading home we were able to join other sponsors, organizers, volunteers and friends for a wonderful dinner in the big tent. More great conversations, continued discussions, and a great ending to a wonderful day. Looking forward to next year and we hope you can join! As Chad once said to me, the local community and businesses are like a candle, to keep it aflame we must all share our light and knowledge by continuing to share and learn these skills.