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Environment

Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham

Fans of sustainable farming are meeting in Durham this weekend. The 26th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference seeks to address the growing demand for local and organic food. Fred Broadwell is with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. He says one hot trend is permaculture. It uses observations of nature to design self-sufficient ecosystems.

Fred Broadwell: "Permaculture has been around a long time but there's certainly more and more interest in how farms are designed to be in harmony with nature. We're also seeing a lot of interest in new growing techniques, things like using cover crops or using grafting."

Grafting creates the union of two or more plants. The newly formed plant takes on the preferred characteristics of each species. Farmers are using the technique more frequently on vegetables to increase disease-resistance and improve production.

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