Learn, Grow, Harvest & Eat!: 6-Part Organic Gardening Series


Register now, for a great 6-part organic gardening series sponsored by Green Community Connections and the Thoughtful Living Series (River Forest Park District Foundation and River Forest Library) will be offered by Master Gardener, Debbie Kong, starting on March 3rd.    Cost for the series will be $120.  Registration online at www.rfparks.org (River Forest Parks website)  Please see attached flyer and share with others. All classes will be on Saturday mornings from 10am-noon.  Please note that we have a break in between the March classes and the April classes.  We will start indoors in March at the Keystone Center, and then move outdoors in April at River Forest United Methodist Church. 

March 3, 10am-noon:  Sowing Seeds: Winter Sowing and Starting Seeds Indoors

Location: The Keystone Center, 7920 Central Avenue, the Keystone Concession Building, River Forest, IL

Get a head start on your garden by winter sowing or starting seeds indoors with grow lights. Learn how easy it is to grow plants from seeds and discover the wide variety of unique heirloom or organic vegetables, fruits, and herb seeds available.

This workshop will teach you how to sow seeds step by step. You’ll learn which seeds to winter sow, how to care for your seedlings, and when to transplant them in to your garden. We’ll also cover Seeds 101, learn about the various types of seeds: heirloom, organic, non-gmo, and hybrids. Get tips, advice, and recommendations on how to grow your favorite plants.Resources and materials will be provided. This is a hands-on workshop. Each participant will take home a winter sown container with seeds ready to grow.

March 10, 10am-noon:  Planning and Maintaining an Edible Organic Garden

Location: The Keystone Center, 7920 Central Avenue, the Keystone Concession Building, River Forest, IL

Grow healthy organic food in your own backyard and save time and money. This is a workshop to help you design your personal garden, get tips, expert advice, and resources for growing and maintaining an edible organic garden with vegetables, herbs and fruits.

This workshop focuses on Square Foot Garden methodology which can yields up to 5 times more produce over traditional gardening methods, uses 80% less space, and saves maintenance time. We’ll also cover how to care for and maintain your garden bed and learn how to deal with insects and pest organically without using harmful chemical. You’ll learn how to choose the right seeds or seedlings to grow in your garden and when to plant and harvest.

During this workshop participants will work on designing a Square Foot Garden Bed.  Resources and materials will be provided.  (Optional seed swap can also be included.)

March 17, 10am-noon:   Composting

Location: The Keystone Center, 7920 Central Avenue, the Keystone Concession Building, River Forest, IL

We’ll take the mystery out of backyard composting and you’ll learn how to take make great compost to grow a healthier garden. Composting is simple and maintaining a compost bin is easy. By making your own compost you’ll enrich the fertility of your soil, save money by not having to buy compost, and keep waste out of the landfills. During this workshop you’ll learn how to trouble shoot potential problems and how to remedy them.

We will also review the various types of compost bins and systems available and examples of some you can build. Resources for purchasing compost bins and project material lists to build your own compost bins will be provided.

April 14, 10am-noon:  Extending the Growing Season: Growing a Spring and Winter Garden

Location: River Forest United Methodist Church, 7970 Lake Street, River Forest, IL

Learn how to extend the growing season and grow food during the spring and winter season. In this hands-on workshop and you’ll learn various methods to build inexpensive low tunnel hoops to grow cold weather crop such as kale, chard, a wide variety of lettuces, and more.

Low tunnels are like having your own greenhouse but at far less the cost of building one. You’ll learn which variety of plants grow best in the cold, when to sow and when to harvest them. With spring and winter gardening you won’t be dealing with insects, it’s low maintenance, and some of the plants are of the cut and come variety yielding longer harvests.

April 21, 10am-noon :  Grow More Food in Less Space

Location: River Forest United Methodist Church, 7970 Lake Street, River Forest, IL

Learn how to double and even triple the produce you can grow in a small garden space. We’ll discuss the various growing methods, which plants produce the largest yields, how to plant your seeds or seedlings, and when to plant and harvest. We’ll be in the learning garden showing you planting techniques and you’ll get some hands on experience on sowing seeds.

This hands on workshop will help you plan a garden for larger yields and give you easy, practical, and time saving advice on how to care and maintain a high yield edible organic garden.

April 28, 10am-noon:  Edible Container Gardening

Location: River Forest United Methodist Church, 7970 Lake Street, River Forest, IL

Container gardening is the easiest and fastest way to grow food. If you don’t have a garden, have limited gardening space, or poor soil, you can still grow an organic garden. You’ll learn how to make containers out of common recycled materials and get advice on which plants do best in containers. Learn how to grow your favorite foods including strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons, peas, cucumbers and beans. Each CAN be grown in 5 gallon bucket!

This hands-on workshop will show you how to make a basic SIP (Sub-Irrigated-Planters) aka Earthbox® out of common recycled materials. SIPs are low maintenance, conserve water and are a sustainable way to grow healthy organic food.

Meet Debbie Kong --

Debbie Kong is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, and Junior Master Gardener educator.

Passionate about cooking and eating healthful food, she started her own organic garden to teach her daughter how to eat better and help her understand where food comes from. Debbie has worked on an organic farm and a sustainable aquaponics farm, and taught gardening in the Chicago Public Schools. She volunteers at many local community gardens and enjoys teaching gardening to adults, families, and children.

Debbie considers herself an experimental gardener and likes designing new ways to grow more food in less space. She has even been successful at growing a winter garden in Chicago.

She graduated from UIC with a B.A. in Communication Design and is a User Experience/Information Architect and Art Director. When not in the garden, she is a co-blogger at greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com and can also be found at The Singing Seed on Facebook.

You can reach Debbie at  Kongsterville@gmail.com.

Related Post & Photos:

Winter Garden Trial http://www.greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/2012/01/winter-garden-trial.html