Monday, September 24, 2012

Kickapoo Country Fair Gets Back to the Basics


Gentle reader, I have a confession to make: I like dirty hands.
While this might cause you to revert to nightmares of unwashed post-bathroom germfests, fear not. The dirt of which I speak is the variety we stand upon, and in its best form it is something those of us dwelling in urbanity too often go without.
If you, like me, miss the loamy smell of a good, wet clump of dirt, you should check out the upcoming Kickapoo Country Fair in La Farge, Wisc. Sponsored by Organic Valley, it is billed as the nation’s largest organic fair and “a healthy alternative to the traditional deep-fried fair.”
 Kickapoo is a celebration of the ever-growing local, sustainable and organics movements, and the festival promises to address those issues at all levels. In addition to sampling wares from some of the over 1,600 farmers involved in the cooperative, attendees can take classes on everything from knife sharpening to cheesemaking, sample food made by a celebrity chef and tour some of the co-op’s participating farms near the Kickapoo site.
They also have some knockout guests. Grungy, tuneful and three-time Country Music Award winners The Kentucky Headhunters will perform alongside Squeezettes (an all-female, all accordion polka band), the Bad-Axe Blues Band (bringing some of the sounds of the South), and Canon Ball (gypsy music- need we say more?) will provide the day’s soundtrack.
Kickapoo also offers a chance to see Edina-based Andrew Zimmern, expert on all things wacky in the world of food and star of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (click here to see METRO's interview with him), and Will Allen, a pioneer in sustainable urban agriculture based out of Wisconsin and one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010.
Say it with me: dirt is good. Don’t you feel better already?