Organic Growers School rolls out its fourth annual True Nature Country Fair this month

Where can you learn how to train goats and stage a natural, do-it-yourself burial under one roof? The Organic Growers School presents its fourth annual True Nature Country Fair this month. There, attendees can learn about a wide array of funky and useful topics at nearly 50 workshops covering facets of sustainable living from raising cows to Ayurvedic healing. There will be a silent auction of regional artwork, crafts, products and services. A children’s activity area will be featured — your little ones can expect to enjoy storytelling, goat-cart rides and other activities. Vendors will offer local, organic and sustainable products and resources from throughout the Southeast.

The event will be held at the Big Ivy Community Center in Barnardsville, 20 miles north of Asheville. Daily admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, with an additional fee of $5 per class. Gates open at 10 a.m. each day and workshops and activities run from 10:30 until 6 p.m. On Saturday evening at 6 there will be a local foods dinner featuring fresh foods from area sustainable farms. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. Cost for the dinner is $20 for adults, $7 for children under 12, and includes a locally made bowl to take home.

For a full schedule of events, workshops and presenters, visit the Organic Growers School website. For further information, or to make reservations for the dinner, contact Karen Vizzina at 342-1849.

Overview of workshop topics & activities at 2010 True Nature Country Fair
In The Garden
Mushroom farming
Winter gardening
Vegetable seed-saving
Solar food dehydration
Organic/sustainable insect and disease control

Raising urban chickens
Natural dyeing
Affordable greenhouse construction
Solar cooking and food drying
Making and managing a compost pile
The family cow for meat and milk
Year-round food access and production
Keeping, training and working goats
Spinning yard on a drop spindle

Renewable Energy and Green Building:
Pressing seeds for food-grade oil, feed and fuel
Appalachian State University’s DAISEE Trailer (Driving Appropriate Innovation in Sustainable Energy Education), with info on solar, wind and green building systems
The Nauhaus – modern building science technology paired with natural building methods
Building with industrial hemp

Medicinal Herbs/Health and Healing:
Author, yoga instructor and bodywork therapist Lisa Sarasohn
Culinary herbs and their medicinal properties
Herbs for children’s health
Harnessing the power of effective microorganisms
Foods/nutrients/herbs that help maintain/regain optimum liver function
Homeopathy principles and applications
Mary Lane, chef and author of “Divine Nourishment: A Woman’s Sacred Journey with Food”
Weight loss from a “wholistic” nutritionist’s perspective
Nature’s pharmacy in your backyard
Mead-making (honey fermentation)
Natural burials
Introduction to Ayurveda

Intro to permaculture
Backyard economics: unleashing your small property’s production potential
The Forest Cuisine Project
Mountains as a bio-region
Integrating agriculture and energy
Homemade natural gas from a natural gas generator
Urban landscaping for food and medicine

Honoring Elders:
Native American ways for spiritual growth
Traditional astronomical ceremonies of planting and harvesting
Doug Elliott, author of four books and several award-winning recordings, with stories and songs celebrating the natural world

Nature Walks:
Your backyard apothecary
Identifying wild plants
Useful wild plants
Getting to know mountain trees
Beneficial birds

“Sprouts” Children’s Activities:
Storytelling and puppet show about growing up in Appalachia in the 1930s
Fun fiber craft using wool from a local farm
“Get a rainbow in your tummy” – helping children get excited about eating colorful fruits and vegetables
Medicinal plant walk for kids
Stream walk
Goat-cart rides
Music and Dance
Open mic for poets and spoken-word artists
Old-time music contest (Categories: junior banjo and fiddle, senior banjo and fiddle, old-time bands)
Contra dance with music by Joe Hallock and the Flat Creek Boys, calling by Charlotte Crittenden
Geri Littlejohn (Native American flute)
Joe Hallock and the Flat Creek Boys (Americana, old-time, Southern Appalachia)
The Honeybees (rock, folk, strong vocal harmonies)

Information Tent:
Regional seed production and preservation strategies
Transition Asheville
Local food and food safety regulations
Fair Trade Asheville
NC Green Party


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