May DayMidian

About the Indiana Homesteaders Festival


A message from IHF's founder:


I've put a lot of thought into all these things that were once considered common knowledge that are now lost to history for a majority of people. Even in families where the knowledge was still held by the older generation there was a gap in the younger where the knowledge had been lost. This made me sad in a strange nostalgic way that said nothing would be the same again, an era had passed and lost to all but memory. Then I happened upon this trend of "urban homesteading" where people where trying to go back, trying to reclaim what we now realized had been a more sustainable lifestyle. As I searched further I saw people like the Urban Farming Guys who hoped to use urban homesteading to solve problems the world was experiencing. Then you find some people who are trying to get back to this basic system to avoid "impending disaster" of various sorts, end of the world, zombie infection, martial law, societal collapse etc. So I got to thinking...
What if we added these movements together? To find those people interested in learning and those who already knew, those that knew from the past and those who had learned from the future. Who for whatever reason wanted to start to slip from the grid and into a simpler, more stable way of life. One which would afford individuals the ability after start-up, to help others, build community, and stabilize food supplies. I'm not sure how it sounds, but in my head it looks very utopian.

With all this floating around in my head, I had talked to a friend about the idea of wanting a different type of event, something that focused on learning. At that point it all sort of fell together. I could host an event, a festival if you will, that encompassed all of these ideas and added an opportunity to find other individuals who wanted to learn and/or teach. And, at least in my head, the "Foxfire Festival" was born.

For those who aren't familiar with Foxfire: "In 1966 Eliot Wigginton and his students in an English class at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School initiated a project to engage students in writing. The class decided to publish a magazine over the course of the semester. Its articles were the product of the students' interviewing their relatives and local citizens about how lifestyles had changed over the course of their lives and dealt with traditions in the rural area. First published in 1966, the magazine covers topics of the lifestyle, culture, crafts, and skills of people in southern Appalachia. The content is written as a mixture of how-to information, first-person narratives, oral history, and folklore." The magazine would become so popular that 12 books would be published from it starting in 1972. While they contain a portion of culture and folklore they also contain an enormous amount of knowledge.

When we came together to found Midian, Foxfire Festival had a home, and at the recommendation of my fellow directors, a new new name: Indiana Homesteaders Festival.  
My hope is to bring this all to life in a festival that is family friendly, contains hands-on and classroom style learning, socialization and idea sharing. My goal is to teach people how to live off the grid as little or as much as they want. You know how it is, you want to grow your own tomatoes but you're not really feeling weaving your own linen to make nice long dresses or tawing leather into loin cloths? Well we intend to have something for everyone. 



Frequently Asked Questions


What to Bring


Q): What should I bring to this festival?

A) Other than an open mind, and a welcoming spirit, we recommend you bring supplies for a weekend of primitive camping, including a tent, a sleeping bag, sunscreen, spare clothes, a camp chair (for workshop seating), drinking water, and snacks (a food vendor is available on-site for most of the festival). We have created a suggested festival packing list available for download here.


Q): Should I bring special clothing, instruments, or tools?

A) Bring those things that will help you feel at home. 


Q): What should I not bring to the festival?

A): Firearms, drugs,  pets. The standard stuff is prohibited. Use common sense about those things that may be disruptive or dangerous. If it is illegal outside of festival, it isn't allowed here, either. If you think something might be questionable, just ask. Please see Midian's Rules and Regulations here.


General Questions


Q): What does it cost to attend the festival?

A): The cost of attendance to this year's Indiana Homesteaders Festival is $50 per adult (age 14 and older). One child 13 and under admitted at no charge per registered adult. The cost is $10 per additional child, to offset the cost of sanitation and supplies.


Q): What do you mean by "family friendly"?

A): Indiana Homesteaders Festival welcomes families with children of all ages, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There will be special activites planned for children and teens during this eventl.


Q): Can I order a porta-john for my self/family/group?

A): Indeed! Though we plan on having plenty of clean potties onsite, we understand that some folks would like a little more privacy and control. One private porta-john will cost $75 and must be arranged no later than two weeks prior to the festival. You'll need to bring your own lock (and key!) to secure it.


Q): What does it cost to vend at the festival?

A): Nothing! Vending is free to all attendees. You'll need to provide your own vending space (booth, awning, displays, signs, etc). You can choose to be in our Vendor's Village, or you can vend from your own campsite. The choice is yours!


Q): Can I arrive early or stay late?

A): Unfortunately, no. Midian is run by a collection of families with day jobs and responsibilities away from the land. We are able to open gates at noon on Friday, and we must close them by 2pm on Sunday in order to tend to our other duties.


Q): Do you give refunds for porta-johns if I can't attend?

A): We should be able to cancel your potty and refund those charges if you contact us with at least two weeks' notice. If we don't receive (and confirm) your potty cancellation in time to notify our service provider, though, we'll have to let the charges stand. Your porta-pot will have been delivered, which is a cost we can't absorb.


Q): What other festival rules are there?

A): We reserve the right to reject and/or revoke registration to any participant at our sole discretion. (This is for our protection, as well as our guests'. We want this event to be pleasant, meaningful, and safe.)


Q:) Is photography permitted?

A:) Photography and filming are permitted only if prior permission is requested of anyone whose photo you may be taking. This includes individuals in the background area of your shot. Failure to comply with these rules will cause security staff to enforce destruction of all film or digital files on your camera device, and may result in removal from the festival. That said, we do encourage photography at this festival.


Q): What sort of clothing should I plan to bring?

A): We reccommend that you plan your clothing, with the weather in mind! The festival may become hot, wet, or chilly -- all in one brief weekend. (It IS Indiana, after all.) 


Q.): Can I breastfeed at the festival?

A.): Absolutely! Caring for your children (in all the ways you do) is both applauded and encouraged.


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