Do You Want to Grow Your Own Nutrient Dense Food?
Join a gardening course with 500+ students that have taken an expert-led online gardening course with live Q&A support from our three experienced growers.
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Learn the essentials of organic, no-till vegetable gardening with a special focus on composting, succession planting and winter gardening.
The Natural Way
We believe that the time proven systems in nature are the best way to grow plants. Our gardening principles teach our students to work with nature to maximize success in the garden. We teach you how to nurture soil organisms so that they in turn can feed the garden plants. We know that by fostering a bio-diverse community of plants, fungi, bacteria, and animals in the garden, we are, in a small way, mitigating the industrial and chemical damage caused to our suffering ecosystems.
This course is created with home gardeners in mind but also includes content that is relevant to market gardeners and for people who want to learn more about regenerative agriculture.
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A Community of Learners
We believe that learning in a community setting is conducive to creating deeper and more enduring understandings of the course content. That is why we have created a forum where our family of learners can gather to reflect on the different aspects of the course. The forum allows course participants to share photos of their gardens, reach out for advice and encouragement, and be a source of inspiration to fellow gardens. Gardeners love to share, and our discussion forum is a great way to do that. For the 2024 growing season, we plan to also resume our regular Q&A Zoom meetings (March-Oct, 2024) to give a face to face experience and provide the opportunity to have your questions answered.
Our lessons are captured on video and delivered to you. They are deliberately unscripted to give our course participants as realistic an experience as possible. Most of the footage is outdoors in real gardens so that the principles can be shown as they are discussed. This is the closest thing to in-person learning.
We are taking a pause in 2023, but we continue to film content for a planned 2024 course release. All new members who join us in 2023 will receive full access to 2024’s course and Q&A support webinars at no further cost once released. For now, you will gain immediate access to our 2022 course content which is spread across four modules. An unlinked copy of the video table of contents from our 2022 members’ area is appended below. Click/tap each module heading to see the expanded video list:
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What is Organic Gardening?
The word “organic” gets thrown around a lot, especially when it comes to gardening. It means a lot of things to different people, but at its core, organic gardening is about creating a healthy ecosystem that encourages the growth of plants and soil microbes rather than suffocates them with synthetic chemicals.
This involves avoiding the use of any products made from petrochemicals, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic gardeners also avoid using herbicides, fungicides and anything else that can be toxic to the environment or harmful to humans. This includes any products that are labeled as weed killers or that contain ingredients like petroleum distillates, which can have dangerous side effects.
Instead of shocking the system with lots of plant food and then blasting it with harsh pesticides, the organic gardener understands that a healthy ecosystem will naturally create strong, disease-resistant plants. This is why there’s such a strong emphasis on getting the soil ready to grow before planting. Adding in compost, growing cover crops and tilling in natural nutrients will help get the garden off to a great start.
Another part of a well-rounded garden is fostering the health of the plants and allowing natural predators to control pests. This is why organic gardeners are often able to enjoy a more stress free experience, especially when it comes to picking ripe and juicy tomatoes straight from the vine or plucking delicious apples from the orchard. However, there are times when pests must be controlled, so it’s important to have a good organic gardening spray or natural insecticide on hand such as Safer(r) Brand Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer.
One of the best ways to prepare for a successful organic garden is to choose the right spot for it. It should get 6 – 8 hours of sun and have good drainage to prevent root competition from trees, shrubs or other plants. The soil should be nutrient rich, so starting a compost pile or purchasing organic fertilizer that is OMRI-approved (Organic Material Review Institute) certified will help.
Once the plants are planted, the gardener should continue to feed the soil by adding in a layer of compost or growing nitrogen-accumulating cover crops that can be tilled back into the soil to add back nutrients. Then, as the season progresses, the gardener should monitor the plants closely for pests and weeds and take action.
Although there are some benefits to using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, they come with a price. The loss of topsoil, water pollution and environmental contamination are just a few of the many negative consequences that can be caused by the overuse of these products. Organic gardening is a much healthier alternative, which will ensure that the soil and ecosystems are kept in optimum condition for years to come. It will take more time and energy to tend to an organic garden, but it is worth the extra effort. And when you’re munching on a juicy tomato, plucking an apple from the tree or eating carrots straight from the ground, it’ll be all worth it!
Why Should You Grow Vegetables From Home?
Growing your own vegetables is a fun and rewarding way to make your family’s meals healthier. It also gives you an opportunity to teach your children the importance of eating a variety of foods. It can also be a great way to save money on your grocery bill. In addition, homegrown veggies are delicious!
Many people shy away from vegetable gardening because they fear a “brown thumb.” However, all you need to grow your own vegetables is a little bit of space, some seeds or plants and some patience. In no time, you’ll be chowing down on fresh-picked tomatoes and snacking on string beans straight from the vine. The flavor is unmatched compared to the shrivelled produce that you can find at your local grocery store.
Unlike food shipped from thousands of miles away, your own garden’s fruits and vegetables have never been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals. In addition, you can choose which fertilizers and pesticides to use, whether synthetic or organic. If you do decide to apply a pesticide, you can rest assured that you know exactly how much is being used and the exact chemicals are being used.
You’ll also know where your vegetables come from and how fresh they are. While it is possible to purchase “organic” fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, it is not always feasible to test every single item you eat for pesticide residues. If you grow your own vegetables, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re not eating any potentially harmful substances.
When you grow your own vegetables, you’ll be able to harvest them at their peak of ripeness. Often, commercial crops are picked before they’re fully ripe, which decreases their nutrient content. By choosing to harvest your own vegetables at the peak of ripeness, you’ll get more vitamins and minerals in each bite.
In addition to the health benefits of the nutrients in your homegrown vegetables, you’ll also be getting a healthy dose of sunshine and exercise. The walking, bending, and lifting involved in tending your garden are all forms of moderate exercise that can help strengthen your immune system.
You’ll also enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your hard work pay off. A packet of seeds and a few plants can yield dozens of vegetables, making it a cost-effective alternative to shopping for your groceries at the supermarket. Plus, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint by cutting down on transportation and fuel costs. And finally, your kids will have a great time learning about the cycle of life as they watch their plants grow into tasty treats. They will be more likely to eat their veggies when they see how easy it is to grow them themselves! The taste of a freshly-picked tomato or handful of string beans will be enough to convince even the pickiest eaters that fresh is always better.