First-ever Virginia Country Living Festival hits on needs for sustainability

Festival teaches sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 7:21 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The perks of agriculture were made known in the Valley with the Virginia Country Living Festival.

Two women with barnyard roots knew a festival like this needed to happen to show how a community of these skills can help anyone in all circumstances.

“I think we all learned, from the last couple of years, that we need to be more sustainable. We need to be more self-sufficient. We don’t need to go to the grocery store; I need to be able to walk next door to my neighbor and hand her some meat that I’ve raised, and she can hand me a dozen eggs,” Virginia Country Living Festival co-founder Erin Moore said.

Moore said country living is most definitely a way of life — loving big agriculture but having a backyard garden and meat rabbits is what is going to be in the future. The festival’s turnout was inclusive with people of all ages engaged, resulting in life-changing lessons that will last.

“I was really excited to come here to learn about how to take care of my animals better at home. I learned about how to feed the chickens, what’s better to feed them, and what the eggs are supposed to look like, the size too,” teen chicken farmer Alexia Tuthill said.

The Virginia Country Living Festival defines being sustainable and self-sufficient as needing no outside sources to get the basics of everyday life. Its vendors do agriculture from dawn to dusk, understanding that a person who can sustain is bound to make it.

“You never know what’s gonna happen in today’s world. The prices could go sky high on meat, and vegetables, and, if you’re growing that yourself, you’re self sustainable. It’s very important you know how to do that and be able to plan that for your future,” Shenandoah Bee Supply Owner Bill Gartner said.

Organizers said the support shown for the first Virginia Country Living Festival solidified it as a need and its return for next year. Plans are already in the works for the festival to be a new tradition.