Farm & Garden: Growing ginseng and celebrating spring with UNCA’s Greenfest

Cultivating Ginseng: Photo by Priya Jaishanker courtesy of Flickr (

Learn to grow ginseng and goldenseal

The Southern Appalachian School for Growing Medicinal Plants will host a ginseng and goldenseal workshop at Eagle Feather Organic Farm in Marshall on Sunday, April 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. The workshop will be facilitated by Robert Eidus, who operates Eagle Feather and owns the North Carolina Ginseng Company.

The workshop will take place within Eagle Feather’s Appalachian hardwood cove where these plants thrive. Participants will get hands-on training with newly sprouted “baby” ginseng plants as well as goldenseal. The workshop will also cover marketing strategies and identify marketing organizations that are associated with the cultivation of these plants.

For more information or to register call 649-3536 or visit

Eagle Feather Farm has been growing ginseng and goldenseal in their hardwood cove farm since 1993. Robert Eidus, owner of the farm and facilitator of an upcoming ginseng and goldenseal workshop, shows a raised ginseng and goldenseal bed that sits off his back deck. Photo by Carrie Eidson

UNC Asheville celebrates environmental sustainability with Greenfest

Spring is springing, and to celebrate, UNC Asheville is hosting its biannual environmental sustainability festival, Greenfest — a week of workshops and special events, many of which are free and open to the public.

The public events get underway Saturday, March 26, with the screening of Synthetic Forests, a film investigating the impacts of genetically engineered trees.

Monday, March 28 events include a “Skill Share Fair,” in which attendees will be able to share skills with each other, and a compost workshop covering a range of basic garden composting techniques.

Tuesday, March 29 events include a gourd birdhouse-making workshop, as well as the “Animal Agriculture World Café” panel discussion regarding animal-agriculture production practices and consumption.  To round out the day, the UNCA Math Department will offer a session entitled “Statistics and the Environment.”

For those interested in how to “vote green,” on Wednesday, March 30, there will be a panel discussion with local elected officials and environmental advocates on how to consider candidates from an environmental perspective. Wednesday sessions also include a “Garden Planning” workshop, an “Intro to Permaculture” workshop and a seminar on “Mindful Eating.”

The final public day of the celebration, Friday, April 1, brings the “Roots Garden” workshop, in which participants will learn about growing plants from seed. Later that day, the “Ecofeminism Panel” features UNC Asheville faculty and Asheville community members discussing the intersection of feminism and environmentalism.

For more information, including a full schedule with times and locations of events, visit



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