Mother Earth News Fair
Our FAIRS bring living wisely to life with hands-on workshops in organic gardening, country skills, renewable energy and more.

5 Questions for Claudia Lucero

Claudia Lucero

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

If I look past food, water and sleep...books! When I think of something I use everyday and that has made a huge impact on my life it's definitely books. I fell in love with a neighborhood library that I could walk to as a young kid. Books opened up my world then and they still do.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

My home. It's not grand but it was a goal once I paid off my student loans, allows me to grow food, host people, a comfortable home office and security in an insane Portland, Oregon housing and rental market! Oh and I could finally get a dog, our Chihuahua, Lil' Mama.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Learning, creating and sharing. It's been very consistent in my life. Whether with my family growing up, in the non profit organizations where I've worked, or in my work now as a cheesemaking teacher and author. I'm happiest while making something but the key piece seems to be that I share it.

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

The blend of charred tomatoes and peppers mingled with fresh corn masa.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Meet people where they are.


Claudia Lucero enjoys getting new cheesemakers started with Urban Cheesecraft and her D.I.Y. Cheese Kits. She has partnered with Williams-Sonoma on custom cheesemaking kits and recently wrote the book One-Hour Cheese, which shows beginners how to make 16 fresh cheeses via step-by-step photos. The book is found where books are sold and the kits can be found on www.UrbanCheesecraft.com. For more on Claudia check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Sandor Katz

Sandor Katz

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Go outside. Listen to birds and water. Watch insects and worms and the moon and stars. Be part of nature.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

I love my ceramic crocks.

What brings you the greatest joy?

I love teaching people about fermentation. Often they start from a place of fear, and as I address their fears and demystify the process, they see how safe, fun, and rewarding it can be.

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

Koji, grains with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae growing on them, has the most alluring sweet aroma. If you had told me years ago that I would fall in love with a mold I would have laughed at the absurdity of it, but I did....

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Follow your passion!


Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation, along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, he has been called “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene” by the New York Times. Katz is the recipient of a James Beard award and many other honors. For more on Sandor check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Jessi Bloom

Jessi Bloom

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Hmm.. that is a tough question. I'd have to say that it is a must to make time to enjoy your life. Do what you love, whatever makes your soul happy!

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

I absolutely love, love, love my Berkey water filter and recommend them to EVERYONE I know.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Connection - with plants, animals and people! I love building relationships with every living being I meet!

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

The smell of jasmine makes me melt. Rosemary makes me feel strong. Fresh cut grass - alive and awake!

What is the best advice you've ever received?

It was actually at the first Mother Earth News Fair I spoke at - Puyallup 2012.  Joel Salatin came to my booth and I asked him what was his secret. At the time I was struggling with confidence, both professionally and personally, and he said "once you stop caring what everyone else thinks of you, your life gets a whole lot easier!"


Jessi Bloom is a best-selling author, award-winning ecological landscape designer, and speaker. She owns N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes, based near Seattle, which is known as an innovator and leader in the field of permaculture, sustainable landscape design, construction, and land management. Her work has been recognized by government agencies and industry organizations, and it makes headlines in national media. She lives near Seattle with her two sons on their permaculture homestead, which is full of functional gardens and rescue animals. For more on Jessi check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Ananta Ripa Ajmera

Ananta Ripa

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Compassion. There is an increasing body of academic research proving the importance of compassion for mental health. Ayurvedic sages, however, have always known this. Ayurveda is defined as a science of healthy living that teaches you how to distinguish between actions that bring you joy and those that bring your sorrow (as our mental states greatly impact our physical wellbeing). And the sages proclaimed happiness-giving actions to be those that benefit you and society. In other words, individual health has always been equated with having a compassionate attitude in all that we do by Ayurveda.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

Marigold flowers. I love having them in a planter on my balcony, and have developed a deep relationship with them. As with many things in the Ayurveda tradition, there's a spiritual, psychological, and practical component to their healing potential. Marigolds are the color of the sun. Because the sun is considered a symbol of the bright, shining spirit within you, marigolds are the color of spirituality in India. They represent inner spiritual fire. I love making marigold garlands to honor the spiritual dimension of my teachers and ancestors. At a psychological level, marigolds imbue you with a quality known as Sattva, or clarity, optimism and cheerfulness. They are tremendously helpful to smell anytime you experience grief. My teacher shared how she had received a marigold garland from her own teacher the day her mother died, and how wearing it in the following days helped her to cope with grief during childhood. I have also experienced the healing power of marigolds when experiencing sadness. At a practical level, marigolds are a medicine for all of your five senses. They are a truly amazing gift from Mother Nature.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Sharing the healing power of Ayurveda, the world's oldest healing system, with people who've never heard of it before. Ayurveda has changed my life in countless ways, helping me overcome years of eating disorders, insomnia, anxiety, stress, digestive disturbances, and so much more that I could not find solutions for anywhere else I searched (and believe me, I looked far and wide!). Today, nothing gives me more joy than sharing what I have been blessed to learn from my teacher, Acharya Shunya, with all those seeking ways to take health into your own hands.

