Food News

Texas' Organic Farmers Descend on Dallas This Weekend, and You Can Nerd Out with Them

The Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA), a non-profit educational organization that "supports farmers, ranchers and gardeners who grow food and fiber in a sustainable manner," arrives this week for its annual conference, at the Mesquite Convention Center, February 17 through 19.

The conference is aimed at those who already produce sustainable goods and those looking to dabble in it. A sampling of workshop topics includes new farmers, food policy, butchering, organic certification, Serengeti grazing, aquaponics, veggie gardening, soil biology, farm-to-school programs, creating a business plan, social media, drought management and urban backyard chicken keeping.

On Saturday there will be 30 workshops running throughout the day, including several aimed specifically at the backyard and weekend gardener. At 8:30 a.m. Andrea Bithell of Oak Cliff Organics and Paul Quinn College will host a session on small-scale urban agriculture. A Saturday Gardening Workshop day pass is available for $70.00.

On Saturday evening, author Mark Winne will be the keynote speaker at the conference banquet. Winne has written two books: Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardners and Smart-Cookin' Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture and Closing the Food Gap.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.