I have a deep reverence for the environment, but I am not one for vague mysticisms. For me, the term “Mother Earth” evokes memories of a distant semester during college in which I discovered the comfort of yoga pants and consequently fell in with a group of new age hippies. Half-baked spiritual philosophies were a dime a dozen and often punctuated by the realization “it’s all connected, man!”
But the Mother Earth News Fair coming to Asheville this spring is anything but vague. In fact, you could say its focus is getting down in the dirt with real-world applications. Of the host of seminars, demonstrations and workshops lined up for the two-day festival this April 12th–13th, the topics range from renewable energy and natural health to animal husbandry and organic gardening. Held for the first time this year in Asheville, the fair generally attracts between 10,000–17,000 eager participants.
“Asheville — and the entire state, really — is loaded with knowledgeable, passionate people who are in the trenches of self-sufficient and sustainable living.”
“They’re great resources to draw on,” explains Brandy Ernzen of Ogden Publications, the publisher of Mother Earth News magazine.
The schedule this year includes an exceptional array of farmers, scientists, craftsmen, and yes, even a cook or two. While almost everything looks interesting, a few seminars in particular are right on point with what TLP has on its radar for our April Issue. We’ve been wild about edible flowers, so Alan and Susan Fox’s demo on Flower Essence Jellies seems decidedly appropriate, while Lisa Kivirist’s lecture See Jane Grow: How Women Are Transforming Food seems perfect for a moment when women like Michelle Bernstein are dominating the food industry.
And while we may not have touched on it, who could resist learning to Make Mead Like A Viking?