Chickens, herbs and homebrewing, anyone?

September 27, 2013 10:24:26 AM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


Getting back to basics and having plenty of fun while doing it is the top priority at the Mississippi Modern Homestead Center Hobby Farm and Homesteading Fair Saturday in Starkville. 


The day-long event at the Center features demonstrations in subjects ranging from herbal remedies, preserving food, keeping chickens and raising rabbits to blacksmithing, soap-making, playing the banjo and more. And don't forget the chicken beauty contest. It's all in recognition of International Homesteading Education Month. 


"We are so excited! This is really our gift to the community from the Center," said Alison Buehler, who, with her husband Dr. Mike Buehler, established the Homestead Center in 2012 to offer practical support for those interested in hobby farming and more sustainable living.  


The Fair begins at 9 a.m. and concludes with music by the headline band at 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to purchase local goods and ask vendors and demonstrators questions about their crafts and products. Guests are also welcome to feed the Kune Kune pigs, pet the rabbits and see the chickens and honeybees.  


"Learn a new skill like line dancing or fermenting food," urged Buehler. "This day is packed with interesting activities." 


Restaurant Tyler of Starkville will be on hand offering food all day, and beer after 3 p.m. Homemade tamales will also be available. The public is welcome to bring picnics and blankets to share with family and friends.  


Admission for adults is $5; children under 10 are admitted free.  


"Bring the whole family out to enjoy a day of old-fashioned fun with a modern twist," said Buehler. Co-organizer Mandi Burns added, "We need to give something back to the community that has embraced us. No one is paying a fee to be a vendor, demonstrator or band. We just want to say 'thank you' in a really big way." 


The Center strives to recover fading traditions by providing a working model of a small, modern homestead and offering hands-on instruction in homesteading skills. It also offers space to the community for related events. It is located at 402 Lake Valley Road in west Starkville off Old Highway 12 (New Lite Road), west of Wal-Mart. A map and schedule of events are available at For more information, contact the Center, 662-694-0124.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.