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speaker’s dinner

From Rory’s daily blog series “a few of my favorite things about the Festival this year”…

It’s only two more days til the Festival and things are already moving quicklyeveryone is getting ready. Three of the five big tents are up. Tables and chairs have been dropped off. All the mowing’s done. The VIP bags are being filled and festival merch is being sorted. The vendor spots are sectioned off... and soon the big stage will delivered. Like a child’s Transformer toy, it will go from looking like a tractor trailer and turn into a huge stage with lights, sound, banners, and rigging everywhere.

Tents and farm being prepped for the 2023 Homestead Festival.

But as busy as the next couple of days are going to be, (getting ready for Friday), we are also gearing up and excited about the pre-event we do before the festival gets started. The night before the festival we hold a special Speaker’s Dinner, where we gather all the different speakers who’ve traveled from all over to share their wisdom, experience, and insight with all the festival-goers, and share a meal together.

Last year’s dinner was a bit more chaotic than we had hoped for. Although the rest of the week had been beautiful weather and the next two days were also… that night at about 5 pm, the sky let loose with a torrential downpour that lasted a couple of hours.

Rain flooded the Main Stage area just before the 2022 Homestead Festival.

Our plan had been to hold the dinner in a tent outside in the school playground area, but the storm moved the food and everyone inside, before we even got started. Still it was a wonderful evening and great fun.

This year, our Speaker Dinner will be held inside Homestead Hall and we have quite a few more people coming, including Dr. Grandin, Joel Salatin, and pretty much everyone who is speaking this year. The wonderful folks from Kindred Farms are going to cater the meal and I’ll probably welcome everyone and say a few words before we start eating.

One of the reasons I love that event so much is it gives the speakers a chance to meet the other speakers from around the country. To make new friends and get to know some of the other leaders in the homesteading world today that they haven’t met, or maybe haven’t yet heard of. And since all day Friday and Saturday are about the folks who are coming to learn from the speakers, it’s wonderful to have a night that is truly all about them and what a blessing it is to have them with us at the farm and the Festival. Once Friday morning gets here, the hours and days have a way of running away from all of us, and there’s not much time for them, or any of us, to relax, and just spend time together sharing a nice meal and good conversation.

I also love the dinner because each year, there are always a few new speakers that I’ve not met, and it’s a blessing for me personally to get to meet them and spend a little time together and personally thank them all for coming to be part of The Homestead Festival.

Justin Rhodes at our 2022 Speaker Dinner

If you haven’t got your tickets to the festival yet, be sure to go to purchase them, and to learn about all the speakers, music, demonstrations, and more. It’s going to be an incredible weekend of not just learning how to grow your own food, but also how to grow a life filled with meaning and purpose.

Hope to see you here.

- rory



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