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Savor your true nature: Ruth Gonzalez takes you to the True Nature Country Fair.

Fun, food, music and farming--what a combo! This month, the True Nature Country Fair celebrates fall, for the third year running, with a major focus on local. In fact, everything featured at the fair must be at least 50 percent produced from sustainable sources and local to the Southern Appalachians. That's quite a challenge, but fair organizers are excited. This year, the event moves to a new site at the Big Ivy Community Center in Barnardsville, North Carolina, a farming community just 20 miles north of downtown Asheville.

Fair director Karen Vizzina thinks the wholesome, rural feel of Barnardsville will be the perfect environment for this family friendly event. Kid's activities, nature walks, crafts, local and organic food, and sustainable products create a festive atmosphere adjacent to the Ivy River. As the fall venue of the Organic Growers School, it's only fitting for the fair to offer a full slate of workshops on gardening, farming, sustainable living, health and healing, herbs and more. Classes are only $5 for each session, arid this year two new learning tracks have been added: Primitive Skills and Commercial Farming.

Fun, food, music and farming!

Joe Hallock is busy rounding up musicians to participate in the First Annual True Nature Fiddle Contest. Categories for both juniors and seniors include Old Time Banjo, Old Time Fiddle, and Old Time Band Competition. Prizes will be awarded, and the winners will perform, so put the word out to your musician friends. It's also rumored that a pie-eating contest is in the works. Even if you're not an old-time musician or a farmer, you probably like pie! This is a challenge that promises to be extra tasty, so sign up to be a contestant.

On Saturday night following the fair, attend the fabulous fundraiser dinner and enjoy a menu that celebrates our Southern Appalachian harvest season. Apples and pears are ripening. Vegetables overflow their harvest baskets, and fresh fall crops are coming in. The air smells of optimism. Unwind listening to music and partaking in the ripe bounty of the season in the most primary of ways ... eating dinner! Advance reservations are encouraged, as seating is limited.

For more information about the True Nature Country Fair, visit For additional information about the fair or dinner, call Karen at 828-342-1849; for information about the fiddle contest, call Joe at 828-242-6247; or, for information about the pie-eating contest, contact Meredith at For a listing of local tailgate markets, farms and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), turn to page 22, pick up a free copy of the ASAP Local Food Guide or visit

TNCF and Fiddle Contest Facts

What: Third Annual True Nature Country Fair--a celebration of life lived in connection with the Earth--including the First Annual True Nature Fiddle Contest

When: Saturday and Sunday September 26 & 27 from 10 am-6 pm; fiddle contest Saturday with registration at noon (free entry for contestants 17 and under), contest from 1-3 pm, and winners announced at 4 pm

Where: Big Ivy Community Center, Barnardsville, NC





Ruth Gonzalez is a former market farmer, backyard gardener, and founder of the local Tailgate Market Fan Club. Join the club now at to hear about Ruth's tailgate adventures and to get the latest on tasty local food.
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Title Annotation:BUY LOCAL
Author:Gonzalez, Ruth
Publication:New Life Journal
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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