Sharon and I will be running our annual Garden and Farm Design Class for six weeks in February and March. This is the perfect time to plan the garden season, expand what you’ve been doing and try new things out. The class is online (ie, you don’t have to live near us, which is good, since we live 1000 miles apart in New York and North Carolina), asynchronous (ie, you can be working on the class material whenever it is convenient, on your own schedule) and designed to make sure that you have a garden plan that is actually implementable.
We’ll cover everything from the basics of fertility, water and annual gardening for new gardeners to perennial agricultural crops, orchards and forest gardens, small space, container and vertical gardening, urban and community gardening, cover crops, seed saving and small scale home breeding, and integrating livestock into the small farm or garden.
My training is as a landscape architect, but I’ve also been a CSA farmer and am presently serving as the Local Food System Program Coordinator for my county. I know, quite a mouthful. Sharon has been growing gardens that range from balcony gardens in cities to a 22 person CSA for a long, long time, and running her farm for a decade. She says she’s made every mistake humanly possible, just out of the goodness of my heart so that you don’t have to ;-).
I gardens in a hot climate in a small city, Sharon gardens in a cold climate in the country, and between us, we can cover a pretty good landscape. As you know, we wrote _A Nation of Farmers_ together, and we want everyone to have a great garden!
Classes begin on February 1 and run until the second week of March. Cost of the class is $175. We do have a limited number of spaces available to low income participants who are unable to pay. We welcome donations of additional spots for low income participants – 100% of your donation goes to making more spots available. Email Sharon at jewishfarmer@gmail for more details, to register or to inquire about scholarship spots.
As mentioned before, the class is online and asynchronous, suitable to just about any climate and circumstances (we’ve had city gardeners, community gardeners, container gardeners, large farmers, small farmers, and everything in between, with climates ranging from Fairbanks and northern Sweden to the Tropics), and fun. The idea is for you to use the specifics of what you know about your place to expand your garden skills and create a garden that is productive in the near term and provides you with longer term food security without a lot of inputs. You will come out of it with a bunch of model designs, and one year and five year plans for your own site.
Here’s the Schedule:
Week February 1:Welcome, Introduction, Sun, Soil, Water; Taking Measurements;
The Project of Design, Meet Your Graph Paper ; Addressing Garden Challenges,
Thinking in terms of Depletion, Getting Started
Week February 8: Soil Preparation, Perennial Plantings, Orcharding and Woody
Agriculture; Permaculture, Seed Starting and Variety Selection, Building and
Maintaining Fertility, Calorie Crops, Beginning to Plan, Container Gardening
Design Project 1 – A Courtyard Garden
Week February 15: Transforming a City or Suburban Lot, Dealing with Zoning,
Small Space and Urban Gardens, Small Livestock and Polyculture; Finding More
Land; Gardening Cheaply, Gardening in an Unstable Climate, Design Project 2 – A
Week February 22: Community and Garden; The CSA Model, Making Money, Children’s
Gardens, Year-Round Gardening, Maximizing the Harvest Garden Design Project,
Public Space Gardens. Design Project 3: An Urban Farm – in Many Yards
Week March 1: The CSA Model, Farm vs. Garden, Making Shade Productive, Vertical
Gardening, Succession and Long term Planning, Deep Food Security, Designing for
Personal Resilience. Design Project 4: A Larger Farm in Smaller Pieces
Week March 8: Visions for the Future, Cover Cropping, Undercropping and Long Term
Fertility, Larger Livestock, Becoming a Victory Farmer; After the Design Phase;
Where to from Here?
Email Sharon at jewishfarmer@gmail for more details or to register.