Are you new to gardening or to gardening in Central Texas? Would you benefit from a holistic introduction to organic, sustainable food gardening? If yes, then Grow Local's Introduction to Food Gardening classes are just for you! These two-part series provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to start and maintain an organic food garden, from choosing a garden site and establishing a bed to composting, organic pest management, and water conservation.
The only holistic, organic food gardening classes in Austin, Grow Local’s Introduction to Food Gardening classes are taught by gardeners with three or more years of experience growing food in Central Texas. In addition to addressing the unique challenges faced by Central Texas food growers, the classes emphasize the importance of organic food production to environmental and human health, and they teach students about the foundation of organic gardening: soil biology. Participants leave with an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between plants and soil organisms, a relationship upon which plants depend to access nutrients and fight pests and disease. Participants also learn how to cultivate a diverse web of soil organisms in their gardens.
The classes are held in SFC’s Teaching Garden and the adjacent St. David’s Foundation Community Garden, where participants engage in hands-on learning. On day one, students establish or revive a garden bed by weeding, loosening and amending the soil, mulching, and planting seeds and seedlings. On day two, students learn about composting by turning, sifting and building the compost piles maintained by the community garden. They learn about pests and diseases by hunting for bugs in the garden, and they learn how to thin and harvest plants through hands-on demonstrations and practice.
If you are looking for a well-rounded introduction to food gardening class that combines local gardening expertise with participatory teaching and hands-on learning, look no further. What is more, teachers who attend a class receive Continuing Education Credit through AISD’s Science Department. There is, however, one caveat: these classes fill up quickly, so register soon. (http://sustainablefoodcenter.org/get-involved/classes-events/introduction-to-food-gardening-3) Last but not least, remember that the money you spend on Grow Local classes helps us provide free gardening education to underserved communities. We look forward to seeing you in class, and thank you for your support!