TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Thu, Feb. 27

Spring Planting Festival opens March 24
Greening Your Life

Mira Murphy demonstrates how to prepare nopal cactus in her Spring Planting Festival workshop “Cooking with Native and Local Foods.” During the Spring Planting Festival she teaches how to create a meal based on the local food available including nopal cactus, mesquite flour, the garden harvest and fresh herbs. (Photo by Janise Witt)

Mira Murphy demonstrates how to prepare nopal cactus in her Spring Planting Festival workshop “Cooking with Native and Local Foods.” During the Spring Planting Festival she teaches how to create a meal based on the local food available including nopal cactus, mesquite flour, the garden harvest and fresh herbs. (Photo by Janise Witt)

Get ready for spring planting with Gardens for Humanity's fourth annual Spring Planting Festival. The Festival opens on March 24 with the evening concert, "Guitars and Beyond" at the Old Town Center for the Arts, and will run until April 1, finishing with the ever popular "Backyard Gardeners Expo."

The theme of this year's Festival, "Greening Your Life," will focus on what each one can do on the scale of the individual, home, business and community to promote food security, and stewardship of our unique environment. The keynote address, "Creating Urban Farms" with Greg Peterson will set the stage for a week of diverse, fun and informative workshops and events to help people become more self-sufficient while also gaining experiences to become more connected to nature, to self, and to community.

Greg Peterson is a green living and sustainability innovator who is well-known regionally for the creation of the "Urban Farm." This is a real-world environmental showcase, transformed from a tract home built in the 1950's in the heart of Phoenix, features an edible landscape, including over 70 fruit trees, chickens, rainwater and greywater harvesting, and three solar applications. Greg has inspired thousands of people to create their own "urban farms." The keynote address will be Sunday evening at 7:30 at St. John Vianney Church in Sedona.

This year's Spring Planting Festival will have workshops for beginning as well as experienced gardeners covering such topics as building soil fertility with composting and vermiculture, exploring crop diversity, learning about irrigation, backyard beekeeping, rainwater harvesting, seed saving and permaculture design.

For those who love to explore the delicacies of local foods there is a workshop on cooking with native and local foods, which includes an elegant sit-down lunch of the participants' creations. In addition, five outstanding Sedona restaurants − Heartline Café, Dahl and DiLuca, Reds, Cucina Rustica, and Elote − will feature a Spring Planting Festival locavore menu, with each weeknight featuring a different restaurant. To see photos and menus of the locavore specials visit www.gardensforhumanity.org and go to the online Calendar of Events.

Experience the nurturing and healing forces of nature with workshops in herbal preparations, aromatherapy, extracting essential oils from native plants, and several artistic workshops and performances. For those who are interested in energy independence and advocating local food security and choice, we have two forums where you can interact with a panel of experts: "Greening your Home" and "Local Food: The Human Connection." These will provide practical tips and plans for action to take more control of our food and energy resources.

Several of the events are free and family friendly. To learn more about all the events and workshops and to register for them online, visit the Spring Planting Festival Calendar of Events at: www.gardensforhumanity.org or call 928-284-9055.

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at www.gardensforhumanity.org.

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