Sunday, October 23, 2011

Learning to Prepare? Meet Me at The Fair!

Every season offers new opportunities to learn skills of survival or preparedness, but Autumn is harvest time! Fall abundance is everywhere you turn!

When you think of ways to sustain your family for the long term, do you consider raising a few pigs, cows or goats?  Do you imagine yourself with a few chickens, a sustainable garden, and a safe way to set back food?
Even if you just want an eye-opener to all the possibilities, there's no better place to visit than The County Fair.  This is where you can touch base with some authentic survivalists: the people who have been prepping and making a living doing it, sometimes for generations.
 Many counties hold their own fall fair. Touch base with the local farmers, and learn what crops grow best in your area.  When asked respectfully, most country folk are more than happy to share their knowledge of what works and what doesn't on the farm.  If you'd like a couple of tips about cooking or canning, red and blue ribbon winners will be out in force!
Homemade jellies and jams will be selling like farmhouse hot cakes! Not to mention, good pies to buy!
Every Imaginable Pie!

If you can get to The State Fair, you will find farmers and ranchers who have traveled miles to compete and sell live stock. These are the people who know an Angus from a Hereford, and a Jersey from a Holstein. Very good knowledge if you plan to collect dairy cattle, and not the meat variety. As for chickens, you may see birds of a feather you've never seen before!
Young people who have a passion for raising animals will abound, and possibly inspire your own children.

The North Carolina State Fair offers a Village of Yesteryear, where artists and craftsmen keep primitive skills alive. Rug weaving, lace making, stone carving, and pottery turning are among a few demonstrations. Look for information about quilting and bee-keeping, too. There is even a 3rd generation Tin Smith on hand. (For other views of the ancient art of smiths, check out The Renaissance Faires.  Metal workers who hand forge swords, knives, battle armor, horse shoes, eating utensils, and even jewelry...are found over a fire, showing how it's done.)

There will be a "midway" at the fair. Inevitably, this will be the location for funnel cakes, corn dogs, and red candy apples.  There's always some attention-grabber frying a Snickers bar... but there will be a variety of grilled pork, seasoned turkey, and other good eats:

Even if farm dwelling isn't a part of your plan, you will certainly enjoy a day of feast for the senses, and the family can experience a peek at what daily life could be like in a world without Facebook, television, and city plumbing. Enjoy the day, and the evening!

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