Spring Into Organic Growing!

If the arrival of spring and an inspirational story about hardworking organic farmers Jo and John Dwyer pique an interest in organic gardening, this timely event is custom-made to address that issue. A coalition of environmentally aware Austin businesspeople, educators, and activists have developed a series of events this spring known collectively as the Sustainable Shopper's Ball (www.sustain-a-ball.org). The events are presented in conjunction with the Sunset Valley Farmers Market. The organizers see Austin as the "Green Living Capital" of the world, and through the Sustainable Shopper's Ball, they hope to offer valid solutions to the various environmental concerns facing us today.

The first SSB this weekend provides the opportunity to celebrate a sustainable Austin and Spring Into Organic Gardening! The day kicks off with a lineup of local experts offering educational seminars from the speaker's stage:

10am: Cathy Nordstrom, Sustainable Landscaping

11am: Selwin Polit, Permaculture and Growing Your Own Food

Noon: John Dromgoole, Organic Gardening

Throughout the day, the outdoor Green Living Market will feature more than 75 vendors presenting products and services that support what organizers call an "ecologically intelligent" lifestyle. Guests will have the opportunity to chat with practitioners of green building and rainwater collection and gather the most current information on subjects such as biofuels and renewable energy. Another all-day component will be the availability of healthy, organic treats provided by a variety of vendors, many of whom are regulars at the Sunset Valley Market. While most vendors will be selling food, a few may be offering samples. Drinks will include Katz's Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Maine Root sodas, and locally produced Rainwater.

While Mom and Dad are becoming better environmental citizens, the children's activity area will be abuzz with entertainment. There will be two enjoyable performances by the Clickety Cloggers and songs by Laura Freeman (www.greenkids.com). Kids can take rides on the biodiesel choo-choo the June Bug Express, listen to professional storytellers, inspect the Big Ol' Yurt, or learn about the displays of "green art." And because it wouldn't be an Austin gathering without plenty of live music, the day culminates with a solar-powered rock concert performed by local favorite Davíd Garza. All the Sustainable Shopper's Ball events are located adjacent to the Sunset Valley Farmers Market in the Toney Burger Center parking lot, on Highway 290 West between Brodie Lane and Westgate Boulevard. This exceptionally family-friendly event is free and open to the public. 10am-3pm, Saturday, March 25.

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  • More of the Story

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