Course outline for the 2017 session:
Session 1 — Sunday, February 26, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Foundation of Health — in class
Explore how human health is inextricably linked to plant health and ultimately soil health. Discuss issues of food security, ecological footprint and nutrition. Learn how holistic management practices such as organic gardening and permaculture design can improve human and environmental health.
Session 2 — Sunday, February 26, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Fruits, Nuts and Berries — in class
Find out how even the smallest garden can provide a bounty of fresh fruits and berries for eating right off the tree or storing and freezing for the winter.
Session 3 — Sunday, March 12, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Wise Water Management — in class
A little knowledge of how water is held in and moves through the soil spawns many creative ideas for collecting and storing this precious resource for optimal landscape health.
Session 4 — Sunday, March 12, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Veggies — in class
Learn how to select and grow an abundance of vegetables from seed for year round harvest. Learn which varieties perform well in your area, and the conditions they require for germination and optimal yields. Start your first batch of seeds for your garden.
Session 5 — Sunday, March 26, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Getting to Know Your Garden — in the garden
Recognize and optimize your garden’s assets: microclimates, pockets of extreme sun or shade, the soil. Perform a sun / shade audit and a variety of soil tests.
Session 6 — Sunday, March 26, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Creating the Master Plan — in class
Learn about the essence of holistic, integrated design, the great wisdom of permaculture, age-old practices like crop rotation and succession planting, and how to bring it all together to create a master plan for your own food garden.
Session 7 — Sunday, April 9, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Raw Materials — in the garden
Explore the pros and cons of various construction materials. Think outside the box to solve problems creatively, to achieve more with less. Build a compost bin and learn about many other ways of recycling your garden’s waste.
Session 8 — Sunday, April 9, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Getting Your Hands Dirty — in the garden
Time to prepare your beds for seeding and planting. You’ll be sheet mulching, double digging and building a raised bed.
Session 9 — Sunday, April 23, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Seeding and Planting — in the garden
Getting the seed into the ground is a moment filled with joy and expectation of harvests to come. Explore various ways to protect your new plants from being eaten by your friendly neighbourhood slugs, cutworms or rabbits.
Session 10 — Sunday, April 23, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Working with Water -– in the garden
Install a drip line and a rain barrel, program a timer, build a self-watering container and perform an irrigation audit.
Session 11 — Sunday, May 7, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Trellises and Containers — in class
Learn to make a variety of trellises and support systems for beans, squashes, vines and berries. Make your own potting mix for container grown veggies or summer annuals.
Session 12 — Sunday, May 7, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — When Problems Arise — in the garden
Learn to recognize plant problems and how to solve them in a holistic way. Build a compost tea brewer and learn to correctly use microbial solutions and natural fertilizers to improve plant health. Discuss ways of integrating livestock into your garden for effortless improvement of soil fertility.
Session 13 — Sunday, June 4, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Edible? Incredible! –- field trip
A field trip into the wild. Learn to recognize and harvest a variety of native and introduced wild plants to add a little zest to your diet.
Session 14 — Sunday, June 4, 2017 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm — Propagation — in the garden
Learn about Growing Food Indoors -from sprouting seeds to wheatgrass and windowsill herbs, many food plants can be grown indoors to add a little freshness to the winter diet.
Session 15 — Sunday, September 10, 2017 — 9:00 am to 12:00 pm — Reaping the Rewards -– in the garden
Harvest the bounty and learn how to store many crops for the winter. Preserve genetic diversity and save lots of money by saving your seeds for next year’s garden. Learn basic dehydration and freezing techniques. Time to plant out your winter veggie starts and get the garlic in the ground.
Session 16 — Sunday, September 10, 2017 — 12:30 to 3:30 pm — Putting the Garden to Bed — in the garden
Learn about cover crops and various methods of winter protection.