mother earth newsOrganic Growers School is excited to be joining the team of great instructors at the Mother Earth News Fair, Saturday & Sunday, April 12 & 13th. Join us and so many others at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center  for a weekend of fun-filled, family-oriented sustainable lifestyle workshops and practical, hands-on demos on topics such as renewable energy, small-scale agriculture, gardening, green building, and more. Come see us and check out our classes:

tomTomato Grafting for Plant Vigor
Tom Elmore
Seed catalogs are starting to offer dozens of rootstocks that impart soil disease resistance and improved plant vigor to tomato plants. This workshop will describe the surgical process for placing your favorite tomato scion on one of these emerging rootstocks, a home-scale “recovery room,” as well as how to decide whether the benefits of grafting are worth the trouble. Read more here

Soil Blocks for Vegetable Production
Tom ELmore
Soil blocks allow growers at any scale to produce quality transplants with minimal investment in containers. Soil block starts are easier to transplant and often produce healthier plants. This workshop describes a soil mix recipe, getting the moisture right, sowing techniques, and how to manage soil blocks for great vegetable transplants. Read more here.

Debbie-LienhartGrow Fruits and Nuts at Home
Debbie Lienhart
Discover the basics of growing fruits and nuts in your yard, starting with identifying the best planting locations, and then planting and maintaining the plants for highest production. Learn strategies for easing fruit- and nut-bearing plants into an ornamental landscape and growing more fruit and nuts in small spaces. If you’re new to growing fruits and nuts, this is the workshop for you! Read more here.

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Growing Berries in Your Yard
Debbie Lienhart
Who doesn’t love fresh berries? Berries are easy to grow in Western North Carolina, and they’re highly nutritious and delicious. There are berries for every yard—all shapes, sizes, soil types, and even in containers. Whether you’re putting in a whole berry patch, tucking a few plants into your landscape, or even a pot or hanging basket on your porch, identify the best planting locations, select the right types and varieties, and plant for a long, productive yield. Read more here

Chuck-MarshPermaculture and Human Nutrition
Chuck Marsh
As food security issues deepen, vegetables are not enough. This workshop will explore what foods we need to grow to thrive nutritionally in our local foodsheds, and how permaculturally informed food growing strategies can support the growth of a nutritionally complete local and regional food supply for our families and our communities.Read more here

lwwThe Three-Legged Stool of Sustainability
Lee Walker Warren
The three-legged stool of sustainability—Social, Environmental, and Economic. Without all three, any business, any system, any community, any relationship is doomed to struggle or fail. As bright, conscious, counter-culture visionaries, we set out to build a culture righting the wrongs of our society. We seek to reduce consumption, stand for peace & justice, and work for the environment. Why do our resourceful and inspired projects seem to struggle with financial stress and sometimes fail to survive? Is passion and vision enough? We’ll look at the basics of economics, breaking large concepts such as specialization, economies of scale, and externalizing costs, down to understandable pieces. And we’ll have a deeper understanding of what we’re up against, how we can get more aware, and most importantly, how to balance our approach.Read more.

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BOARD MEMBER Ruth Gonzalez teaches for Reems Creek Nursery
Pollinator-Friendly Gardening
Ruth Gonzalez
One out of every three bites we eat depends on pollination. Bee and butterfly populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Learn about the challenges our pollinators are facing, easy steps you can take to be a pollinator-friendly gardener, and how to create a season-long smorgasbord of beautiful blooming plants that benefit our pollinators and bring you pleasure throughout the year. Read more here.

Jenn Cloke

Jenn Cloke

Jenn Cloke, originally from Atlanta, has lived in Western North Carolina for since 2006 and wears her Appalachian mantle proudly. Jenn was the Communications Coordinator for Organic Growers School from 2012 to 2014. She and her family run a small farm at the foot of Cold Mountain.