Mother Earth News Fair to draw crowds and big names

Mother Earth News will make a return to Western North Carolina with the Mother Earth News Fair, an event that will feature 200 hands-on workshops focused on self-sufficiency and sustainability.

The fair began in 2010 at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania as a means to provide hands-on demonstrations of the concepts discussed in the magazine. In 2011, a second venue was added at Payallup, Wash., and a third venue was added in Topeka, Kan., in 2013. This year marks the fair’s inaugural premiere at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher.

Mother Earth News, now in its 44th year, has a history with hands-on learning specific to WNC. The magazine hosted visitors at its 600-acre Eco Village in Hendersonville from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, focusing on education pertaining to homesteading activities.

Several notable speakers will headline the fair, including Joel Salatin, farmer and owner of Polyface Farms in Swoope, Va. Salatin has been featured in a number of documentaries, including Food, Inc.  and Farmageddon, and he was featured prominently in Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  When asked why one should attend the fair, Salatin responded, “In a day when many people feel disempowered, fearful and vulnerable, few things bring more encouragement, abundance and self-reliance than participating in a Mother Earth News Fair. From energy to food, you’ll find a can-do spirit and positive attitude to help you understand that we can heal our nest and live regeneratively.” Salatin will be on hand to explain his thoughts on “integrity living” and to offer a live poultry processing demo.

Fermentation expert and author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation Sandor Katz will also be on hand to show the power of fermentation as a food preparation technique (see “Cultural Revolution” in the Food section of this week’s issue). Katz says of the fair, “The Mother Earth News Fair is a great venue for bringing people together to share important ideas and skills for living lightly on the land. I’m excited to be coming, especially for the opportunity to share my fermentation fervor with lots of people.”

In addition to the speakers and hands-on workshops, the fair will include children’s activities, vendor and livestock demonstrations, and local and organic food options. — story by Josh O’Connor

WHAT: The Mother Earth News Fair

WHERE: Western North Carolina Agricultural Center. in Fletcher

WHEN: Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

INFO: Adult tickets cost $25 for the weekend or $20 for a one-day pass in advance, or $30 and $25, respectively, at the gate. Children under 17 get in free. Tickets can be purchased from or by calling 800-234-3368. — by Josh O’Connor


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