Casaubon's Book

Sustainable Garden Planning Class

First of all, in my first post I accidently wrote the class was starting tomorrow, April 4.  In fact, we’re starting the following Thursday, April 11 and running to the first Thursday in May (apparently I can’t read a calendar correctly). I still have spots available, but sign up soon, because I’d like to make sure I have plenty of time for individual attention.

Here’s the syllabus and class information:

Sharon has been running her small family farm in rural upstate NY  for 12 years and before that, was gardening on urban balconies and in city lots in the Boston area for years before that.  Sharon’s farm ran a CSA for 5 years, and now produces native plants, medicinal herbs and vegetable starts as well as a variety of small livestock and perennial crops.

Sharon has been teaching these classes for some years now, but never cease to learn new things!  We have a wide and diverse range of garden experiences to draw on, and make new mistakes yearly, so that you don’t have toHere’s the class syllabus:


Week 1:Welcome, Introduction, Sun, Soil, Water; Taking
Measurements; The Project of Design,  Meet Your Graph Paper ; Addressing
Garden Challenges, Thinking in terms of Depletion, Getting Started, Getting outside the garden box, Variety selection

Week 2:  Soil Preparation, Perennial Plantings, Orcharding and
Woody Agriculture; Permaculture, Seed Starting,
Building and Maintaining Fertility, Calorie Crops, Beginning to Plan,
Container Gardening Basics

Week 3: Transforming a City or Suburban Lot, Dealing with
Zoning, Small Space and Urban Gardens, Small Livestock and Polyculture;
Finding More Land; Gardening Cheaply, Gardening in an Unstable Climate, Making Use of Shade

Week 4: Community and Garden; The CSA Model, Year-Round Gardening, Maximizing the Harvest Garden
Design Project, Public Space Gardens.
Vertical Gardening, Succession and Long term Planning, Deep Food Security,
Designing for Personal Resilience, Where to From Here

At the end of the class,  you will have  a site map, and short and long term plans for your own garden and
be ready to go forward!  But don’t worry or get overwhelmed – the workload
is wholly adaptable to your schedule!  One of the reasons we use face as
a site for our discussions is that the archives remain available in
perpetuity, with no danger of them disappearing, so you can always go back
and read through the material again.

The class is online and asynchronous – that means we put new material up
on the days that are listed, but you respond as you can or want to, and we
respond to you as we go.  No pressure – this is supposed to be fun!  In
advance of the class, we ask you to send us a personal narrative,
describing your garden(s) or farm, the land, its location and climate,
your experience gardening, challenges you face, what your ambitions are,
and what you hope to get out of the class. Send this to
jewishfarmer@gmail.com with the words “Garden Design” in the header so it
doesn’t get lost.

Cost of the class is $100 USD.   If you wish to donate
anything additional to provide free access to students who can’t pay,
please just go ahead and do so – 100% of any donations goes to making more
free spots available.  

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