Beneficial insects fight recalcitra­nt garden pests

The fight to protect food crops against destructive insect pests has become more challenging in recent years, Mills River farming expert Patryk Battle reports. Battle and Boone-based insect scientist Richard McDonald will present a March 31 workshop on when and how organic growers should take drastic measures to deal with damaging insect and disease infestations.

Organic Growers School’s Spring Conference builds sustainabi­lity, community

The Organic Growers School’s Spring Conference is hardly a new event: The annual gathering of farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and assorted sustainability seekers turns 24 this month. But organizers say those attending this year’s edition, whether they’re newbies or longtime conference regulars, will surely dig up some novel information.

Case dismissed, but it’s not over yet: Small growers vow to fight Monsanto

In her essay on the hazards attending genetic engineering, author Barbara Kingsolver raises the question: “What will it mean for a handful of agribusinesses to control the world’s ever-narrowing seed banks?” Asheville’s Sow True Seed has an idea, and they’re ready to fight back. (Cathryn Zommer shows off Sow True Seed’s “Harvest Goddess” street puppet, above.)