I Love Organic Gardeners

I enjoy being around organic gardeners. They are a fun and inquisitive bunch, with lots of questions and unique experiences. Every garden is different, an artwork of soil, plants, and animals created by an artist with dirty fingernails. Winter time offers several area conferences for us all to run shoulders with each other.

Last weekend found me near Chattanooga at Sequatchie Cove Farm, for a biodynamic talk with 50 eager growers. Next weekend, February 26-27, I speak at the Georgia Organics Conference, which will be in Columbus, Georgia. This will be a big event with over 1,000 attendees.

jeff poppen conference

The following weekend, March 4-6, is the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show. I have given the last lecture on Sunday there for over 15 years. It’s a great place to run into old friends and make new ones.

A new conference for me will be the 23rd Spring Conference of the Organic Growers School at the University of North Carolina Asheville campus. They are expecting over 2,000 folks for the three day event. I’m on for 3 hours on Friday, March 11, and then sessions on Saturday and Sunday, too.

Biodynamics is the topic I’m often asked to speak on. As the oldest organic movement, it continues to gain respect and interest. I like to point out that biodynamics arose soon after the synthesis of nitrogen and the problems associated with its use.

cow horns biodynamic conference

Studying how farms were managed before then gives us insight into the biodynamic method, which relies on biological activity rather than bagged fertilizer. Compost, cover crops, and cattle and crop rotations kept farms fertile and productive. This age-old systems really work, and we simply don’t need all of the agricultural chemicals so widely used today.

It is inspiring to see so many imaginative young people excited about careers in organic farming. Consumer demand far exceeds current production, and we are getting interest from schools, hospitals and other potentially huge accounts. I’m honored to be a part of these educational events, especially since the organic crowd is so curious, interesting and fun-loving.

-Jeff Poppen

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