Houston's First Organic Landscape and Gardening Fair
For years, I've thrown around the word "organic." And I've searched out products that do what they say and looked for good practices within the organic community. I always let you know about those that live up to their hype.
I've also chastised "organic" products and services that only seem to be out to take financial advantage of your "chemical fear" without doing what they claim they will.
The term "organic" has been used a lot in recent years. There are many definitions, from very loose references to the most strict and stringent interpretations. Two very staunch proponents of organics, and men for whom I have a bunch of respect, are Mike Serant with MicroLife Fertilizers and John Ferguson with Nature's Way Resources. They have told me that the concept of "organic" should encompasses more than just products. They believe it should also include designs and practices that bring us back to natural systems, so we work with nature rather than against it.
To help take mystery and misconceptions out of the equation, Mike and John have put together Houston's first Organic Landscape and Gardening Fair, set for 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Feb. 19, at the United Way, 50 Waugh Drive.
The keynote speaker is author, lecturer and movie producer Paul Tukey, one of the nation's foremost experts on organics. He founded the nonprofit www.SafeLawns.org, and his book, Organic Lawn Care, is considered by many to be the foundation of a successful organic lawn care program.
Betsy Ross, who started Sustainable Growth Texas, a statewide compost tea operation, will discuss how to create a grass-fed organic beef business, literally "from the soil up." Once you've tasted beef produced by Sustainable Growth, it could change your perspective on tender beef forever.
Rounding out the day's events will be 12 workshops featuring well-known experts in the field of sustainable landscaping, discussing topics such as the soil food web and compost, principles of permaculture, organic pest control, and selecting plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Vendors and exhibitors will feature organic products, services and information on organic practices — an abundance of resources under one roof. In addition to our buddies at MicroLife™, Urban Harvest and Nature's Way Resources, partners of the event include the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, HoustonGreenScene.org, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The event is hosted by the Organic Horticulture Business Alliance (OHBA) and Urban Harvest.
Tickets are $55 and include refreshments and an organic lunch. Advance registration is required at www.ohbaonline.org. Register early, because workshop space is limited.
If this event turns out as successful as I believe it will, we can look forward to the Earth Day celebration April 23, Easter Sunday, at Discovery Green. Many of the same vendors and experts will be there.
Randy Lemmon's GardenLine is heard 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays,
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