Organic Gardening Basics Series
At the Hendersonville Community Food Co-op
715 S. Grove Street, Hendersonville, NC.
We will be returning to the Hendersonville Community Co-op to teach beginning gardening classes in January.
The Organic Gardening Basics series is held on four Saturdays in January, 2012 (1/7, 1/14, 1/21, and 1/28), at the Hendersonville Community Co-op. All classes in the Co-op series are from 1:00-4:00pm at the Co-op. The cost per class is $30 per class, $20 for co-op members; or $90 for the series for non-members, $60 for the series for co-op members. To register or for more information, contact Gretchen Schott-Cummins at 828-693-8557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 7 – Growing Healthy Soil
Cultivating and maintaining healthy soil is the key to success in your garden. Growing good soil is the organic gardener’s most important job. Healthy soils grow healthy plants, and fertile, living soils are the first line of defense against pests and disease. In this class you will learn about building beds to build healthy soil — we will discuss several methods and approaches with an emphasis on the advantages of permanent no-till raised beds. We will also cover methods and tools for cultivating the soil, understanding soil tests and soil amendments, using compost and manures to build and preserve soil fertility, nurturing the web of life in the soil, using mulches to preserve soil health, integrating a permaculture approach, crop rotation, cover crops, and the importance of rest and renewal for soil health. Participants will leave this class with resources for further learning, and a basic understanding of how to build healthy soil in your garden.
January 14 – Starting from Seed
Seeds are the beginning of the cycle of life for plants in your garden. This class is an overview of how to grow your own vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. Participants will learn all about gardening from seed, including: organic and heirloom seed sources, preserving heirloom varieties, making your own seed starting mix (potting soil), which plants to direct seed in the garden and which to start indoors, germination requirements, caring for seedlings, when to plant seeds and seedlings, succession planting to extend your harvest, seed saving, and seed storage. We will also discuss seed sovereignty and seed heritage, learn about how to become a seed steward, and share heirloom seed stories. In this class, you will learn all of the basics you need to know to start seeds indoors and in the garden. You will also gather resources for further exploration of growing from seed and seed saving.
January 21 – Insects in the Garden
Insect pests are the biggest challenge for many home gardeners and small farms in western North Carolina. You’ve sited your garden well, you’ve got healthy soil, you’re keeping everything watered and weeded and then the bugs strike–cabbage worms, bean beetles, harlequin bugs–these are just a few of the insect pests that can decimate a garden. This class will focus on how to prevent and treat pest problems in the garden. We will learn to identify major insect pests of our area and discuss organic pest control methods. We will also spend some time talking about “good bugs” — including methods for attracting and keeping beneficial insects in your garden, getting beneficials working for you for effortless pest control, and creating a healthy garden ecosystem to keep pests and beneficials in balance.
January 28 – Four-Season Gardening
In this class, we will discuss sustainable organic gardening methods in the year-round vegetable gardening cycle. We will begin with the basics of four-season gardening, and discuss techniques and strategies to keep your garden healthy and productive throughout the seasons over many years. We will focus on the value of interplanting, crop rotation, and companion planting (polyculture), perennial edibles, fall and winter gardening, and selecting plant varieties for year-round harvests. We will spend some time discussing season extension methods such as row cover, mulch, cold frames, stoophouses and hoophouses. We will also touch on the concept of food forests and permaculture approaches to gardening.
What Participants Say About Red Wing Farm Classes:
“My son and I enjoyed the classes immensely. He is looking to live a sustainable life and I am looking to garden in the right way. Condensed into 4 classes, Red Wing Farm provided us with the basics and encouragement to build a garden environment. Through illustrations and discussion, Christopher and Beth spoke about what we needed to do to produce food of highest quality in our own backyard garden. The basic thread throughout all was that we have to nurture the balance of life in order to be successful. I hope to do my part and we look forward to hands on classes at the farm itself.” ~Rhonda Hertwig
“The Organic Gardening Basics classes with Beth and Christopher were inspiring. A great team, they were organized, each lesson well-planned to give us smart, easy-to-follow directions to a healthy garden—as well as a few lively stories from personal experience. Using beautifully designed graphics, they also provided notes after each class, and valuable info on local suppliers. I’m a beginner gardener and I felt the more experienced folks were getting just as much out of it as I was. It is abundantly clear that Beth and Christopher love what they do and that they have a sincere respect for the earth and their chosen field. And that made us all just want to dig in!” ~Tarleton Brooks
“I have been to many organic gardening classes before and none compares to the one given by Christopher and Beth. Their presentation was detailed yet concise. The materials used were clear and relevant. They take turns doing different topics which provides variety and focus. The presentation was very professional and had the right mix of graphics and text. I took all four classes and plan to go to the ones they are offering at their farm.” ~Suzanne
“As a first time gardener, I had a lot to learn. In the classes taught by Red Wing Farm, I learned how to get started and maintain not just a vegetable garden, but an self supporting ecosystem for growing healthy food. I enjoyed hearing about Christopher’s and Beth’s successes and frustrations which have led them to good solutions that I can use. The presentation materials and handouts were packed with useful information to help me get started.” ~Candace Seay Folks