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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Grow Your Health: A Gardening, Local Food & Wellness Festival

by Pam Snyder

An all-day festival on backyard gardening? Well, yes, but not exactly. The third annual Grow Your Health Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 at Woodson High School, just east of Fairfax City. They will be offering 12 hours of classes on gardening and nutrition, showing the new award-winning film GMO OMG (about the perils of genetically modified food), offering an a la carte menu of nourishing food for lunch and presenting up to 50 exhibitors related to gardens, farms, farm product distribution, food artisans, nutritionists and wellness service.

This event is really about the bigger picture of connecting nutrition and health. In just two generations, the American people have become among the most obese, diabetic and cancer-ridden societies in the world. And escalating rates of food allergies, asthma, autism, ADD and other behavioral disorders among children are threatening to parents with young children or seeking to start families.

It is important to inform the public about the negative impacts that Big Agriculture and Big Food manufacturers are having on the American food supply. Big Agriculture pursues ever-more industrialized and unsustainable methods of growing food. The Big Food manufacturers process food into cheap, tasty and convenient products, but only care about nutrition as marketing gimmickry to sell more product.

“What we can grow in our backyard gardens is most assuredly the freshest, most local, and most organic food possible,” says Jack Moore, who has had a family garden in Reston since 1977. “But since we can’t grow all that we need to eat, let’s help people find quality food outside of supermarkets. And since there is more to good health than just nutrition, let’s help people find the wellness products and services needed for good health.”

The festival is hosted by the Northern Virginia Whole Food Nutrition Meetup Group, an all-volunteer group of 1,500 northern Virginians seeking to learn more about healthy eating. Planning and promotion is being led by a team of four people who have their own personal histories of overcoming health issues through better nutrition, as well as offering special talents in gardening services (Debby Ward of Prior Unity Garden), wellness exhibiting (Julianne O’Dwyer of Vital Healthy Life), nutrition education (Jack Moore, retired educator) and conference planning (Pam Snyder of Pam Snyder Events).

Location:  9525 Main St., Fairfax, VA. For more info or to register, visit

Pam Snyder has had a career in event planning for major hotel chains and now works independently producing Health & Wellness events. Readers interested in volunteering at the event or helping with planning are encouraged to contact her at [email protected] 

June 2020




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