It might feel a little premature to think about gardening when there is snow on the ground and spring seems so far off but now is actually the perfect time to get a jump on your garden planning and preparations. You may have already received enticing seed catalogs in the mail. (If you aren’t receiving any but would like to, contact your favorite seed company and request one. A few of our favorites that offer organic and non-organic seeds, heirloom and unusual varieties and treat their seed farmers well are Fed Co, Southern Seed Exchange, High Mowing Farm and Johnny’s.) Also, now is a popular time for gardening-related classes to be offered. Below is an exciting 6-part series being offered by our friends in Rochester, NY, Rochester Roots. To find similar classes near you try contacting your local Cooperative Extension office, an urban gardening not-for-profit, or perhaps a local plant nursery. And if you’re offering classes you’d like us to post, feel free to contact us! (Note: We may not be able to post them all but will try to post them here or on our Facebook page.)
A Six Part, Step-by-Step, Hands-on Workshop Series for School, Community, and Urban Gardeners & Farmers
Location: Rochester, NY. Please check the Rochester Roots web site for more details.
Workshop 1: Urban Garden Planning & Design (Part 1): Starting a food-based backyard, community, or school garden in 2012? This workshop will guide you in the basics of organic garden design and planning that works with nature, not against it. Design your garden to include vegetables, herbs and flowers. Bring a photo, sketch, or GIS map of your proposed garden site and we’ll start from there.
Date: Thursday, February 2, Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Workshop 2: Companion Planting & Heirloom Seed Selection (Part 2): Learn the art of growing a successful organic vegetable garden using companion planting and heirloom seed selection. Based around the idea that certain plants benefit others when planted next to, or in close proximity, companion planting can help make more productive use of your garden space while reducing water usage and eliminating the need for insecticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Participants with leave with a preliminary sketch of their garden site and understand how to read seed catalogues and seed packets.
Date: Thursday, March 1, Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Workshop 3: Seed Starting, Greenhouse Growing, & Cold Frame Practices: This hands-on workshop will take place in the Franklin High School Greenhouse. Workshop participants will learn to make potting soil and get an early start on planting seeds for their gardens. The focus of this workshop will be on starting leafy greens, peppers, and tomatoes which participants will take home at Workshop 6.
Date: Thursday, April 5, Time: 4:00-6:00pm
Workshop 4: Soil Testing & Soil Preparation: This workshop will show you how to test and assess your soil for nutrients, heavy metals, pH, and other soil characteristics. You’ll then learn techniques that build healthy soil through sheet mulching, composting, no-till gardening, and permaculture techniques. Participants will leave with a soil test kit and an instruction sheet for assessing your own site.
Date: Saturday, April 28, Time: 1:00-4:00pm
Workshop 5: Spring Planting for an Early Harvest: Get an early start on the growing season through the direct seeding of peas, beans, root crops, and leafy greens which thrive in cool weather. Participants will leave with seeds that they can plant directly in their own garden.
Date: Saturday, May 19, Time: 1:00-4:00pm
Workshop 6: From Greenhouse to Ground Transplanting Techniques: Learn how to properly prepare the soil, form companion planting guilds, and transplant a selection of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that were started in the greenhouse. Then learn how to conserve moisture and reduce weed pressure through mulching.
Date: Saturday, June 23, Time: 1:00 – 4:00pm
Growing Together Registration & Fees
$15 per person per workshop or $75 series (6 workshops)
$10 low-income & students per workshop or $50 series (6 workshops)