Gwinnett’s ‘Grow Your Own’ Festival to feature local farmers, gardeners
If you have a desire to grow your own food as a way to live a more healthy lifestyle, you won’t want to miss the “Grow Your Own – The Real Local Food Festival” on Sunday, March 30, 1 to 5 p.m., at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) in Buford.
The festival, in its third year, is a nod at just how much the local food movement has grown in popularity as more and more people become attuned to the origins of their food.
From classes on seed planting to workshops on operating a farm to a tour of wild edible and medicinal plants, the festival will provide a cornucopia of activities.
Pilar Quintero of Rancho Alegre, a Dacula-based farm will share the story of her agricultural enterprise, which includes a small dairy operation, chickens, hogs and sheep. Anne-Marie Bilella with Bella Vista Farm will take visitors on a wild edible and medicinal plant hike around the GEHC forest and will share information on how to grow these useful plants at home. Ned Jung of J&J Culinary Sensations will conduct a cooking demonstration with samples of his delicious fare made with organic products.
The Gwinnett County Extension will also provide tips on how to prepare your garden for the growing season.
Other festival participants include beekeepers (Dances with Bees); Whole Foods Market; Phoenix Gardens; the United States Department of Agriculture; Heirloom Living Market; Athens Food Tours; Golden Farms and Cedar Hill Enrichment Center. Honey, beeswax products, vegetables, herbs, breads, eggs and other products will also be available for purchase.
The festival includes several activities for youngsters to enjoy. Live chickens, including baby chicks and a variety of adult breeds, will be on campus. There will be chicken and bee crafts, seed planting, face painting and worm composting to children the chance to dig in the dirt.
The GEHC will also offer special Junior Master Gardener Wildlife Gardening classes from 2 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. for ages 5 to 12 (pre-registration for the Wildlife Gardening classes is required and can be done online at www.gwinnettEHC.org).
Program fees for the event are $5 for ages 13 and older; $3 for ages 3 to 12; and free for children 2 and younger and GEHC members.
The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford. For more information, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org or call 770-904-3500.