Learn about organic gardening at EcoFest

By Vicki Hyatt | Apr 10, 2013
Photo by: Vicki Hyatt Sal Kennedy, manager of Tractor Supply, stands near a natural product to increase soil health and promote plant growth.

Those who have been curious about organic gardening but have been held back because they weren’t sure how to start can get some of their questions answered at EcoFest.

One of the festival’s categories is “Abundant Backyard,” a category that encompasses everything from container gardening to beekeeping to organic gardening.

Sal Kennedy, the manager at Tractor Supply’s Clyde store, is enthusiastic about the festival and about the chance to highlight tips for raising a plentiful garden without the use of chemicals.

“When you look at the national studies and the potential for chemicals to cause cancer, it makes sense to try organic,” he said.

Kennedy stocks an array of products geared for the gardener that prefers the organic route, including ByoSoil, an all natural soil treatment that makes the ground so healthy that mosquitoes, ground beetles or grubs stay away. The solution also fosters the growth of healthy organisms such as earthworms.

Another option is to purchase a soil amendment that comes from worm farms. Kennedy suggests either mixing the product with the existing soil or using it on the top layer of a garden.


The natural gardening movement also includes an increased use of cedar, which repels insects rather than the oak or pine that can attract them.

“Plus the majority of cedar is a U.S. product, which is a quality many are looking for,” Kennedy said. “By using cedar, you are not only building a better garden, but supporting the economy, too.”

Kennedy will also be demonstrating the basics of container gardening.

EcoFest is an event designed to inspire, teach and entertain, according to CeCe Hipps, the executive director of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, which is putting on the festival.

There will be a children’s area, live entertainment and demonstrations on everything from making pickles to canning to making soap.  Attendees can learn more about growing hops, the basics of raising backyard chicken or how to spin fiber into a bookmark.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4 on the Haywood Community College campusTo become involved, call 456-3021 or check out http://www.wncecofest.com/

Vendors or those wishing to offer demonstrations can still become involved.