Country Living Series

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Attending the Sustainable Preparedness Expo

On Sunday, the girls and I attended the third annual Sustainable Preparedness Expo in Spokane.

We got there in the early afternoon. On the way into the building, we noticed this snappy bumper sticker...

...which, we were forced to admit, held a lot of truth.

The first thing we looked for at the expo was the booth for our friends Paratus Familia. It was impressively thronged, so we just stopped to say hello before walking around.

I bumped into another friend -- in fact, the woman who made my bra holster (and yes, I was packing heat, now that I'm legal to do so in Washington) -- and together we attended a workshop called The Plan to Plant, given by a West Virginia agriculturalist who outlined what was necessary to grow ALL one's own food.

Despite the fact that the acoustics were absolutely horrific in the large and echo-y exhibit hall, this seminar was jam-packed. Here's a portion of the audience.

The large attendance at this, and every other, workshop underscored a major thing I notice whenever I attend one of these expos: people are HUNGRY for knowledge. They know something's wrong -- with our government, with the economy, with their vulnerability when it comes to empty grocery store shelves after any disruption -- and they want to learn more about how to help themselves.

And let me tell you, every aisle was packed, every booth was thronged. There were a number of booths where I wanted to get some information, but I couldn't do much more than take a business card or brochure because the booth operators were far too busy talking with others. I was glad to see it.

This is Dave Westbrook who runs a business called Country Living University, which teaches people how to start an information-based rural business.

I heard him speak last year and was so impressed with his workshop that I approached him about interviewing for a Backwoods Home Magazine article. He agreed, but our respective schedules wouldn't permit us to get together (he lives several hours away). We touched base again at this expo and, since I have the go-ahead from the magazine for the article, I hope to interview him shortly.

There was a third workshop I wanted to attend -- about putting sustainability into preparedness, which I think is an important component -- but the girls were absolutely dragging. The little party animals had been out until 11 pm the night before attending a birthday party for a friend and were practically asleep on their feet, so we left before the seminar.

I really, really like the trend of putting on preparedness expos. More and more people are waking up to the fact that our economy is not as stable and trouble-free as they've been led to believe. It encourages me to see people actively seeking information on how to help themselves.


  1. I wish we had these closer to my house. Would be interesting to go to.

  2. Aw, darn, I was sitting in the website panel too, wish I would have seen you!

    I attended the EMP panel and Pantry panel (put on by the Thrive folks). Paratus Familia was slammed all day, from the time I got there at 1:30 to 4:30 when I left, there was literally no room in front of their booth. I was lucky enough to get to talk to Maid Elizabeth for just a couple of minutes and get the new cook book! I hope they did really well with sales!


  3. Great stuff.

    I look forward to more on this.

    It's good to see folks being awake and in charge of themselves. This is America. It's what we do.


  4. My wife and I also attended (hi Mrs. J!) We came away with the same thoughts and feelings as you. They should hold more of these events.
    It would also do the organizers and vendors well to have larger booth spaces and more personnel to accommodate the throngs. The vendors that we were able to speak to could do little more than offer limited information. We came hoping to buy. Left empty handed.
    All in all though, a very worthwhile experience! Highly recommend.

  5. Since I was not able to attend this workshop, thank you for the photos and knowledge you passed on to me(us). I was wondering what programs they offered. Hopefully they will have one in Oregon which will make it closer to our home.

  6. You should see the Wanenmacher's tulsa arms show. It is massive, and it is boasted as the world's largest gun show.

  7. Some canning photos for your enjoyment. These may be pickled.


  8. could you touch on the main points of the 'plan to plant' presentation? i went to the link but could not find it, although i did find much disturbing info about government and GMO's!!

    horrors. it is a juggernaut and cannot be stopped. i suppose much silver is crossing palms. of course, they can't take it with them to hell but by that time the irreversible damage is done.

    deb harvey

    1. Hi Deb, this is Bob Gregory, the presenter for the "plan to Plant" segment. I ran across this blog waiting for my plane this morning and appreciate your interest. I will put something together soon and post it on my website to get the information out to a wider audience. If you sign up for our e-newsletter on the website I will post when it is up. Blessings to you.....all the folks in Spokane were a blessing to me.
      Bob Gregory

    2. Bob, if you email me at when that link is posted, I cross-post it on my blog.

      You might also be interested in my WND column in which I quoted something you said during your talk:

      Here's the blog post about it:

      You gave a wonderful seminar. Unfortunately your booth was too busy to speak to you in person -- which I guess is a GOOD thing, right?

      - Patrice

  9. hi. didn't go through last try.
    more on W.Va. man's talk . went to the link could not find it. everything you need to grow. thanks.
    deb harvey

  10. please elaborate on talk about what to plant to be self-sufficient. went to W.Va. link but could not find that topic.
    deb harvey

  11. We chose not to go this year. I feel there isn't much more for me to learn that I can't look up online. Plus the temptation to spend money. Glad I found your blog.

  12. I went and was pleasantly surprised at the turn out and content. Each year I think this Expo will.improve and will become a go-to event.

  13. I went and was pleasantly surprised at the turn out and content. Each year I think this Expo will.improve and will become a go-to event.