Agriculture

The Green Scene in Fredericksburg

Attention, Houston-area organic chefs, farmers and food producers: Fredericksburg wants you!

The annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair, which takes place this year from September 24 to 26, is looking for people to come and demonstrate their own organic food products at the Organic Food Demo Station. Afterwards, folks are invited to display and sell their wares during the rest of the fair, which takes place in beautiful, historic downtown Frederickburg. Now in its 11th year, the Roundup draws more than 8,000 people from across Texas who are looking to explore or encourage a green lifestyle and healthy, organic foodstuffs.

Unlike many other fairs or markets, the Roundup gives vendors free entrance to the event as well as a free booth. That's right: free. All that you, as a vendor, need to do is register for a spot at the Roundup by September 3, then start loading up your car for the big trip.

"Fair goers love to find out about new healthy options and recipes, and businesses have a unique opportunity to go straight to their audience at no cost," said Debra Dubay, one of the Roundup organizers. "And they don't have to stay for the entire weekend. They can simply drive up -- it's a beautiful drive -- talk for 30 minutes about their product and then stay as long as they want to sell their product at their booth."

The Roundup isn't just for vendors, however. Anyone interested in learning more about organic farming and gardening, local food producers and sustainable energy will find something at the Roundup. It's the largest all-sustainable, all-green festival in the South, after all. This year will even feature workshops on planning, designing and installing your own solar energy systems. Food demonstrations featuring items like Texas grass-fed beef, olive oil, citrus and lamb will take place all weekend long.

Those planning a weekend trip to Fredericksburg for the event can purchase a three-day pass to the Roundup for $20. Tickets for Friday and Sunday are $10 each, while Saturday is $12 (children under 12 are free all three days). Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association and Texas Solar Energy Society.

And don't worry if it's still hot outside at the end of September: As long as you bring your own refillable water bottle (or purchase one at the Roundup for $10), water is free all weekend. We sure wish more festivals would encourage this smart use of resources.

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Katharine Shilcutt