Preparedness and Sustainable Living Come Together at the Go Green Self Reliance Festival

If you’ve been a prepper for any length of time and are striving to live a self reliant lifestyle, you’ve noticed it involves more than having storage food and prepping supplies. There’s considerable crossover between preparedness and living sustainably. The interest in organic gardening, purity of our food supply, and health freedom are a few examples.

Preparedness and sustainable living came together at the Go Green Self Reliance Festival on June 21-22, 2014, in the Missouri Ozarks. It’s not quite like other prepper events I’ve heard of. To get more info, I spoke to event organizer Mike Slack on DestinySurvival Radio.

As Mike describes it, the Go Green Self Reliance Festival is dedicated to promoting and supporting the local economy, sustainable living, agriculture, alternative renewable energy, and positive community activities. It was held in Thayer, Missouri in the beautiful Ozarks on the Missouri Arkansas border. The festival averages 16 speakers and 150 vendors. It’s a place to enjoy live music and carnival rides, plus other activities for the kids.

Vendors and exhibitors–They featured things like solar powered cars, heirloom seeds, fresh produce and handmade items, to name a few. The emphasis was on neighbors helping neighbors and supporting the local community and its businesses. Groups like the Salvation Army and Red Cross were represented, too.

Speakers–Topics covered included prepper basics, making biofuels, small steam engines for generating electricity, home building with insulated concrete construction, organic foods, and herbal medicines.

Admission–It’s free for all, including vendors. This event was put together by a small group who run it on a nonprofit basis. Local businesses give support. Donations are welcome during the festival. And raffles during the event raise a little money and heighten the fun with prizes.

Family event–Children are welcome at this kind of event. One of the activities for kids was the hunt for money in bales of hay. Live music included country, bluegrass, Gospel and soft rock. Delicious food included smoked meats and fried catfish.

Attendance–It has grown from 200 to around 3,000–more than Thayer’s population. People travel from near and far, including those who drive several hours from neighboring states.

Family vacation–You may want to make this annual event part of a family vacation. There’s plenty to see and do in the area. Branson, Missouri, is 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours away, depending on the route you take. Local fishing is very good, too.

Origins–The festival started out with a slant on environmentalism and sustainability, but when Mike and his late wife took it over, they mixed in features with a homesteading focus. 2014 was the festival’s sixth year. It has continued as a service to the community and the local area.

A festival goal–Mike expressed the hope festival attendees would go home with knowledge and the desire to be more self reliant. For example, we can each get better, more healthful food when we buy from local farmers and producers. We would do well to support local businesses as well.

A go green, self reliance example–Mike’s no stranger to preparedness, having lived through ice storms in recent years that knocked out power for a couple of weeks. After going through the first one, he was more prepared for the second one. He also homesteads on 10 acres with a few Scottish Highland cattle, hogs, goats, chickens, rabbits and a garden.

He’s also a writer and veteran of US Army Intelligence. His articles on preparedness topics have appeared in several issues of The Survivalist magazine.

Find out more–As always, Mike and I talked about more than I can relate in this post. Hear more about the Go Green Self Reliance Festival by listening to my conversation with Mike Slack on DestinySurvival Radio for June 12, 2014. (Right click to download.) If you want to know more about this or other festivals Mike Slack organizes, call him at (417)264-2435 or e-mail him at mike65807(at) Be sure to replace (at) with @ in the e-mail address.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.