Homestead Fair
Homestead Fair

I think there are certain experiences that must be vastly different for children than adults. That’s not to say that the experience is better or worse one way or the other, just that it changes the perspective. I’ve never been to Disney World (or Land for that matter) but I’m pretty sure that the things that a kid wants to do in a big park like that is going to probably be pretty different than how an adult would approach it. Since I don’t have first hand experience at Disney World to back up this theory, it is based mostly on my experience at the Homestead Fair that takes place annually, the weekend after Thanksgiving, on the outskirts of Waco, TX. 

Homestead Fair
Homestead Fair
Homestead Fair - garden
Homestead Fair - Waco TX

The 2-day fair is hosted by Homestead Heritage, a non-denominational, Christian community that believes “in a certain separation from the world but without separatism or sectarianism” and “a certain simplicity of lifestyle, a rootedness in the land with an emphasis on family and intentional community.” Throughout the year they apply this concept to every aspect of life resulting in familial fellowship and stunning craftsmanship. The annual fair features booths selling many of the products they’ve made throughout the year with others teaching the crafts to both children and adults. 

Homestead Fair - Barn Raising
Homestead Fair

The first time I attended the fair I was in elementary school. I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about it but my mother assures me I was particularly enamored with the process of making candles. Considering the fact that I wanted to be a pioneer when I grew up I can easily imagine that this was the case. A couple of years later I got to practice my newly acquired skill set when we made candles at my 10th, and pioneer-themed, birthday party (we also churned butter and my prized gift was a homemade bonnet). 

Homestead Fair

20 years later and I finally had the opportunity to return to the fair, this time with more than 10 members of my extended family, including my three nieces and nephews that are about the age I was the first time I attended the fair. Much like I had, they loved all of the activities like grinding corn, weaving a basket, and carving a wooden spoon. I’ll concede that I didn’t make any candles this time but surely I’m already a pro by now.

Homestead Fair
Homestead Fair

This year I was much more interested in attending the seminars and watching the presentations. I could have easily spent a full two days trying to absorb as much information as possible. We watched one man training a horse, another gave an expose on barn raising, one young lady showed us the process of working with flax from seed to cloth, and my favorite was learning about the detailed process of soap making. There were other events we didn’t have time for like sheep herding and shearing, soil restoration and composting, bread making, goat milking, bee keeping, food sustainability, and so, so much more. 

Homestead Fair
Homestead Fair - Flax
Homestead Fair

 

I don’t ascribe to the idea that everything is better done the old fashioned way, but if I can make or do something myself, I like to. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about creating something and then being able to use it. I may not need to train any horses any time soon, or raise any barns, but you’d better believe my childhood obsessions have continued and there are plenty of homemade candles in my house and I’m hoping to learn how to make cheese this year! As a child the idea of doing things by hand was novel and exciting. As an adult it is becoming a passion and a reality.

Homestead Fair

Checkout the full list of activities and events here!