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Presenting the 5th Annual Not-So-Simple Living Fair

with a focus on “LIVING WITH DROUGHT”

by Jen Burnstad

The 2014 Not-So-Simple Living Fair promises to be the best ever! Friday through Sunday, July 25-27, at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Anderson Valley local folks and travelers from near and far will gather to learn rural living skills and celebrate ingenuity. Get ready for more information sharing, more entertainment, more fun than ever before. This year the kids area has been re-invented with more guidance and creative hands-on activities. There will even be youngsters giving presentations!

Throughout the weekend there will be several workshops in six different subject areas simultaneously taking place around the fairgrounds with workshops lasting 1 hour and twenty minutes each. Main topics covered include; alternative energy, water, animal husbandry, beekeeping, farming & gardening, fermentation, dairy culturing, herbs and health, hunting & gathering, seed saving, basketry, leather crafting, natural building, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and soils and other practical living skills.

There will also be ongoing demonstrations, scheduled round table discussions in the “conversation cafe”, a curated “tool show and tell”, and various local food and craft vendors. We invite you to bring your suggestions to the Creative Re-use display table where all ideas will be shared and the “most creative” and “most likely to actually use” ideas will be announced. If it's small, bring the creatively re-used item. If it's big, bring a picture of it.

Friday Evening: Friday evening is a good time to arrive if you want to join in a Contra Dance. All dances are taught and prompted by Lea Smith with Tim & Linda O'Laughlin & Friends of the “Bolt the Door” band. No partner or previous experience necessary. After the contra dance stick around for the Gypsy Jam by the Camp Fire. Bring your instruments and stories to tell.

Saturday and Sunday throughout the day: Dr. Solar and his Good-time, Sunshine, Traveling Medicine Show and the World's First Solar Powered Theater. A unique family-friendly entertainment experience based upon the traditional traveling medicine shows from the turn of the century. The Doctor comes from times past, when magic was in its Golden Years, Vaudeville in it’s heyday, and Hollywood was abuzz with an emerging technological cultural phenomenon (motion pictures). His show is reminiscent of that era, hearkening back to the 1920’s, a time when Comedy was King, and always suitable for mixed company and family fair.

Saturday evening: Because Mendocino County is a hotbed of organic gardeners and creative “foodies” the Not-So-Simple Living Fair Local Food Potluck has gained notoriety as the most exquisite offering of old fashioned /new age good cooking that is imaginable. Bring a dish made with love from organic ingredients to share. The Not-So-Simple Living Fair is a zero waste event so please remember to bring your own plates, utensils and cups.

Saturday Night Band: Candelaria

Imagine dancing under the stars in the middle of a fairy ring of redwood trees to the high energy music of Candelaria. Through experimentation with Indian Ragas, mixing African high life guitar lines with reggae and dance hall beats, and combining tablas and Colombian gaita flutes, Candelaria has developed an original, independent sound firmly rooted in Latin cumbia that is so fun to dance to. Bucking the modern trend of programmed beats and computer effects, all of Candelaria's music and effects are 100% live and organic, performed in real time, on-stage and in their recordings.

Sunday Afternoon Keynote Topic: “Living With Drought” by Penny Livingston-Stark

We are honored that prominent Permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker, Penny Livingston-Stark can take time from her busy schedule to join us to address the topic foremost on the mind of all involved with growing our own food; Living With Drought. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and Permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms.

The Not-So-Simple Living Fair is an Anderson Valley Foodshed Production, co-produced with help from KZYX, Local Community Radio The AV Foodshed has been working toward healthy local food systems for the past 10 years through education, creating farming opportunities and networking with local farmers.

$5 Friday night only

$25 per day or $35 full weekend

Children 16 & under free, senior discount

Camping $10/night, Sorry, absolutely no dogs

Tickets available on site or online at

For more information about the Not-So-Simple Living Fair go to http// or call 707-895-2949. For information about the AV Foodshed go to

Volunteers, Presenters and Vendors are still needed. If you are interested in volunteering with set up, clean up or during the fair, please call Ryan, 707-272-0958. If you have a presentation or workshop to offer go to http// and hit the present, volunteer or sell link. Vendors may also contact Rainbow Hill, 707-895-2339

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