Since its inception 28 years ago, the OGS Spring Conference has provided a one-of-a-kind venue for knowledge exchange and community building among growers in Appalachia while remaining practical, affordable, and accessible. This year, as we take the event online for the first time, the conference will be more accessible than ever. Growers, farmers, and anyone passionate about sustainable living are invited to join from anywhere in the world. Even better, all of our conference content will be available on the event platform for three months after the event, meaning that attendees can review any workshops they like or may have missed. 

 

The need for organic growing and food has only become more apparent during this COVID-19 pandemic, and we are delighted to still be able to offer this learning opportunity despite the challenges. With a full-day LIVE! Kick-Off Event, over 30 hours of workshop content, LIVE! Q&As, and various networking opportunities, we have a very full week planned for you and we hope you will join us! 

We are so excited for you to learn from our workshop teachers who will lead you through over 30 hours of workshops, which are organized into the following 11 Themed Tracks

Cherokee Foods

Cooking

Farming

Food Systems

Gardening

Herbs

Livestock

Mushrooms

Permaculture

Soils

Sustainable Living

Check out the full schedule here or by clicking on one of the schedule images below.

Of course, our schedule looks a bit different this year in order to accommodate the online format. We will open the conference with a LIVE! Kick-Off Event, during which we will hear from our three amazing keynote speakers, deliver our Organic Educator Award, enjoy some poetry and yoga, and offer some LIVE! opportunities to meet and engage with your fellow participants. The three pre-recorded workshops in each of the tracks will be released on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, respectively. This gives you the chance to digest the material at your own pace and in a way that accommodates your schedule. Then, during the weekend of the 20th-21st, there will be LIVE! Q&A panel sessions with all of the track speakers during which you will have the opportunity to interact directly with workshop leaders. Throughout the week, you will also be able to pose questions to speakers on the event platform, participate in discussion boards with other participants, and explore our virtual exhibition hall. Attendees will also be able to enjoy a free screening of the award-winning film Gather, which beautifully documents contemporary Native American movements for food sovereignty. 

We have a variety of options to fit your budget. Unlike in previous years, purchasing your tickets means you will be able to revisit any content you may have missed or forgotten about up to 3 months after the event is over. Registration for our full event is $175. For a single track, we ask for $50, and that is discounted to $40 per track if you purchase two tracks. Finally, attending the LIVE! Kick-Off Event will only cost $20. 

Please know that our registration fees for programs do NOT cover our operating expenses. As a 501c3 nonprofit, we rely on donations and other funding to keep providing stellar services to the community. Consider giving over and above your registration fee to support sustainable agriculture education in the Southern Appalachians. This year, for every $5 you donate above your registration fee, you will get one entry in our giveaway raffle, which includes some wonderful prizes like free consultations, gift cards, or courses. 

Author: Avi

Avi is the Program Coordinator at OGS. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science in Sustainability from McGill University, and has been exploring the overlapping worlds of activism, justice, and resilience since then. They spent the past two and a half years working at the Environmental Law Institute in DC conducting research on issues ranging from conflict sensitivity in environmental programming to incentivizing nature-based disaster mitigation, and serving in a coordination and facilitation for various educational programs. Outside of work, she has pursued local climate, racial and economic justice organizing and activism, and seeks to understand how farming and home growing can be employed as wedges in those struggles. Avi is enamored with fungi and enchanted by their powers to heal our bodies, our communities, and the land and water on which we depend.