Learning green at the Albemarle County Fair and beyond


It’ll be a busy couple of weeks for those of us trying to green up our brains. You can learn about all manner of eco-things—many of which have to do with local food—at this stellar lineup of green events. No, "too busy changing my lightbulbs to CFLs" is not a valid excuse for missing them. You should have done that like three years ago.

First off: This Saturday, July 25, the Habitat Store will host another of its popular Women with Nails events. The idea’s mostly for local women to have a supportive place to learn basic home-maintenance skills, but check out the green cred on both these topics: "Rainwater Harvesting," taught by Paige Mattson of the Blue Ridge Eco Shop, and "How to Fix a Leaky Faucet," taught by Terry Herndon of Upstream Construction. Both these ladies are awesome, and I love that the handywomen skills they’re teaching will also save you water. Get smart from 8:30-10am.

Next up: a screening of FRESH the movie, July 29 at 7pm, at Vinegar Hill Theatre. The film looks to me like a cinema equivalent to, say, Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma—and it looks like Pollan’s actually in the film, along with our own Joel Salatin. Buy your $15 tickets here. The money will help feed the homeless, so let’s all skip the griping about the cost.

Moving right along to the Backyard Revolution, a truly exciting green-minded addendum to this year’s Albemarle County Fair. It’s essentially a series of demos and presentations on old-time rural skills: everything from open-fire cooking, to birding, to heritage livestock, to something called "brain tanning." Wow! Check out the entire, super-intriguing lineup here. The BYR runs July 31-August 2.

Speaking of August 2, that’s the day to check out Farm Food Voices, sponsored by VICFA and featuring many of your favorite local farmers, including Richard Bean. I’m guessing you will also be able to make a meal out of free food samples, which considering the admission price ($0), is really unbeatable. 2-7:30pm at Monticello High School.

And if you’re still itching for more farming-related brain food after all that, get a ticket to August 5 farm tours. From 8:30am to noon that day, you can check out a flower-growing operation and an orchid farm; sign up at the Market Central booth at City Market, Saturdays 7am-noon. Remember, flowers are agricultural products too.

Got more green events to shout about? Do it here!