Environmental Forum slated for Nov. 5 to focus on community gardens

October 5, 2009

Indigo bunting towers over the entrance to the exhibition hall at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center.
Indigo bunting towers over the entrance to the exhibition hall at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center.

Walton County Tourist Development Council’s annual forum to be held at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

“Growing Locally with Community Gardens” is this year’s theme for the 5th Annual Environmental Forum which will be held at the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center at Nokuse Plantation (pronounced “nō-gō-see”) in Freeport, Florida November 5, 2009 from 8:30 – 3:00.

The focus of this year’s forum is to bring together experts in a variety of fields to enable the community creation of a local, sustainable garden.

The forum will be offering gardening workshops, continental breakfast, a box lunch and a tour of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. The forum’s guest speaker is Eric Draper, Deputy Director of the National Audubon Society. Draper, a conservation leader who has worked 30 years to protect Florida’s natural environment, will discuss National Audubon Society’s role throughout Florida, the environmental challenges we face in Northwest Florida, and our responsibility to protect this unique and sensitive environment.

The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is located at  4956 State Hwy. 20 East, Freeport.  ::MAP::
Cost is $35 per person Seating is limited and advance registration and payment are required. Download registration form

Registration forms can also be downloaded at http://www.partners.beachesofsouthwalton.com/EnvironmentalForum.aspx or picked up from the Tourist Development Council office at 25777 US Hwy 331 South, Santa Rosa Beach, FL  32459.  Please call Vicki Kitahara or Debby Pozza at 850-267-1216 for more information.

Forum agenda:

8:30 – 9:15 Networking & Continental Breakfast
9:15 – 10:00 Introduction – Sonny Mares, Exec. Director, TDC
Speaker – Commissioner Cecilia Jones, District 5
Introduction – Lori Ceier, Publisher, WaltonOutdoors.com
Speaker – Eric Draper, Policy Director, National Audubon
10:00 – 12:00 Workshops
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Community Garden Future – Kendra Zamojski, Ext. Agent
Door Prizes
Survey and Print Distribution
2:00 – 2:30 Tour of E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center’s Exhibition Hall


Building a Spiral Herb Garden with Peter and Susan Horn, Artisan Builders
Create an organic, composting herb garden with easy-to-find salvaged and recycled materials. Learn which herbs will attract birds and beneficial insects, add fresh new flavor to your favorite dishes, and thrive in our microclimate. Based on the permaculture philosophy of creating zero-waste systems, herb spirals have been used worldwide as compact garden features that improve the soil, reduce waste, and grow useful plants – all without petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Integrated Garden Design with Architects Frank Greene and Chandra Hartman
Explores ideas and techniques for designing a garden space that is integrated with the built environment and existing natural features. Permaculture zones and site conditions will be discussed, as well as, effects of nearby structures and landscape features on the garden.

Slow food, local food, preserving food – What’s cooking with Kendra Zamojski, MA,CFLE Extension Agent II, Family and Consumer Sciences/Community Development
This workshop is serving up some recent and emerging food trends. Get the scoop on some of the hottest food trends including slow food, local food, preserving food, and more.

Good Bugs-Bad Bugs -Beneficial Insects with Sheila Dunning, Commercial Horticulture Assistant, Okaloosa County
Common landscape pests in Florida include aphids, scales, caterpillars and spider mites. Often, there is evidence of pest activity though the insect itself eludes the human eye. In such cases, beneficial Insects may already be working to reduce populations. Common predators include lady beetles, parasitic wasps and assassin bugs. But, many individuals are unfamiliar with the various good and bad insects. Through hands-on activities, workshop participants will learn to identify both harmful and helpful insects; enabling them to make environmentally wise decisions regarding pest control in the landscape.

Permaculture and Modalities of Organic Gardening with Kat M. Provencher, Permaculture Designer/Instructor
Permaculture principles and techniques, as well as different styles of organic gardening. This will be the “nitty gritty, down in the soil, how to make it happen” workshop. Each step will be outlined to implement a garden from the ground up.

Green Smoothies and Organic Eating with Jenifer Kuntz, Owner of Raw & Juicy
Enjoy a “real food” smoothie and learn about the benefits of eating organically.

Native Plants for the Florida Landscape with Lee Mixson, Eastern Lake Nursery Manager
Learn what drought-tolerant Florida-native and Florida-friendly shrubs, trees and flowers will give your landscape maximum impact and conserve water.

Building a Rain Barrel –with Eddie Powell, Horticultural Assistant, Walton County
Learn how to provide a smart and economical way to harvest rainwater for your garden or lawn.

Vermiculture with Arix Zalace, local worm farmer
Learn the basics of worm farming. From the biology down to the symbiotic relationship between worms and bacteria, discover the ultimate form of recycling. Turn your table scraps and paper waste into valuable fertilizer. Once you understand the process, you will learn how to create a healthy, productive, and odor free worm farm in your own home.

Container Gardening with John Kratt, Master Gardener
Learn which plants grow well in N.W. Florida and which plants to cultivate for a fall/spring garden.

For more information call 850-267-1216