ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Organic Growers School is excited to hold its 30th Annual Spring Conference this February 24-26, 2023. The first Organic Growers School Spring Conference was held in 1993 with just over 100 participants. Since then, the event has grown exponentially to serve more than 1,500 farmers, gardeners, educators, students, consumers, and chefs. They gather from over 18 states and Canada, making the OGS Spring Conference the largest event in the Southeast. Through this anniversary conference, OGS will continue its mission to support, inspire, and educate people to farm, garden, and live organically by providing affordable, practical, and hands-on education.
The Spring Conference will take place over three days. Friday is dedicated to day-long, pre-conference workshops at sites around Western North Carolina. These will include an intro to beekeeping with Oxx Beekeeping, a regenerative soils measurement class with Russell Hedrick, and a dive into the traditional plants, medicines, and stories of the Cherokee peoples with Tyson Sampson and Amy Walker.
Over the weekend, the offerings include 60 90-minute workshops organized into 15 themed tracks, such as Farming, Mushrooms, Herbs, Gardening, Forest Farming, Cooking, and Sustainable Living. There will also be ten half-day workshops that provide opportunities to get more hands-on experience with topics such as fermentation, land design, and backyard poultry, led by local experts, innovators, and educators. The weekend’s classes will be held at Mars Hill University in Mars Hill, NC. The Conference will also feature a lively Exhibit Hall full of local vendors, an annual Seed and Plant Exchange, a raffle, fun networking opportunities, and more. In addition, three local food trucks will be present: Cecilia’s Kitchen, La Semilla, and Root Down Farm, providing participants with delicious meals throughout the weekend.
The schedule is jam-packed with practical workshops to prepare for the growing season. Whether you are an enthusiastic local eater, food system advocate, new to growing, or have a few seasons under your belt, the Spring Conference is an excellent way to kick off the new season with the growing community. Read more about the workshops and speaker line-ups on the OGS website. Expect to encounter many familiar faces and some new ones from growing communities in Appalachia. Online registration is available until February 19, and walk-in registration is available on-site.
Organic Growers School, a 501(c)3 organization, offers year-round programming for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and those passionate about food justice. Their vision is to build a mutually supportive network of prosperous farmers, productive gardeners, and informed consumers engaged in creating healthy communities.
For more information, please visit https://organicgrowersschool.
–René Foster, Organic Growers School