Think of it as the Folklife Festival of home cooking and gardening. It’s the Mother Earth News Fair, a massive, practically-oriented, two-day festival of sustainable living, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday (June 1-2) at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Workshops are as inspirational as discussing how to live off the grid or how to garden with children, as hands-on as demonstrating how to make mozzarella or perfect pie crusts — along with the basics of scalding, plucking, and eviscerating a chicken.
Among the headliners, Bob of Bob’s Red Mill will lead a session on “how important whole grains are to our nation’s health and how the milling industry has devalued literally all the important grain foods of the world over the past 130 years.” (His own company, presumably, is not included in that assessment.) Sherri Brooks Vinton’s talks include “the ways and whys of home food preservation,” with instructions from pickling to drying to fermenting to freezing. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will be part of the poultry-processing demo, as well as discussing how to farm as a full-time business. Lorene Edwards Forkner will talk about vegetable gardening in the Pacific Northwest and making room for nature in the city.
Along the way, there will also be yogurt-making and “eco-thrifty bread” and gluten-free buttermilk biscuits, apple-grafting and pressure cooking and beginning beekeeping and backyard composting. Many talks and demos are geared toward beginners or small-scale home cooks, but there’s also a healthy track aimed at farmers or people interested in the business of food. Exhibitors range from alpaca farmers to seed savers to a solar power installation company.
The full program is online here. Cost: $25/day ($35 for both days), kids 17 and under are free.