Join Us October 18-20, 2016 in Moultrie, Georgia!
The Hoss Tools Sustainable Living Center is a 15,000 square ft. area located inside the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Georgia. Every year in the third week of October, over 80,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors gather in Moultrie, Georgia for North America’s Premier Farm Show. The Sunbelt Agricultural Expo consists of 1.6 million square ft. of exhibitor space along with a 600 acre working farm. While the Sunbelt Ag Expo has traditionally been a show for large-scale agricultural production, the Hoss Sustainable Living Center provides a sustainable theme with events and exhibits for small-scale market farmers and backyard gardeners.
The Hoss Sustainable Living Center was created in 2014 and includes the 12,000 square ft. Hoss Demonstration Garden, the Georgia Metals Exhibitor’s Pavilion and a Speaker’s Tent where you can listen to expert presentations on market farming and backyard gardening. The Hoss Demonstration Garden contains a wide variety of crops provided by Johnny’s Seeds including cut flowers, new and upcoming crop varieties, and old staple varieties that are familiar to everyone. You’ll even have the opportunity to “test-drive” our Wheel Hoes and Garden Seeders to see how much time and energy they can save in your garden.
The Georgia Metals Exhibitor’s Pavilion is where you will find exhibitors with a wide variety of products to help you “grow your own food.” These products include garden tools, vegetable seed, compost and other sustainable products to help you maximize the potential of your garden. The Speaker’s Tent features presentations from industry experts on sustainable growing practices and market farming techniques to help you get the most of out of your land.
Sustainable Living Center Featured Speakers:
Lisa Mason Zeigler, The Gardener’s Workshop
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a cut-flower farmer, author, and nationally recognized speaker on organic cut-flower gardening. Lisa has been farming since 1998; her urban three-acre farm in southeastern Virginia produces thousands of stems of flowers each week in season. Lisa has sold her flowers to florists, supermarkets, farmer’s markets and through her farm pick-up and drop-off subscriptions. In 2005 she launched a mail-order catalog business, The Gardener’s Workshop, offering the gardening tools, seeds, and supplies she uses in her own gardens. In season, Lisa gathers experiences from day-to-day life on her farm. Out of season she travels about speaking and teaching on this good life of farming.
Topic: Making the Most of a Small Farm – Finding the hidden square footage in your garden or farm will increase yields and the bottom line. Lisa Mason Ziegler will show how caring for the soil and protecting this gem will have your farm becoming more self-sustaining with each passing season. Increase production with succession planting and the use of equipment. Keep the seedlings coming with the soil blocking method of seed starting that affords efficiency and superior seedlings. Why not get the most out of every square foot?
Greg Key, Hoss Tools
Greg Key has been involved in horticulture and agriculture for over 30 years. With a special interest in organic and small scale production, he has been on the forefront of the local food movement. He enjoys studying the processes and educating people about how to make growing healthy, local food more possible. With vegetable gardening being one of his favorite hobbies, he founded Hoss Tools in 2009 with the goal of manufacturing and selling high-quality, American-made garden tools. Today, Hoss Tools provides gardening tools and supplies to people all over the world with the primary goal of helping people grow their own food.
Topic: Necessary Tools to Grow Your Own Food – Proper tools can be the difference between success and failure in a vegetable garden. Whether your garden is 1/10th of an acre or 5 acres, time-tested tools like a Wheel Hoe and Garden Seeder can increase production and save you time and energy. Greg will discuss techniques to prepare your garden for planting, planting your garden with seed and transplants, and maintaining your garden throughout the growing season to reduce weeds and disease pressure.
Laura Kahles, Field & Forest Products
Laura is currently employed at Field and Forest Products, a certified organic mushroom spawn company, which supplies commercial and home cultivators throughout the United States with mushroom spawn, tools and cultivation advice. Laura specializes in growing Oyster mushrooms on agricultural byproducts, and her knowledge has taken her as far away as Malawi, Africa to teach others sustainable growing techniques. While she also works at F&FP as graphic and web designer, her primary interest is to create a more sustainable future through community outreach. She enjoys teaching people everywhere about the benefits of cultivating edible and medicinal mushrooms.
Topic: Forest Fungi for Food, Health and Sustainability – For centuries mushrooms have been consumed in various ways, not only for their nutritional value, but also for their medicinal properties. Learn some basic techniques for growing these mushrooms among garden beds or forest canopies. Grown on substrates like logs, wood chips, compost, or straw, these valuable fungi can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle.
Fredando Jackson, Farmers Organic
Fredando Jackson does not fit into the box of your typical farmer. The Plains, Georgia native grew up understanding the importance of growing food and its ability to create cultural identity for a community. Jackson is an eco-social entrepreneur who wants to make a difference in rural and under-served communities by teaching “super simple” sustainable practices that feed people and preserve the environment. He has over 9 years of experience in sustainable agriculture. Known affectionately as Farmer Fredo, the seeds planted by his grandparents blossomed during his time at Historic Koinonia Farm in Americus, GA where he learned and used different methods for small-scale agriculture production including organic, square foot gardening, biointensive, permaculture and SPIN Farming.
Topic: Vegetable Gardening in a Small Space – This is a lesson on the art of container vegetable gardening. The topics includes the benefits and challenges of container gardening, types of containers, space requirements for different plants, container garden soil mixes, and how to properly water and feed your container garden. Participants will also learn how to maximize their gardening space by using techniques such as companion planting, vertical gardening, and square foot gardening.
Here’s a preview from our speakers: