At one time, area growers had to travel to the Piedmont for an agricultural conference. Doing so was not only costly, but it also allowed attendees to only harvest a bit of useful information; growing tomatoes in the mountains is different than cultivating them near the coast. In 1993, several farmers got together to create an educational opportunity in Western North Carolina, and the Organic Growers School Spring Conference was born.
Twenty-five years ago, 100 people attended the conference, but this year’s event will see roughly 2,500 people descend on the campus of UNC Asheville March 10-11. Participants can choose out of more than 150 classes in 17 different learning tracks, such as permaculture, earth skills, herbalism and homesteading.
“Over the years, we’ve broadened to include nonfarmers and to meet the needs of our farmers as they advance,” says OGS Executive Director Lee Warren.