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Outdoors Plans under way for 21st annual Organic Growers School March 8, 9

The 21st annual Organic Growers School, will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, at the University of North Carolina- Asheville in Asheville. On the schedule is a weekend of workshops for beginning gardeners to advanced commercial growers plus a trade show and seed exchange, silent auction, Children’s Program, and on Friday March 7, an on-farm session.

Cost is $45 for Saturday, $40 for Sunday (Early Bird Registration by Feb. 17). Additional $15 for registration after Feb. 17 and on day of school. Register online at www.organicgrowersschool.org; register by phone at 828.342.1849, or request a mailed registration form to meredith@ organicgrowersschool.org or (828) 582-5039.

The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region- appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes such as cooking and stonescaping, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction, and trade show. This year’s school offers 70 sessions each day with topics ranging from beginning gardening to commercial farming to urban homesteading. The schedule of workshops is designed with all levels of growers in mind: the professional farmer, the beginning commercial grower, and the home gardener. Also offered at this year’s school is the 10th annual Children’s Program for kids ages 7 to 12, and a hands-on, on-the-farm session on Friday, March 7.

Participants may choose any four workshops from among the 70 offered in the themed tracks and hands-on, half-day workshops. The themed tracks are as follows: Digging In, Gardening, Soils, Livestock, Commercial Farmers I and Commercial Farmers II, Primitive Skills, Permaculture, Herbs, Sustainable Forestry, Homesteading, Cooking, and All About Poultry. New this year is the Pollinators track, where attendees will learn about creating pollinator-friendly environments and fostering pollinator populations.

The trade show showcases a wide array of exhibitors and products: local farms, gardening suppliers, and cottage industries that specialize in organic products, books and resources for organic growers and Permaculture practitioners, and several nonprofit organizations with information on related topics. A full list of exhibitors is on the Organic Growers School website.

A silent auction will run all weekend, giving participants the chance to bid on items such as organic home care, garden and farm tools, fertilizers, books, clothing, and more. Proceeds from the auction go directly to supporting Organic Growers School educational initiatives for farmers and consumers alike. Those interested in donating to the auction should contact meredith@ organicgrowersschool.org.

A Seed and Plant Exchange booth is open throughout the weekend as part of the trade show. Attendees may bring excess seeds and small plants to share, barter, or trade. Seed saving supplies and recommended readings will be provided.

For more information, visit www.organicgrowersschool.org.


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