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n., Any hill dweller who knows that the best path to the future is through the arts of the past mixed with the smallest possible dose of newfangled ingenuity.

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How to Attend Our Classes (and Other Great Classes) at SC’s Organic Growing Conference

We love the Organic Growers School in North Carolina and are delighted that we now have a similar version for South Carolina! This is the 2nd year for the annual SC Organic Growing Conference which occurs on March 2nd, 2013. It’s run by the SC Organization for Organic Living (SCOOL) which you can find on their website or on Facebook.

This year my husband and I are teaching 3 of the 39 classes being offered. If you’d like to buy tickets at the “early bird” discount ($10 off the admission price), make sure to purchase them before this Thursday at midnight. If not, the regular conference price of $65 is still a great deal for a full day of classes! Most of these instructors would cost a lot more under any other circumstances. Click here to purchase your tickets!

Photo Caption: One of our harvests at Appalachian Feet

This year’s conference is being held in Columbia, SC to accommodate growers from all over the state and the surrounding region. The classes cover a broad range of topics and expertise in 10 main “tracks” that include urban agriculture, pastured livestock, healing herbs, poultry, vegetable production, mushrooms, heritage livestock, adding value to your operation, integrated operations, and a set of classes for middle school age students.

The best part? You get to choose from about 10 different classes for each of the 4 time slots (so you will take 4 classes of your choice, total). Or maybe that is the worst part… I always wish I could clone myself and go to everything!

The instructors are stellar and feature people like Tradd Cotter from Mushroom Mountain, Greg Judy from Green Pastures Farm, and Dr. David Bradshaw from Clemson University. You get to listen to experts on growing vegetables, raising chicks, setting up cattle pastures, soil health, lacto-fermentation, medicinal plants, permaculture, running a CSA, and more. You can read the class descriptions and instructors, here.

Here are the three classes we will be teaching:

Unusual Fruits and Vegetables for the Southeast

Eliza A. H. Lord, Appalachian Feet, Greenville

Did you know you could be growing pomegranates? How about citrus, olives, ground cherries, goumi, figs, kiwi, or pawpaws? Would you like an Italian squash variety that doesn’t get squash vine borer? Learn about more than 30 rare food plants that grow great in the Carolinas or surrounding areas. You don’t need to be an expert gardener to create an exotic edible landscape just beyond the back door.

Ethical Soil Fertility

Nathaniel Lord, Appalachian Feet, Greenville

Many of us switch to organic growing in order to reduce our impact on the Earth. It’s frustrating to realize that most of the fertilizers and soil amendments marketed as “organic” are made with factory farm byproducts or mined finite resources. Learn how to improve and maintain the fertility of your food and ornamental beds without relying on these damaging ingredients. You’ll probably discover ways to save money, too!

Insect Garden Ecology

Eliza A. H. Lord, Appalachian Feet, Greenville

Ever wish you could get your garden to do the work for you? Believe it or not, less than 1% of the world’s insect species are pests and the easiest way to get rid of them is to encourage more insects! Learn how to identify problems, attract predatory insects to your garden, discourage bad insects with interplanting, and utilize trap crops to distract pests from your vegetables. You’ll leave with a fuller understanding of what insects really do in your garden.

Our only regret is that when we’re teaching we miss out on attending classes! We hope you’ll take advantage of this great opportunity and that we’ll see you this March! Don’t forget to buy your tickets!

 

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