Image credit: The 4th Amazing Pittsboro Pepper Festival
When I wrote about the annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival last year, I likened it to a revival of the harvest festivals that have been a part of almost every agrarian culture in history. But really, the idea spreads even wider than food and farming—if we want to create lasting, cultural change we need to throw more parties.
Really good ones. As my community gears up for yet another celebration of all things pepper-related with the 4th Annual Amazing Pepper Festival (October 2nd in Briar Chapel, Chatham County, NC), I am struck once again by how important it is for the sustainability movement to have fun—and to become a vehicle for others to have fun too. Sure, there is place in this world for worthy lectures and workshops about seed saving and genetic biodiversity and agricultural heritage, but if you want the mainstream to get the message, you'll get a whole lot further if you serve beer too.
While the Pepper Fest, for example, will be an opportunity for folks to learn about sustainable farming and the bounty of pepper varieties that have mostly disappeared from our supermarkets, it will be done through the medium of tasting those very peppers raw, and in dishes and drinks prepared by our region's finest chefs, brewers and meaderies too!
Like work parties and crop mobs as 21st Century barn raisings, how we do things is almost as important as what we do. We already know that we have to work less and play more if we want to create a sustainable economy, and I can think of no better way to do this than to start playing more now.
As with my last post about the Pepper Fest, in the interests of transparency I should note that I am on the board of the Abundance Foundation which puts on this pep-strava-ganza. But I'd be recommending it even if I wasn't.
More on Celebrations and Sustainability
Harvest Celebrations for the 21st Century: The Pittsboro Pepper Fest
Volunteering as the Back Bone of Farming: The Return of the Barn Raising
Plenitude Economics: Work Less, Play More, and Stop Screwing the Planet (Video)