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Soil Health Grow Native! Event to feature Wine & Beer Tasting

Article by: Nate Keener,
BELLEVILLE – Agricultural producers, gardeners, native plant enthusiasts and everyone else interested in pollinator and soil health are invited to a special Eat, Drink, and Grow Native! Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Eckert's Country Store & Farms in Belleville, Illinois.

This casual event, sponsored by Lewis and Clark Community College, Eckert’s and Grow Native!, will feature a short site tour, beer and wine tasting, appetizers and a presentation from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Health Specialist Doug Peterson.

To sustain their operations, Eckert’s relies on generations of farming know-how and practices that sustain and improve soil and pollinator health. Attendees will learn first-hand about soil health and its importance to raising healthy crops and attracting pollinators.

“We are very pleased to partner with the Grow Native! program on this event, and bring soil health expert Doug Peterson to the orchard so others can learn from him,” said Grow Native! Professional Member Angie Eckert, of Eckert’s Country Store.

Peterson is an engaging speaker, who will share insights on topics like the critical importance of soil health, agriculture and water quality, and will have his popular rainfall/soil health simulator on hand to demonstrate first-hand the power of healthy soil.

He teaches NRCS staff and agriculture producers throughout the Midwest about soil health, how it impacts virtually all-natural resource processes, and what type of management it will take to effectively improve soil health, function and productivity.

Tickets to the event are $20 and include appetizers and wine/beer tasting. Eckert’s will provide a tasting of two local wines and two local beers. A cash bar will also be available. Those interested can register at by July 30.

Grow Native! is a native plant marketing and education program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the service area of Grow Native! includes eastern Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, and northern Arkansas.