Tayberry Jam three-day festival on Cougar Mountain promotes
By Ryan Imondi
July 19, 2010
Research has found that the specific social choices much of the world
is making, primarily led by the U.S., is leading to an unhealthy
planet. Overconsumption has lead to environmental degradation.
Mistreatment of the environment appears to have given way to climate
change. Things are serious. Issues are apparent.
The answer to these problems for the owners of Cougar Mountain Farm
is simple: reggae. From the July 23 to 25, the Tayberry Jam: Reggae
on the Mountain festival features prominent local, national and
international reggae artists, while providing a platform to educate
anyone willing to listen to the ideals of sustainable living.
The festival works hard to go beyond the simple idea of reduce, reuse
and recycle by challenging everyone to use without waste.
"It's a three-day farm benefit," said Noah Wemple, co-owner of the
farm with his wife, Anna. "It's to help our farm develop off-the-grid
farm forest research an educational resort for sustainable living."
The idea of sustainability permeates the festival. All energy needs
are met with solar panels, while environmentally friendly camping is
strongly encouraged. From the stage to the food, Eugene's historic
counterculture is noticeable.
The festival isn't a place to lecture attendees, but rather an
opportunity to celebrate the earth and encourage people to respect it.
"We're actively trying to teach the permaculture movement," Wemple
said. "It's essentially the sustainable we'd like to provide as a
model to everyone else."
The three-day event features speakers, workshops and other
educational ventures to help festival attendees understand
sustainable living featuring everything from growing vegetables and
fruit at home to conserving energy.
The main draw to the festival, though, is the variety of reggae artists.
"We try to mix in this idea of sustainability with celebration,"
Wemple said. "We're hosting a great array of artists this year."
After putting a call out to many notable reggae musicians, the
Wemples received almost instant interest in performing in the
festival and helping out the cause.
"A lot of musicians, especially the local ones, have gotten behind
the cause," Wemple said as he discussed some of the acts. "We've got
a tremendous amount of interest within the community."
The festival is packed with 35 bands playing over the three days.
Cougar Mountain Farm Friday's acts headline with Medium Troy and Marv
Ellis with the Platform. Saturday features Pablo Moses and Queen
Omega, while Sunday focuses more on sustainable teaching, featuring
Thomas Mapfumo with Black Unlimited and Loveness, and Kudana.
Much like the central tenets of last weekend's Oregon Country Fair,
the festival believes in the harmony of love of music for the love of
If people attending the festival take one thing away, it's to
celebrate the earth with respect.
"We need more people who are constantly active with sustainability,"