Pat Gaddis is a teacher and a hostess. She doesn’t technically earn her living doing either of those things. But making people feel welcome, feeding them and helping them learn something comes naturally to her.
Gaddis owns Fair Meadow Bakes.
She makes a living baking bread and pizza in the wood-fired brick oven she and her husband built. She sells her bread at local farmers markets, where she met know Carolyn Davis of Natural Spring Farms. The two of them came up with a plan for an event that they say will be “a celebration of the craftsman, artisan and farming methods that were utilized at the founding of our nation.”
Homestead Heritage Day will take place 1-5 p.m. Oct. 25 at Fair Meadow Bakes at 4175 Cauble Road, Mount Pleasant.
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Over tea with homemade bread and jam, Gaddis and Davis, whose farm produces free-range eggs and pasture-raised meat, explained the idea behind Homestead Heritage Day.
“People don’t realize how everything was used on farms. Nothing went to waste,” Gaddis said.
Davis added, “We don’t want that knowledge to go away.”
So Homestead Heritage Day is not just about vendors – and there’s a wide variety of them – coming to sell their goods. Vendors will also teach about their crafts.
Stagecoach Farms will sell beeswax candles, honey and herbs, and will demonstrate how to dip beeswax tapers and pour candles using molds.
Vintage Concord will demonstrate letterpress printing, and guests can design and print their own handmade items.
You can learn how to knit, purl, cast on and bind off, or see how soap is made. Attendees can watch a woodworking demonstration and purchase handcrafted wood toys, as well as learn about stained glass, quilting, silver work and vintage photography. You can also get a black-and-white or sepia-toned photograph of yourself as a prairie homesteader, Wild West bandit or Annie Oakley.
Gaddis will demonstrate the stages of baking bread, beginning with the starters she’s had so long they are practically family members.
Jim Davis, Carolyn’s husband, will talk about raising pigs, while Carolyn will share sausage recipes.
As you’re learning and shopping, you also can listen to live music from the Back Creek Bluegrass Boys, and enjoy soup or chili in a bread bowl from Fair Meadow Bakes.
Gaddis and Davis say they are still adding vendors and demonstrators for Homestead Heritage Day, which they hope will become an annual event. Having participated in the Charlotte area Know Your Farms tour, they’ve seen a rising interest in the local food movement and learning how things used to be done.
Both women emphasize that Homestead Heritage Day is focused on learning. They want to get to know the people who come, and give them a good experience.