What: Organicfest 2014 ~ celebrating everything organic (and green!)
When: Sunday, September 7, 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Where: Pack Square Park, downtown Asheville, NC
Why: Celebrate and promote the goodness of organics!
On Sunday, September 7, Asheville’s 13th annual Organicfest will bring thousands to Pack Square Park and the Roger McGuire Green to celebrate everything that is organic, green, and healthy. Free and open to the public, the family friendly day will commemorate National Organic Month with local eats, vendors, and activities that spotlight, share, and grow our rich community of organic farmers, artists, and businesses.
“Organic is more than food,” shares Debi Athos, co-founder of Organicfest, a nonprofit organization that hosts this annual festival of the same name. “It’s a lifestyle that incorporates chemical-free, sustainable growing systems of food and other crops, like cotton.”
Everyone knows that cotton is used for clothing, bedding, home products, etc., but what some may not know is that cotton is one of the most chemically-laden crops in the world. Organicfest educates consumers about the ways in which it is possible to choose organic when it comes to both edible and non-edible products.
This year’s theme is “Bee Organic!” which spotlights the positive effect that choosing organics can have on everything, including our pollinators. From body care and beauty products to jewelry made from reclaimed materials, The Organicfest Marketplace showcases a variety of offerings from local businesses and services that support organic products and practices.
Categories include healing arts and fitness, gardening, fashion, arts and crafts, health and wellness, food, and even home cleaning, among others. Bring home information about growing your own organic garden and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle that is good for people and the planet.
Windy Farm Ridge Farms is the first and only USDA certified organic apple farm in the southeast. Owner and farmer Anthony Owens will be at the festival with treats made from apples on his farm, such as slushies.
Enjoy local music by Chris Rosser, Sheri Lynn, and Greenway, among others. A full schedule is available online. Audra Holden will bring her Earthloom again this year for people to join her in weaving a special tapestry from natural objects, like flowers, vines, corn husks, etc. “When a community works together to create something of beauty it shows the beauty of the community,” shares Audra. “Each person’s gift enhances the beauty of everyone else’s.” Participants can bring objects, or choose from ones available.
Prizes in this year’s basket drawings are products or gift certificates from a number of businesses, including Mountain Rose Herbs, Eden Foods, West Village Market, Miso Master Miso, Frontier Herbs, Ulimana, Lifefactory, The Hop Ice Cream Cafe, Peaceful Way Massage & Reiki, Grandy Oats. Tickets for the basket drawings are $1 each, or 7 for $5. Funds raised cover the venue costs for subsequent Organicfest events. The drawing will take place at the close of the festival, but winners do not have to be present at that time to claim their prize.
Eco-friendly activities, such as face painting, are also available for children. The Organicfest Pollinator Parade will take place around the park beginning at 1 p.m. in partnership with Bee City, USA, a program under the Asheville nonprofit Center for Honeybee Research that spreads awareness of our declining pollinator populations, and educates the community about ways in which we can help save these essential creatures. Children (and their parents) are invited to dress up like their favorite “good” bug for join the parade celebrating the importance of pollinators for our gardens, farmers, environment, and food systems.
Local and national sponsors of Organicfest include Asheville Greenworks, Organic Matters Media, Mountain Rose Herbs, Katuah Market, Greenlife Grocery, Pisgah Brewing Company, Ashevillage Institute, The Laurel of Asheville, 880 The Revolution, Natural Awakenings, 98.1 The River, Mountain Xpress, The Indie, Sheville, among others. Asheville Greenworks is the fiscal sponsor of Organicfest, and will help present a low-impact event with recycling and compost resources.
“Organic is about community,” says Debi. “Sharing, inspiring and supporting what we believe in and working together for a healthy, sustainable, green, fit and fun community for all.”
For more information, visit www.organicfest.org or call Debi at (828) 337-6114.