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Discover the Secrets of Successful Backyard Gardening at Environmental and Heritage Center Festival

The local food movement continues to grow in popularity as people become more health conscious and more attuned to where their food is originating. If you have a desire to grow your own food or lessen your impact on the environment by purchasing locally grown produce, ground flour and eggs, the Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) invites you to its fifth annual Grow Your Own Gardening Festival on Sunday, April 24, 2016, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The festival will include speaker sessions, guided plant hikes and demonstrations conducted by local farmers and community gardeners.

Pilar Quintero from Rancho Alegre, a Dacula based farm, will share the story of her agricultural enterprise, which includes a small dairy operation, chickens, hogs and sheep. The Gwinnett County Extension will provide tips for new gardeners on how to grow herbs in the home garden. Victor Gann of Blacksmith Farms in Lawrenceville will give a presentation on the benefits of square foot gardening. Anne-Marie Bilella with Bella Vista Farm will take visitors outside on a wild edible and medicinal plant hike around the EHC forest and share information on how to grow these useful plants at home. Ned Jung of J&J Culinary Sensations will provide a cooking demonstration using organic, locally grown products. Our Daily Bread will give on-site demonstrations of grinding grain into flour and will have its flour, breads and fresh preserves for sale.

Other festival participants include Dances with Bees, Ladies Homestead Gathering, Treater Creek and Home Depot. Honey, beeswax products, vegetables, herbs, breads and other items will also be available for purchase.

The festival includes activities for the “wee” gardeners. Baby chicks will be on campus for people to enjoy. Cow and lady bug crafts, seed planting, face painting and worm composting discoveries will excite children to dig in the dirt as temperatures get warmer. The EHC will also offer a special lady bug lookout class and release at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Know where your food comes from and support your community and the Earth at the same time. Program fees for the event are $8 per person and free for children two and younger and EHC members. Guests can purchase online or at the door on the day of the event. For more information and the schedule of speaker sessions and events, visit