By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The 2012 Everything Garden Expo makes its way to Starkville next week, with events beginning Monday and going through Sunday, March 25. This year’s theme is “Living on Earth.”
Forty-six garden vendors from Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee will fill 60 booths with various products one could use to make their gardens bountiful and beautiful. The most technical of services and information to help maintain and keep outdoor living spaces and gardens in a premier fashion will be available.
According to a release, “Living on Earth” emphasizes the connectivity of gardening. Committee member Alison Buehler said the theme is very relevant to today’s gardener.
“The way we garden and grow in our own homes and backyards impacts everything and everyone around us,” Buehler said. “What we spray on our lawns runs off into our waterways. The chemicals we use on our plants end up in our food system. The plants we choose to grow impact beneficial organisms like bees and ladybugs.”
Buehler said there is a whole world of old information being recovered and re-integrated into gardening practices.
“Composting, building healthy soils, choosing native plants and growing food instead of lawns is all back in vogue,” Buehler said. “Young mothers want healthy air, water and food for their children. Recycled yard art and cute backyard chicken coops are popping up all over the place.”
Buehler said the trends mark a return to doing things the old-fashioned way.
“Come learn to garden like your grandmother did and find out what healthy innovations in gardening are building on that knowledge,” Buehler said.
Paige Lawes, the overall coordinator of the Everything Garden Expo, said this year’s event offers a wide variety of speakers for all ages.
“There will be plenty of interesting speakers for adults and children,” Lawes said. “There will be a plethora of activities and gardening areas for everyone to learn something from.”
Lawes said the 2012 Everything Garden Expo is virtually a “Book of Knowledge” for gardening and growing in the 21st century.
Ali Jones, chair of the Taking it to the Streets Committee and a board member of the Starkville Area Arts Council, said the whole focus of this year’s expo is something she is really excited about.
“The week leading up to the weekend we have different speakers everyday, with topics ranging from organic farming to raising bees,” Jones said. “It’s all geared toward living off the earth in your day-to-day life.”
Jones said last year’s event was a great success, but with the addition of several new kids’ activities, planners expect this year to be even bigger and better than the last. Candy Crecink of the Starkville Area Arts Council said families from as far away as Selmer, Tenn. will be making the trip just to experience the children’s activities.
Monday through Friday’s events, with the exception of Wednesday, are free and open to the public. Admission is $5 Saturday and Sunday. Children age 6 and younger are free.
The following is the Taking it to the Streets schedule for Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23. Saturday’s and Sunday’s schedules will appear in the Lifestyles section on Wednesday, March 21.