Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Farm & Garden Planning and Design Class

Sharon and I will be teaching another Farm & Garden Planning and Design Class starting later this week. We still have a few spots open if anyone would like to participate. I'm currently designing an urban farm in Charlotte, NC and helping to create a multi-congregational community garden to serve local hunger relief needs. The class will use these and other real world projects to help facilitate discussion about what you can do to get more food growing locally.

The focus of the class is to help you maximize the value of your property or the land you are growing on, whether a small courtyard or balcony or a larger farm. We all know that tough times are acomin’, so it makes sense to get our soil and perennial plantings, our plans and experience now!

The goal of the class is for you to come out with a full design plan that takes into account the realities of your site, and with the tools to implement it. The design plan will serve you over multiple years, and help you maximize your potential.

The class is offered online, asynchronously over six weeks. We will offer new material, homework and new ideas on Thursdays, but it will be available over the course of the week – you are free to participate as much or as little as you like – some people have tons of questions, others take a while to absorb information – both styles are just fine. This should be productive and pleasurable, not high pressure!

The class consists of several components – readings, which we’ll put up on our blog or link to through the discussion group, the discussion group where we pool our knowledge, answer questions and try to work through issues, homework, in which you’ll get the tools to build a site plan for your own space, and phone calls – each student gets one 15 minute phone consultation with one of us to answer any specific questions they have. The class begins on February 18th, and runs until March 25th.

The cost of the class is $180 and can be paid either with a check addressed to Aaron Newton at 14 Oakland Ave SE, Concord NC or by paypal to If you’d like to make a donation to our scholarship fund, 100% of which goes to making the class available to low income students who can’t otherwise afford it, you can do that as well at the same address.
Before the class begins, you should register for the yahoo discussion group and post an introduction there – tell us about yourself, your gardening experience and your goals, and also about where you are gardening – your climate, your specific site, what you’ve done already and what needs doing, the challenges you face.

Here’s the syllabus:

Thursday, February 18: Sun, Soil, Water; Taking Measurements; The Project of Design, Meet Your Graph Paper ; Small Space and Urban challenges, Container Gardening, Getting Started,

Thursday, February 25: Soil Preparation, Perennial Plantings, Orcharding and Woody Agriculture; Permaculture, Seed Starting and Variety Selection, Calorie Crops, Beginning to Plan, Design Project 1 - A Courtyard Garden

Thursday, March 4: Transforming a City or Suburban Lot, Dealing with Zoning, Small Livestock and Polyculture; Finding More Land; Gardening Cheaply, Gardening in an Unstable Climate, Design Project 2 - A Suburban Yard

Thursday, March 11: Community and Garden; The CSA Model, Making Money, Children’s Gardens, Year-Round Gardening, Maximizing the Harvest Garden Design Project, 3: An Urban Farm - in Many Yards

Thursday, March 18: The CSA Model, Farm vs. Garden, Making Shade Productive, Vertical Gardening, Succession and Long term Planning, Deep Food Security. Garden Design Project 4: A Larger Farm - In Smaller Pieces

Thursday March 25: Visions for the Future, Long Term Fertility, Larger Livestock, Becoming a Victory Farmer; After the Design Phase

Come join us!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sharon and I will be teaching another Farm & Garden Planning and Design Class starting later this week. We still have a few spots open if anyone..tree nursery