What? A county fair themed on local, sustainable agriculture?

When you imagine the county fair you think rides, games, friends, deep fried foods and the infamous funnel cakes. Before this year if I went to the fair I would engage in all the things listed above except for the deep fried foods. Even before my traditional foods journey I had an innate instinct that knew if I ate those deeply fried, processed foods I’d be having a tummy ache the next day and would feel completely miserable. Knowing all that still wouldn’t prevent me from leaving the fair without indulging in a funnel cake generously sprinkled with powdered sugar and extra whipped cream. Who could resist?

This year, the thought of going to the county fair was a little different for me. I was hesitant to go because I knew the fair would be filled with nasty foods and the rides would be overpriced so I didn’t see much of a reason to go. The day before the fair opened, my husband and I were watching the news and a little segment came on about the Marin County Fair. This years theme was local agriculture and artisan cheeses. Wow, local agriculture? That’s pretty cool considering there are many organic, sustainable forms of agriculture in Marin County. Since when did a fair base it’s theme on local, sustainable agriculture? Only in Marin County folks, only in Marin County. So, I told my husband we should go and check it out- plus, there would be a petting zoo for Andrew and I always like the opportunity to get him around animals.

On Saturday before leaving the house, we ate lunch so we wouldn’t be tempted with hunger to eat any of the foods the fair had to offer. I wasn’t sure what their choices of food would be so it only made sense to eat before we left (plus, food at the fair is so overpriced!). When we got to the fair we were greeted with various booths and promotions and as we made our way deeper in the fair, the stands with deep fried twinkies, deep fried chicken and funnel cakes appeared. I don’t think I saw one organic food stand or any artisan cheese stands (I think they showed up later at night because it was on the agenda listing). But we did head to the farm section and our first stop was the petting zoo for Andrew.

He was little overwhelmed by all the kids zooming around him and all the goats (that were bigger than him) coming up to him but we did manage to find a little corner so he could check out the chickens. He’s starting to recognize different animals (as we read numerous board books each day that has pictures of animals). Then we headed off the see a sheep be sheared (that was interesting) and then off to check out the cows. It’s amazing how big they are when you are standing right next to them. Really makes you appreciate them for who they are!

What was really great though (and probably one of my favorite parts of the fair) were the signs everywhere promoting grass-fed beef! It’s such a fantastic thing to witness at a state fair because well, let’s face it, state fairs can be pretty unhealthy and the last thing you would expect to see is a sign stating all the wonderful benefits of grass-fed beef.

Awareness and knowledge are key things to changing people’s perspectives and the way things are done. And the more people are aware of the benefits of grass fed beef, the more of a demand there is. The more demand, the more needs to be supplied which can potentially create more grass-fed farmers. Because not only is grass-fed, pastured animals good for you, they are good for the environment and the animals that are on the grass.

After the farm section of the fair we walked around and checked out the vendors selling things, the rides and games,  did some people watching and listened to a 3 man group bang on some trash cans (super cool, by the way).

All in all, we had a good time and got to enjoy the beautiful outdoors! The best part is, we left without having the urge to buy a funnel cake!

Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

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