ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Organic Growers School (OGS), an Asheville-based 501c3 nonprofit offering affordable classes on organic growing and sustainable living, has prioritized in-person, grower-to-grower learning for the last 29 years. However, in light of CO-VID 19 as well as the increased demand for online education over the past few years, OGS has decided to move all programming online for the remainder of 2020. Certain programs will continue to be offered online into 2021.
The 7th Annual Harvest Conference will be the first major public online gathering held by the organization. The conference is to take place Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12, 2020 from 9:30AM to 4:30PM (both days) via livestream on the Zoom platform. The Conference features three 2-day workshops with outstanding guest speakers. Recordings of the classes will also be available for purchase, and full scholarships are availablefor farmers and food activists.
As OGS transitions into new leadership and moves into a shifting nonprofit landscape, the staff and board is focusing on adaptability, team building, and social responsibility. “We’re using our Harvest Conference this year to do a lot of things,” says Sera Deva, the Director of Programming & Systems Design at OGS. “It will allow us to show our audience that we can create high-quality, socially responsible and locally engaged online education that meets our organizational expectations of excellence. It’s highlighting the voices that matter the most during our upended political reality, and it’s providing educational access to a larger audience that we will continue to engage.”
The workshops being offered are as follows:
- Cherokee Foods with Amy Walker, Mary Crowe and Tyson Sampson
○ Friday 9/11: Gathering & Wildcrafting
○ Saturday 9/12: Cultivating Traditional Crops
- Farm Business with Cee Stanley
○ Friday 9/11: The NC Hemp Industry*
○ Saturday 9/12: Brand Your Small Farm for Fundraising Success
*Please note this class sold out in 2019, register early!
- Herbal Tonics with Patricia Kyritsi Howell
○ Friday 9/11: Spring & Summer
○ Saturday 9/12: Fall & Winter
The day-long workshops are all independent. Participants can sign up for a workshop with any instructor on Friday and/or Saturday and they receive a discount for registering for both days. The cost for one day only is $70 (either Friday or Saturday) and $125 for both days. Details on the workshops and how to register can be found online.
–Agatha Hannah, Organic Growers School