by Chris Harris
As it turns out, the Kentucky Green Living Fair is quite sustainable indeed.
The second year for the ecologically-minded event proved to be a natural success, as interested parties packed the parking lot of The Center for Rural Development to get a taste of what was on the proverbial table.
“We’re really excited,” said organizer Jamie Aramini. “We’ve been really pleased with the turnout.”
Aramini noted that about 1,500 people had entered the venue as of shortly after 2 p.m. Last year, the outdoor version of the Kentucky Green Living Fair drew about a thousand attendees, and even that was substantially more than Aramini expected; this year, that count was shattered.
“(The Center) has been fantastic,” said Aramini of the new hosting facility. “Their support staff has been great and it’s been so spacious. It’s given us plenty of room.”
Approximately 80 vendors were on hand, with food, information, and other products designed to help people live in a more earth-friendly fashion.
Some were more interactive than others — including the pen of tiny little chicks that proved of great fascination to virtually all the children who passed by. The chickens (brown egg layers) and ducks were for sale by Good Life Ranch.
“So far, they’ve been the most popular petting attraction for the kids,” said Lindsey McPherson, owner of the Casey County agricultural business. “We ordered a number from the hatchery. We normally hatch our own but it’s a little early in the year for us to do that.
“One of our main goals is educational,” she added. “We want to make sure kids know where their food comes from. If animals eat healthy food, they’ll be healthy for you to eat.”
Plenty of Pulaski County’s own agricultural superstars were on hand as well, including the wine minds behind Cedar Creek Vineyards in eastern Pulaski.
“It’s been pretty busy; lots of people coming through,” said Jeff Wiles, owner of Cedar Creek. “There have been a lot of people from out of town who weren’t aware that we were around.”
Others go far and wide to make a living. Take Caught Wild Salmon, the business run by Mary Beth McKinley and her husband Jason, based out of nearby Stanford, Ky., who are salmon fishermen on the rough waters of Alaska.
“We fish in Bristol Bay, AK,” said Mary Beth McKinley. “We’ve been fishing for over 14 years. We go up for the sockeye salmon season run, which is in June and July. After we’re done fishing for the summer, we have it processed and bring it back to Kentucky and distribute (the salmon) to local shops (and) farmers markets.
“There’s not many wild-caught options being landlocked in Kentucky so that’s why we’re really proud to bring a superior product here,” she added. “Grass-fed beef and pastured poultry is a big movement, and this fits right in to give people a fish option that’s wild-caught.”
Aramini said that the event was about helping people learn ways that they can be “greener” — or more environmentally conscious — in a manner that’s fun and not preachy. Judging by Saturday’s Kentucky Green Living Fair, local people are responding in a positive fashion.
“I’ve had so many people say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening in Somerset. Somerset is getting to be such a cool place to live,’” said Aramini. “That makes me really happy. ... We’re so pleased with the community support and how happy people are to be here.”