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

The scent of jasmine flowers. I love going outside and smelling jasmine flowers. In Ayurveda, flowers are connected with the earth element. When you smell beautiful flowers like jasmine, it immediately grounds you and imparts a deeper sense of stability. I also find that simply smelling jasmine flowers is one of the best ways to immediately come back to being fully present in the moment whenever my mind starts to wander into the past or future. As the gift of living unfolds here and now.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Give from a place where you feel full. I used to give a lot when I felt empty inside. I sought fulfillment from the outer world, which I quickly learned couldn't give me the deep fulfillment that ultimately comes from cultivating a relationship with my own higher Self. When I gave while feeling empty, I often felt even more empty and depleted afterward. I was deeply affected when my teacher advised to "give when you feel full." To me, this means regularly devoting myself to activities that give me a sense of nourishment, including all the 108 simple Ayurvedic practices I have introduced in my new book, The Ayurveda Way. Giving from a place of inner fullness means being able to give from a space where I feel completely satisfied - and don't need anything in return. Not even a thank-you. I find that giving from fullness allows abundance to multiply and grow in beautiful, often unexpected ways in my life.


Ananta Ripa Ajmera is an ayurveda practitioner and yoga instructor who studied with Acharya Shunya, an eminent traditional Vedic teacher whose lineage stems back to ancient India. She has taught ayurveda and yoga at Stanford University, Stanford Health Care, California Probation Departments, ABC News, and leading business conferences. Her writing has been popular on MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal, and Huffington Post. For more on Ananta check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Jill Nussinow

Jill Nussinow

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Love.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

The BioMat.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Sharing what I know with others and then watching them succeed.

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

Rose.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

My aunt told me that being rich doesn't have to do with money, that it's all about the love that you have and share.


Jill Nussinow (the "Veggie Queen") is a registered dietitian and culinary educator who has been teaching plant-based, whole foods cooking for almost 30 years at Santa Rosa Junior College and elsewhere throughout the United States and beyond. She is the author of four cookbooks: Vegan Under Pressure, The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes, Nutrition CHAMPS: The Veggie Queen’s Guide to Eating and Cooking for Optimum Health, Happiness, Energy and Vitality and The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. She also stars in the DVDs Pressure Cooking, a Fresh Look: Delicious Dishes in Minutes and Creative Low-fat Vegan Cuisine. Nussinow is a fellow of The Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. She frequents local farmers markets, mushroom hunting and teaching fermentation classes. She has taught thousands of people how to successfully pressure cook over the past 20 years. Her goal is to see everyone leading a healthy, happy life through better eating and cooking. She loves to share the passion and joy of eating plants that will help save the planet. Her website is www.TheVeggieQueen.com. For more on Jill check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Bob Moore

Bob Moore

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Get up 20 minutes earlier and cook some good, nourishing oatmeal!

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

My first flour mill that I found in an old mill in Dufur, OR. This was the beginning of Bob's Red Mill.

What brings you the greatest joy?

A good piano and the opportunity to play it!

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

The delightful sea air as one drives over the hill into Astoria, OR. Another one - the smell of the inside of a brand new car!

What is the best advice you've ever received?

My father said, "When a string is in a knot, patience will untie it. Patience will do many things...did you ever try it?"


Bob Moore, the founder, president, and CEO of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, produces whole-grain foods for every meal of the day using unique slow-turning, cool-grinding millstones to preserve all the nutrients in the grains. A humble beginning in Redding, California, 43 years ago has grown into a company now located in Milwaukie, Oregon, with 500,000 square feet of manufacturing facility and 400 employee-owners dedicated to serving customers. Bob's Red Mill products can be found on store shelves all across the United States and Canada, as well as in more than 80 countries around the world. For more on Bob check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!

5 Questions for Brittany Nickerson

Brittany Nickerson

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Trust.  When we trust ourselves we are more confidant, self-assured and more fulfilled by our lives.  When we trust others we are more enriched by our relationships.  Trust can also serve as a source of motivation.  If we trust that things can get better we are more likely to work to make change - whether that is on the level of the political, social, economic, environmental, or interpersonal - trust and belief makes our efforts feel worth while.  From the perspective of holistic wellness, trusting our bodies is a key aspect of health.  If we trust that our body is capable of being healthy when we give it the right tools/building blocks, it creates a positive association that is healing, it also motivates us to want to care for our body - it is a reciprocal relationship.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

My home is by far and away the best thing I have ever purchased!  I suppose you could say it was the hardest thing to purchase - it was a big decision and a big commitment.  It nourishes my family and my work each day and we work hard to nourish it back - tending the gardens and doing our best to serve as respectful stewards of the land.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Looking out my window right now, the garden is in full bloom - I can see the whole arc of colors from reds and oranges, to fuchsias, white and of course green.  Plants, wild and cultivated, and the privilege to work with them and teach others about them brings me so much joy!

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

My 5 month old daughter, Ida.  It might be the hormones, but she smells amazing!

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Follow your heart, do what you love.


Brittany Wood Nickerson is the author of Recipes from the Herbalist's Kitchen. She has blended her training in herbal medicine into her personal and professional cooking for more than 10 years. She is an herbalist and the owner of Thyme Herbal, where she offers herbal apprenticeship programs, classes in herbal cooking, and private herbal consultations. Nickerson is an active guest speaker and teacher at conferences and events throughout the Northeast. She lives in Conway, Massachusetts. For more on Brittany check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!