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Re: Teaching organic gardening

Jon makes Seattle sound like Nirvana! I still have to brave
wise cracks and rolling eyes when I go into our local co-op.

I'm also interested in what others are teaching in the way of
organic gardening.  The camp and land I had hoped our
Presbytery would use for a community program/ hunger project as
well as a camp and educational center  is slated to be turned
over to a developer (almost 400 acres).  I have decided to work
on setting up something at my home instead. I would ask the
local food pantry to allow me to teach a garden class to those
who need fresh vegetables and attendees would get a mini lesson
on gardening and free seeds and hopefully fresh produce to
boot.  Has anyone else had to resort to a similar effort?    I
believe there are usually about 70 families a week looking for
food in our tiny town.
   I agree that soil is the first and foremost topic to cover.
It is probably the biggest obstacle anyone around here faces
when they try to grow something (with drought being second and
lots of pesties a close third.)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Rowley" <rowley@nwlink.com>
To: <jverin@pennhort.org>; <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 9:27 PM
Subject: [cg] Teaching organic gardening

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Verin" <jverin@pennhort.org>
> To: "listserv cg" <community_garden@mallorn.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 2:34 PM
> Subject: [cg] teaching organic gardening
> > Howdy, folks!
> >
> >  We have many "NPK" gardeners who aren't growing soil,
rotating crops, who
> > resort to Sevin to kill bugs, etc. I'm interested in
knowing who among you
> > are specifically teaching organic gardening workshops. I
assume most/all
> of
> > you promote and encourage organic, yet what I what to know
about is your
> > actual organic curriculum or fact sheets. Also, any tales
from the field
> on
> > what worked, what didn't in terms of people getting
it/employing it (i.e.
> > letting go of the NPK fertilizer route).
> >
> > Happy gardening,
> >
> > John E. Verin
> > City Wide Coordinator - Philadelphia Green
> > The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
> > 100 North 20th Street, 5th floor
> > Philadelphia, PA  19103-1495
> > Phone: 215-988-8885; Fax 215-988-8810
> > http://www.libertynet.org/phs
> >
> John,
> Your post was forwarded by several members of the Seattle
P-Patch community.
> As Co-Site Coordinator of the Interbay P-Patch Community
Garden where we
> have a successful community soil building program and where
we conduct a
> number of soil building and organic gardening workshops over
the course of
> the year, I offer my .02 worth of suggestions, observations
and comments as
> response:
> 1.Suggest establishing clear goals and objectives for garden.
If you mandate
> an organic garden, you eliminate the inevitable problems
between gardeners
> that use chems and those who don't.
> 2. Create a written agreement between garden and gardeners
when plots are
> issued.  Gardeners agree to  use organic gardening practices
and whatever
> other conditions you decide are appropriate in your garden.
> 3. Set the garden up as a year around garden with the garden
year ending on
> Oct 31 and beginning with soil building/replenishing on Nov.
> 4.  Soil Building.  We have a multi-faceted Soil Building
Paradigm with this
> prelude, "Decomposing organic matter is the underlying tenet
of organic
> gardening. At Interbay everything we do emanates from
> soil-building activities. Healthy lush gardens make for happy
gardeners and
> pride in community.
> 5. Every Saturday morning 52 weeks a year we have "Compost
Socials" (the
> idea is to make composting fun). One of the garden slogans is
> everywhere, always." We even have Celebrity Compost; a
celebrity turns a bin
> we install a bin board with their name on it. Wendell Berry
was the most
> recent of 22 celebrity compost turners. This kind of thing
gives compost and
> composting status in the garden and beyond.
> 6. Schedule food and fun along with work. We serve soup and
bread 52
> Saturdays a year at noon. Gardeners sign up for making soup
ahead of time;
> an Italian bakery donates the bread.
> 7. Here is a list of classes and workshops at Interbay over
this past
> season:
>  *Barn Owls
> *Growing Peas and Potatoes
> * Building Natural Immunity in a Garden
> * The ABCs of Hot Composting
> *Attracting Beneficial Insects
> *Growing Dynamite Tomatoes
> *Growing a Weedless Garden
> * Mulching with Grass Clippings
> * Growing Beans, Corn & Squash
> *"Beneficial Gardening"
> * Growing Great  Garlic
> * Using a Refractometer to Measure Plant and Soil Success
> * Growing Winter Greens
> * Native Plants
> * Preparing a Winter Garden:  The "Interbay Mulch"
> *Preparing a Winter Garden: Cover crops
> *Making and Using Leaf Mold
> 8.  Above all, plant lots of laughter; make the  garden fun;
a place people
> want to come to and be in.
> Hope these ideas helped.
> Humusly,
> Jon Rowley
> Interbay P-Patch
> Seattle
> _______________________________________________
> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

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