Friday, December 5, 2008

Gearing Up for the Next Growing Season

It's never too early to start planning your very own garden. Before you know it, we'll be getting our first seed catalogs in the mail! Meanwhile, there are lots of training opportunities around for folks who want to learn how to grow their own vegetables.

Here's one that's near and dear to my heart:

Denver Urban Gardens Master Community Gardener program.
This is a 10-week course designed to train community leaders in community organizing as well as basic horticultural skills growing vegetables and fruits in Colorado. This hands-on course teaches participants the skills they need to create and maintain strong, vibrant and sustainable community gardens. Applications are now being accepted until January 16, 2009 and classes start in February. For an informational flyer, click here. For an application and class schedule, click here.

Here are some cool classes offered by Denver Botanic Gardens:

Sustainable Greenhouse Design
December 14, 2008, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter
Morrison Center
Have you ever wondered if it could be done? Can you create a greenhouse that needs NO supplemental heating year round? - the answer is yes!! This greenhouse design, involving stored water as thermal mass and our bountiful Colorado sun, can be used with recycled materials or new. You can apply this method to pre-existing greenhouses, attached or single units. Water is the most efficient thermal mass but there are many other options as well - learn how to use them while recycling all kinds of materials. The Parmenters built their greenhouse out of 90% recycled materials and it sits on top of a decomposed granite mountain at 8,120 ft. This technique works at any altitude. Fresh, organic food year round in Colorado is a sure thing - we have more than enough sun. There's always something to eat!

Members, $49.00
Non Members, $56.00
Day of Class Member Fee, $59.00
Day of Class Non Member Fee, $66.00

Walk-in registrations will be charged a $10 late fee.

Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring
January 20, 2009, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Classroom B, Denver Botanic Gardens
It's the dead of winter now, but spring prep chores will soon begin! Just as you had to put your garden "to bed" for winter, there are many important tasks to help your garden wake up and get ready for the growing season. This class will cover undoing mulch and compost, amending soil, garden clean-up, rose care, perennials, what to prune or not to prune, lawn preparation, irrigation tune-up, cleaning your tools, and more. FEES: $24 member, $29 non-member. Day of class: $34/$39. Instructor: Jackie Burghardt

Sustainability Film Series: Sister Bee
February 19, 2009, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Denver Botanic Gardens
Enjoy a lyrical and beautiful documentary (filmed in Boulder) about six women beekeepers who encounter startling beauty and spiritual truth in their work with honeybees. We are fortunate to be able to present a special panel discussion with some of the beekeepers themselves, as well as Laura Tyler, the filmmaker, following the film. Don’t miss this memorable and moving event. $8 member, $10 non-member. Space is limited: register early!

And here are some other options -- presented by Transition Boulder County:

Bringing Transition Home: Case Studies in Permaculture
January 14, 2009 from 7pm to 9pm
Boulder Meadows Community Room
How can humans live on Earth in harmony, abundance, grace and ease for eons into the future? Sandy Cruz and Barbara Mueser will discuss how the Permaculture approach has inspired transition in their personal lives, creating small local changes which ripple out to the wider environment. By transforming and connecting diverse facets of our lives — love of nature, food strategies, building techniques, natural healing, indigenous wisdom, new inventions, finance, transportation, community and more — we can regenerate landscapes and culture, moving towards abundance for all. This event, organized by High Altitude Permaculture & Transition Boulder County, is free and open to the public.

Solar Greenhouse Design Weekend with Sandy Cruz and Jeff Graef
February 7, 2009 at 10am to February 8, 2009 at 4:30pm

Location to be announced
Use the winter season to design an integrated, sustainable greenhouse using passive and active solar architecture, slanted or vertical glazing, and earth-friendly building materials. Learn solar design principles along with the nuts and bolts of greenhouse materials and technologies. We’ll consider the strengths and weaknesses of several existing greenhouses, and demonstrate Permaculture site analysis and brainstorming techniques and work on solar greenhouse designs. Please contact Transition Boulder County to register.

Garden Design and Planning - a la Permaculture, with Sandy Cruz and Jason Gerhardt
March 14, 2009 from 10am to 4:30pm –
Locations to be announced
It’s time to begin creating this year’s garden! Learn to imitate Nature by establishing garden polycultures that produce a diverse mix of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.We’ll take a virtual tour of Sandy’s garden, consider springtime gardening priorities, and look at strategies for working with our local Rocky Mountain climate. Using Permaculture design principles, we’ll consider where to place the garden, how to build it, what to plant in it, and where to obtain seeds, bedding plants, shrubs and trees. Participants will plant seeds to take home, and will learn how to care for young bedding plants. Please contact
Transition Boulder County to register.

Permaculture through the Seasons - An 8 Month Design Certification Course
March 21, 2009 at 9am

Location to be announced.
How can humans live on Earth in harmony, abundance, grace and ease for eons into the future?Permaculture is the art of creating living ecosystems that imitate nature to provide food, fuel and shelter. Using innovative and indigenous agricultural techniques as well as appropriate technologies, course participants will learn to move towards living sustainably. Through multifaceted learning techniques — hands-on projects, tours, slide shows, exercises, lectures and readings — students will acquire knowledge of Permaculture Design for our Rocky Mountain bioregion and beyond. Course meets the third weekend of each month through October 18th.
Program Cost is $950.00 if registered by 1/21/09, $1050.00 if registered by 2/21/09, and $1200.00 after 2/21. Work/study scholarships available based on financial need and skills. To register, contact Sandy Cruz at 303-459-3494. More info at


Kitt said...

Thanks for the links!

If you hear of any Denver/Boulder area beekeeping classes, could you post them, too, please?

glutenfreeforgood said...

Wow, what an assortment of great information! Thank you SO much. I need to get more involved in growing my own food (at least a little bit). I usually grow herbs and a few of the mainstream things like squash, but I'm getting the "bug" to take on more. I don't have a lot of free time, so who knows, but you've inspired me to look into some of these resources. I depend on my CSA to do the growing for me! And then I play with creating nutritional ways to use it. I guess we all have our little spots in the "food chain."
In good health,

donald said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Laura Tyler said...

Thanks for listing "Sister Bee" on your beautiful blog!

Here are links to two great Boulder-area beekeeping classes. I think they're both set to repeat in 2009.

With care & gratidude,
Laura Tyler
Director, Sister Bee