Workshop: Hands-on Organic Gardening Techniques – for Educators

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“Growing food organically and eating conscientiously are acts that help to establish and ensure social, economic and ecological justice”

Wendy Johnson

In order to be able to teach effectively in an outdoor garden classroom, it is essential that teachers be well-versed in the principles and practices of organic gardening. These seasonal workshops are designed to fit the school calendar year and growing season and empower teachers to use the garden classroom more actively and confidently with their students.

Seasonal Workshops Cover the Following Topics:

Fall

1) Saving Seed: Simple seed saving techniques for common garden vegetables

2) Growing Fall Vegetables from Seed: Direct sowing and nursery propagation + customizing soil mixes and cell sizes to the needs of different plants

3) Composting: Understanding and enhancing soil micro and macro biology through composting + Simple compost management: cleanliness, efficiency and productivity

4) Perennial Plant Propagation: growing perennial herbs and flowers from cuttings and root divisions or from seed

5) Growing Gourmet Mushrooms: principles and practices of growing edible mushrooms including Oyster, Shiitake and Maitake.

Winter

1) Winter Garden Care: Using season-extending hoops and row covers, Cover- Cropping and Mulching

2) Pruning and Grafting: Pruning and grafting common deciduous fruit trees

3) Growing Spring Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers from Seed: Timing planting for optimal production, customizing soil mixes and cell sizes to the needs of different plants, using bottom heat for specific crops

Spring

1) Weeding: Timing plantings to mitigate weed competition, timing weeding and choosing weeding priorities, organic weed controls – sheet mulching and weed burning

2) Irrigation: Drip, overhead and flood irrigation – which crops need what kind of irrigation and how often/when in their life cycles?

3) Running a Plant Sale: Timing plantings and “potting-up” for plant readiness on sale date, logistics, set up and display