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'Garden of eatin'' grows food and profit

A great return on investment may be as close as your yard.

Fruit and nut trees offer valuable nutrition, save hundreds of dollars and provide a wonderful habitat for birds and other animals. ECO, the Environmental and Conservation Organization, and permaculture designer and Useful Plants Nursery founder Chuck Marsh will hold a workshop Tuesday, March 19, on how investing in your land can bear fruit for your kitchen and your pocketbook.

Marsh will offer inspiring, yet simple and practical ways to transform your gas guzzling lawn and tired old yard into a highly productive edible ecosystem. Homeowners can create, starting right outside their kitchen door, their own "garden of eatin'" that conserves water and energy while providing you and your family with fresh, nutritious, fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and urban livestock.

"One of the things our community lost during the industrialization of agriculture is the sense of community that comes from growing and sharing food," Marsh says. "We also lost the resilience that comes from becoming more self-sufficient and the substantial cost savings when food comes from the yard or neighborhood rather than from stores that sell food from thousands of miles away.
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One of the most economically sound and environmentally safe ways to protect our family and our community is through developing orchards that can survive for 150 or more years, produce 150-300 pounds of fruit a year when its mature, offering thousands of dollars in dividends with a small initial investment."

The class is offered through advanced registration only and a $15 registration fee is required. The workshop is at 6:30 p.m. in the ECO Conference Room, 121 Third Ave West, Suite 4, in downtown Hendersonville. To register, contact ECO 692-0385 or register online at www.eco-wnc.org.

Participants can order fruit and nut trees prior to the workshop and pick them up at the workshop. The plants are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides at the nursery at Earthaven Ecovillage. Contact Useful Plants Nursery at 828-669-6517 or visit the web site: http://www.usefulplants.org.