You know how much better food tastes straight from the garden. Maybe you have a sunny (or shady) patch that you think could be a garden, but you’re not sure where to start. Or maybe you have a space and want to finally get to your tomatoes before the squirrels do!
Join the DIY CSA and learn how to start growing from the ground up. This yearlong class series is designed to take you from bare soil to serving your freshly picked produce. You’ll learn how to prepare your soil, design your space, select your varieties and coordinate with your classmates to pass around surplus. As the year progresses, you’ll learn to tackle weeds, identify negative and beneficial insects, transition between seasons and manage water in your garden. Over the summer we’ll spend some time in The Learning Kitchen, where Lyn Deardorff will teach the basics of dealing with your excess produce. Then we’ll finish out the year with an exploration of the ways your garden can expand – from composting, to beekeeping, to fruit trees and berry bushes.
The class is taught by Kirsten Simmons at Ecosystem Farm. Kirsten started farming after an accident left her with a concussion in 2012. What started as a small garden turned into a community garden, then a front yard farm, and then two acres in East Atlanta. Ecosystem Farm provides food to 35 families in East Atlanta and is the first of a customizable farm franchise that will eventually undermine industrial agriculture.
What’s Included: All classes, notes, materials and seeds.
- 1/13/18 – Soil – basics, building blocks, soil tests
- 1/27/28 – Soil and sunlight – discuss soil test results, make plans for amendments as needed, create base maps of garden spaces, microclimates
- 2/10/18 – What goes where? Discuss plant needs, placement, interplanting, succession, etc.
- 2/24/18 – How to start (several thousand) seeds – peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, etc.
- 3/10/18 – Bed Preparation (or, how to kill the weeds before they start)
- 3/24/18 – Direct seeding vs seedlings – selecting direct seeded varieties for your garden
- 4/7/18 – Good bug, bad bug – how to identify spring pests and guard against them
- 4/21/18 – Soil nutrient deficiencies and how to correct them. Also, how often should you water for optimum yield?
- 5/5/18 – Spring vinaigrettes – easy and sophisticated salads from your spring garden
- 5/19/18 – Transitioning to summer – how to get the most from the spring plants while setting yourself up for early summer harvests
- 6/2/18 – Good bug, bad bug (summer edition)
- 6/16/18 – Summer diseases – how to identify, prevent and treat organically. Plus, mid-summer nutrient boosts
- 6/30/18 – Pickles, quick and slow
- 7/14/18 – Introduction to canning
- 7/28/18 – Dreaming of Fall – planning the fall garden
- 8/11/18 – Starting fall seedlings in the heat of summer
- 8/25/18 – Jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades – making the most of summer fruit
- 9/8/18 – Transitioning to fall – how to get those last few tomatoes while still getting kale in the ground
- 9/22/18 – Checking in with the soil
- 10/6/18 – Ferments – sauerkraut, kombucha, milk kefer and vinegars
- 10/20/18 – Composting with heat, worms, black soldier flies, chickens, etc.
- 11/3/18 – Intro to beekeeping
- 11/17/18 – Introducing perennials to your garden
- 12/1/18 – Dreaming of next year – what will you grow?
- 12/15/18 – Holiday Party and Graduation Ceremony
COST: $1000, or payment plan of $300/quarter. Some work-trade arrangements may be available. 20% discount for Homestead Atlanta members with Membership Discount Code.
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