Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Lisa Kivirist, Organic Cook

Reader Contribution by Erica Binns
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Get to know author Lisa Kivirist.

What are you going to speak about at

I’ll be sharing simple, practical tips out of our new cookbook, Farmstead
, for organic
eating on a budget
, offering strategies that celebrate the homespun
frugality spirit of our nation’s farmstead roots. For folks who feel
overwhelmed by all the expensive organic options there, I’ll simplify
strategies for healthful food purchases and cooking approaches, wrapped in a
philosophy that eating should be a celebrated, joyful act that strengthens our
families, communities and spirit with every bite. A range of recipes for
homemade and healthier pantry staples will be covered like hot cocoa mix,
value-packed strategies for shopping the supermarket and farmer’s market as
well as buying bulk and creative approaches to preserving your garden harvest. I
gave a version of this presentation at last year’s FAIR to a packed crowd and
enthusiastic response; I’m honored to be invited back again this year.

What are you most looking forward to
sharing with FAIR attendees?

I’m excited to share ideas for ways to reconnect with our farmstead roots
and recreate that sense of independence and self-reliance that fueled so much
of our nation’s history, but that seems increasingly lost today. We’re constantly
hit with such doom and gloom messages via the news and media; more than ever we
need today to get out of the debt-driven economy and recreate our homesteads
for modern times filled with homegrown food, renewable energy and community
around the kitchen table. 

Tell us about your background with
your particular topic. 

In addition to co-authoring Farmstead
, my husband, John Ivanko, and I wrote the award-winning book ECOpreneuring
and Rural
, all dedicated to championing sustainable living and empowering
others to create livelihoods around their passion for a better world. My family
and I run Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B in Wisconsin – my “home office” is my
kitchen, where I spend many a happy day cooking up muffins for B&B guests
and preserving the abundant garden harvest. Another “hat” of mine is
supporting and leading the increase in new women farmers: I direct the Rural
Women’s Project for the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service
(MOSES) and am a Kellogg Food & Society Policy Fellow specializing in women
in sustainable agriculture.

Why should fairgoers attend your

I like to “plant” a combination of small and big seeds when I
teach – i.e., I want folks to leave with some tangible, practical ideas they
can take home and use that day, perhaps a new way to look at their home pantry
or new idea on food preservation. But I also want to help folks leave with some
“big idea seeds,” big picture ideas of ways to fundamentally change
their lives and lifestyles, such as thinking about installing a renewable
energy system or even, as John and I did 15 years ago, trade corporate city
cubicle jobs for green living in the country!  

How will you get to the FAIR, and how
far do you have to travel?

Flying in from the Midwest with carbon offsets.

What are you most looking forward to
at the FAIR?

I love all the “cross-pollination” amongst kindred spirits at the
FAIR and the positive energy amongst attendees. The FAIR is a super-sized dose
of all the good things happening in our country – the people who take both
their and the planet’s future in their own hands and want to create something
lasting and sustainable. It is so inspiring to be among such a large crowd of
people who never seem to say “no we can’t” but “what about this
idea” – and have the back-issue of Mother Earth News on file for the

What advice do you have for

I always bring a blank notebook, my “idea journal,” to the FAIR
and keep jotting things down throughout the weekend. From people you will meet
to a information at a workshop to recommended books – there’s so much going on
I need to write it down.

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

Definitely my husband, John Ivanko. He’s tall and would pick the coconuts
for me – and happens to be the most entertaining, engaging, passionate person I

Thanks, Lisa. We’ll see you at the

Please visit the FAIR website for more information about the Seven
Springs, Pa. FAIR September 24-25, and upcoming FAIRs in other locations. Tickets
are on sale now.

You can also get FAIR updates on our Facebook and Twitter

Keep an eye out for Trivia Ticket Tuesdays and Trivia Ticket Thursdays for
your chance to win two tickets to the FAIR!