About OGS

Organic Growers School is the premiere provider of practical and affordable organic education in the Southern Appalachians, building a vibrant food & farming community by boosting the success of organic home growers and farmers in our region. Our hands-on training, workshops, conferences and partnerships inspire, educate, and support people to farm, garden, and live organically.

MISSION

Organic Growers School inspires, educates, and supports people to farm, garden, and live organically.

VISION

We are building a mutually supportive network of prosperous farmers, productive gardeners and informed consumers engaged in creating healthy communities.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

We value:

  • Organic growing and believe that it benefits the grower, the community, the consumer, and the earth.
  • Ensuring quality, integrity, and equity in our organization and programming.
  • Providing accessible, affordable, practical, and regionally appropriate education on regenerative and organic farming, gardening, eating, and living.
  • Building community and strengthening connections among people, healthy food, and land.

 

OUR COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

Organic Growers School seeks to transform the food system into one that truly serves the needs of all communities, creating social and environmental ecosystems that thrive by empowering people to farm, garden, and live organically. We recognize that in order to reach this vision, it is necessary to understand the impact that historical oppression and systemic racism have had on the food system.

We are committed to prioritizing social justice and inclusiveness within all of our operations. We define diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, socioeconomic status, personality, ability, education, geographic region, age, experience, values, politics, appearance, religion, mental health, and immigration status.

We recognize that we have made mistakes in the past, and that there is a lot of work ahead of us. We commit to the on-going work through trainings, relationship building, partnerships, and program development, to dismantle social injustice in OGS and in the food system for the ultimate goal of food justice for all.

OUR HISTORY & WORK

Organic Growers School is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that grew out of the volunteer efforts of a group of farmers and extension specialists who, in 1993, gathered to discuss the need for nuts and bolts, region-specific crop growing information applicable for farmers in Western North Carolina. From this meeting, OGS was born, along with a mission to deliver practical information about organic agriculture at a reasonable price.

The first Organic Growers School Spring Conference was held in 1993, with just over 100 participants. Since then, the event has grown exponentially. In years 2015-2018, more than 2,000 farmers, gardeners, educators, students, consumers, and chefs gathered from over 18 states and Canada, making the OGS Spring Conference the largest event of it’s type in the Southeast.

Organic Growers School provides year-round opportunities for farmers and home-growers of all levels.  Whether your interest is in farming, gardening, homesteading, healthy food, or organic community, our classes, workshops, and services will inspire you, build your confidence, and support you in creating your sustainable life. To see our strategic vision, click here.

A list of our programs: