Back from the Mother Earth News Fair. It was a huge, fantastic event. If Mother throws one of these anywhere near you, you might consider attending even if you have to travel quite a way. I was also fortunate enough to connect with several delightful “friends I’ve never met” and to enjoy my time with Dave and Ilene; this is the first time I’ve met them despite all my years of writing for BHM, and they are great people.
I’ll have tales (and tails!) from the fair later this week (and will also continue blogging “Middle-class shrugging”). But for your Monday morning perusal, I thought I’d point you toward one of the best discoveries from the weekend: Earthineer.
Earthineer was actually Dave’s find, but I hope he won’t mind me blogging it as he and the lovely Lenie travel home. Dave will have lots of his own fair impressions to blog, you can bet.
I passed the Earthineer booth several times, noting only the banner name and ASS-U-MEing it was a construction/engineering company (despite the dead giveaway of prominent computer monitors). Only after they bought multiple Backwoods Home subscriptions for Dave and Lenie to give to lucky folks who showed up at our booth wearing Earthineer tee shirts did I Get A Clue. Then I went over and talked with them.
“Yes, yes, Claire,” you’re saying. “But shut up and tell us what Earthineer actually is.” Well, Earthineer is a social networking site. It’s what Facebook could have been if Mark Zuckerberg had actually considered making Facebook useful and interesting. Except that it’s all for people who are involved in (or hoping to get involved in) sustainable farming and gardening and the rural life in general.
Earthineer is bright and well laid-out. Even though it’s new, still in beta, and some functions aren’t yet activated, it’s rich with information from people walking the walk. It’s a place to share practical knowledge and experience (it will soon also have a community questions & answers feature, which I think is going to be a huge asset).
Dan Adams, the young man whose concept it is, is a long-time Backwoods Home reader and software engineer. When the recession and India-outsourcing hit his job, he decided to use his skills, interests, and considerable supply of entrepreneurial enthusiasm on a project that couldn’t be outsourced away from him. His dad Don Adams (who was also in their fair booth and known by the handle GrumpyOldMan on the site) is also a long-time creative DIY guy. Together, they charmed me. And they gave life to a terrific and very promising site. I’m looking forward to watching it grow and I expect you’ll like it, too.
Hooray for Earthineer. Long may it flourish!