Discover the Secrets of Successful Backyard Gardening at Grow Your Own Festival

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backyard gardeningHave you always wanted a lush backyard garden? Perhaps, you wanted to move a bit further “off the grid” and grow your own food. Maybe you just want to support your community and lessen your impact on the environment by purchasing locally grown produce, eggs, and meat. All of these topics and more will be addressed at the second annual Grow Your Own – The Real Local Food Festival at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center on Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The festival will include three speaker sessions by local farmers and community gardeners. Brennan Washington, a representative of Phoenix Gardens, will cover how to plan fertilize, water, and plant your garden, as well as provide growing tips for popular summer veggies. Rancho Alegre”s Pilar Quintero will talk about starting up her agriculture enterprise, which includes a small dairy operation, chickens, hogs, and sheep. She will also discuss#raised bed#gardens, start to fruit orchards, and composting. Stephanie Van Parys of the Wylde Center (formerly Oakhurst Community Garden) will provide growing basics for her top ten favorite summer vegetables.

Other festival participants include beekeepers (Dances with Bees), Harvest Farm Community Garden, Cedar Hill Enrichment Center, Urban Sustenance Garden Design, and Cumming Harvest. Honey, beeswax products, vegetables, herbs, and flowers will be sold as well.

The festival also includes activities for the “wee”# gardeners.# Cow and bee crafts, seed planting, face painting, and worm composting discoveries will get children excited to dig in the dirt as temperatures get warmer.

Know where your food comes from while supporting your community and the Earth at the same time. Entrance to the festival is included with your admission to the Center.# GEHC members are admitted free.# For admission fees and the schedule of events, visit