Gardening and wellness festival grows from grassroots

Grow Your Health to showcase documentary “In Organic We Trust” Photo: ap

FAIRFAX, Virginia, March 8, 2013 – The organizers of this weekend’s Grow Your Health Wellness Festival want you to feel good. They want you to grow your own food with joy and eat what nourishes you. They also want you to know what “organic” really means.

So, on a budget of the shoestring variety in funds but rich in passion, a small group of folks who connected first through the Northern Virginia Whole Foods Meetup Group has put together what they hope will be an inspiring afternoon of learning about food from the ground up: gardening at home, gardening and farming on a wider scale. And eating.

Festival sponsor The Fields of Athenry, known for its local grassfed lamb, will be hosting a cafe, which will also have vegan options available for purchase.

The event opens at noon on Sunday and is headlining a 1:00 screening of In Organic We Trust, a documentary that aims to shed light on just what the label really means (or doesn’t mean).

A few members of the Meetup group saw the film at a festival and felt called to bring it to DC, said Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation. An organization dedicated to promoting health through traditional diet traditions – including eating plenty of healthy saturated fats – the Weston A. Price Foundation will be the recipient of conference proceeds. In 2011, the Foundation put out an alternative set of guidelines for eating called Healthy 4 Life to counter the grain-heavy USDA food pyramid and plate recommendations.

After the film and discussion, attendees can connect with local businesses and non-profits dedicated to health and wellness, including Love & Carrots, a company that helps people build and maintain organic gardens, and healthcare practitioners.

Tickets for the event, to be held Sunday, March 10 at Wilson High School in Fairfax are $10 in advance (by 8 p.m. Saturday night) or $15 at the door. More information is at

Jessica Claire Haney is a freelance writer, editor and tutor. Her writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. A former high school English teacher, Jessica is mother to a six-year-old son and a toddler girl. She is passionate about holistic health and well-being and is a leader of a chapter of Holistic Moms Network.

Jessica’s blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama,, and her writer’s site is

“Like” Crunchy-Chewy Mama on Facebook, and follow Jessica on Twitter @crunchychewy/

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Jessica Claire Haney


This holistic mom dreams of a day when all kids -- and adults -- eat foods with only recognizable ingredients. Paying attention is not an option for me; it's a necessity.

A few years ago, my body started breaking down and let me know I wasn’t like all those other Jessicas who were still in their twenties. I began making the rounds of alternative health practitioners and nutritionists to deal with stomach problems, thyroid problems, chronic grumpiness, and infertility, issues that my doctors weren't addressing with any success. With a lot of help and a bunch of lifestyle changes, I managed to work my way back to healthy and happy. And pregnant!

Now a full-on convert to natural family living and a mom to a three-year-old, I’m on a mission to share my insights -- and my persistent questions -- about nutrition and holistic health with other moms and with anyone else looking for something that will work and feel good when other stuff doesn’t. As a leader of a local chapter of Holistic Moms Network, I've tried to build a community that supports other parents in making healthy decisions for their families.

My writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. I blog about life on the alternative/mainstream divide at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, and I'm a contributor for DC Metro Moms.

Contact Jessica Claire Haney


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