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Puyallup Speaker Spotlights: Tom Watson, Recycling Expert and Carol Ekarius, Animal Agriculturalist

6/1/2011 1:35:22 PM

Tags: Puyallup 2011, speaker spotlight, modern homesteading, Erica Binns

Get to know Tom Watson of King County Recycling and Environmental Services and Carol Ekarius of Storey Publishing. 

What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR? 

The Future of Zero Waste and Recycling in the Northwest! Big topic, huh!

Tom WatsonTell us about your background with your particular topic. 

I’ve been working in waste reduction and public outreach in Seattle for more than 25 years, and I’m always trying to learn.

Why should fairgoers attend your presentation 

*To get some ideas for how to make the world better, and make their lives better, and to share their own ideas.

What are you most looking forward to at the FAIR? 

I love farm animals. I even love the smells. And I love the food.

What advice do you have for attendees? 

Come early on Sunday, because that’s when my talk is!

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose? 

A good boat.


What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR? 

I'm speaking on Saturday and Sunday at the ALBC (animal husbandry) Stage. Both days I'll do one presentation on poultry breeds and one on raising animals for fiber.

Carol EkariusWhat are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees? 

I love to help people discover all the different animal breeds that we have. So many are in danger of extinction, yet they represent a biological gift from our ancestors that will be hard to replace once lost.

Tell us about your background with your particular topic. 

My husband and I moved to 40 acres in 1983, and began growing a lot of our own food and raising critters. We farmed commercially for ten years in Minnesota, but missed Colorado (home for him, and adopted home for me) the whole time we were there, so now we are hobby ranchers again, but we still grow a lot of our own food, and try to eat locally as much as possible for the food we don't grow. We have kept and raised chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, and mules. I have also authored and coauthored numerous books on animal agriculture, such as Small-Scale Livestock Farming, How to Build Animal Housing, Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep, Storey's Illustrated breed guides (Poultry and Livestock), and The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook.

Why should fairgoers attend your presentation? 

I think folks who didn't grow up on farms but are getting into it, and are trying to make decisions on which breeds or what enterprises and approaches might work for them will get the most out of my presentations. I grew up at the Jersey Shore (and no, Snooki is not a Jersey Shore girl!), but I always loved animals and dreamed of having a menagerie. I made it happen, and can share a lot of lessons learned.

What are you most looking forward to at the FAIR? 

For me one of the highlights will be visiting with Joel Salatin. Ken and I have known Joel since the early 1990s, but only get to see him on rare occasions. He is a dynamic speaker and an inspiration for all foodies and family farmers.

What advice do you have for attendees? 

I always say that if I ran for president, my motto wouldn't be a chicken in every pot, but a chicken in every back yard. Seriously, anyone can keep a few laying hens unless they live in an apartment tower. Most cities now allow up to six hens (no roosters need apply in urban/suburban areas because they will wake the neighborhood at sunrise.) Keeping chickens is really pretty easy and it’s a great deal of fun.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose? 

My flock of laying hens... cluck!

Thank you both. We'll see you at the FAIR! 


Please visit the FAIR website for more information about the Puyallup, Wash. FAIR June 4-5, and upcoming FAIRs in San Rafael, Calif. and Seven Springs, Penn. Tickets are on sale now for all fairs.

You can also get FAIR updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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