Last year I attended Rooting DC for the first time and had a blast. Rooting DC is a free, all-day gardening forum that aims to provide education about urban food production and consumption to cultivate health and preserve the environment. There are many one-hour programs and an information fair with over 60 green businesses and non-profit organizations related to gardening and healthy eating. Hosted by DC Greens, Rooting DC runs on a team of volunteers to make this a smooth and fun event. When I attended last year I collected a lot of information on local businesses, met well-known people in the gardening world, learned new gardening practices, and took lots of notes during the workshops.
Rooting DC opens at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 18. You can register in advance at the website or at the door. Although the event is free, a $10 donation is suggested. From 9:00 to 10:00 am you can visit the businesses at the tables in the atrium and get coffee and muffins/pastries. Workshops begin at 10:00 am with the last one ending at 4:00 pm. There are four 1-hour sessions but within each session are about 15 to 16 topics in various classrooms. There is time to go from one session to the next and a break for lunch. I learned that it is best to download the schedule from the Rooting DC website to determine which session you want to attend before you get to the school. Map out where the classrooms are and where you want to go to take advantage of as many sessions as possible. Get to the room as early as possible to get a seat. Some are so popular that it is standing room only.
This year, Rooting DC is celebrating its 10th anniversary – it has grown from a small gathering of like-minded urban gardeners in 2007 to an annual event with more than 1,200 attendees. Fortunately, it is held in a high school with plenty of room, facilities, and even lunch options from local food trucks outside. Woodrow Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake Street NW, is within walking distance of Tenleytown metro station in Washington DC. Don’t forget to bring a bag for handouts, a notebook, and your phone so you can take photos and tweet about the event at #rootingdc. See you there!