Garden Journal

Federal shot in the arm: The massive farm bill currently being debated on the U.S. House floor will include millions of dollars to benefit one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing industries: the nurseries that cultivate shrubs, flowers and sod for the state’s ever-growing population. In the past, such bills highlighted row crops such as cotton, corn and tobacco. But this year, for the first time, the bill includes funding dedicated to specialty crops – which include fruits and vegetables but also ornamentals and sod.

Farmer to Farmer rolls on: The Organic Growers School and N.C. Cooperative Extension Farmer-to-Farmer classes continue to be held on Thursdays through Sept. 5. Classes are stand-alone, so interested growers can pick and choose. Upcoming sessions include: Blackberry and raspberry production, Aug. 2; Fencing options for livestock, Aug. 9; Customizing and marketing cut flowers, Aug. 16; Pasture-raised pork production, Aug. 23; Establishing a greenhouse, Aug. 30; and Blueberry production for the mountains, Sept. 5. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.organicgrowersschool.org , or contact Organic Growers School Coordinator Dan Leroy at (828) 450-2026.

Getting your organic on: Organicfest 2007 will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, on Battery Park Avenue in Asheville. Sponsored by Pure Food Partners and co-sponsored by Asheville Parks and Recreation along with several businesses and organizations, the event includes live music, dancing, drawings for baskets of organic goodies and gift certificates, free organic samples and an Organicfest Market on the Square featuring food and refreshments, clothing, herbs, flowers and natural arts and crafts. If you or your organization want to participate, there is still time to register. For more information, visit www.organicfest.org or call Debi Athos at 253-2267.

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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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