The DIY Homesteader Festival puts an emphasis on taking a day off to learn do-it-yourself (DIY) skills in nature and encourages attendees to bring their new knowledge and experiences home.
“I think it really just boils down to having the time,” festival co-founder Kris Antonius says. She says everyone is so busy nowadays that time has become a sort of currency. People choose to save time by purchasing products they could make themselves.
The festival, taking place June 24 in Teulon, hosts an array of skill-honing workshops. These include techniques that were essential 100 years ago, such as home butchery and spinning, but cater as well to the tastes of the modern homesteader with courses in composting toilets, beekeeping and earth-friendly stoves.
The festival also recognizes Indigenous homesteading techniques with workshops in medicinal herb gardens and Indigenous crops. These workshops are important, since they showcase skills particular to Manitoban plants and climate, Antonius says.
The festival is also an opportunity for networking. Antonius says people tell her over and over how deeply inspired they are after meeting others who are on similar paths.
Where those adopting homesteading skills in modern day might feel alone in their communities, Antonius says the festival is a community in itself.
She says DIY can feel intimidating, in that people feel a pressure to get it right the first time.
“When you talk to a farmer about their products, they will tell you about the ways in which they have failed and had to try again,” Antonius says.
It’s an experience she says will help attendees relate to the farmer, and in turn, connect farm to home.
WHEN June 24
WHERE Teulon, Man.
$$$ $87 until June 17; $97 after (subject to availability)
DON'T MISS Musical performances by Matt Moskal, Kayla Luky + Ian MacIntosh and Carly Dow
Published in Volume 71, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 1, 2017)