This winter, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is offering a comprehensive series of course offerings for urban agriculture enthusiasts. The 6 class series includes a theoretical background (Wednesday evening classes), and skill focused, hands-on classes (weekend classes) taught by renowned educator Nance Klehm. The class is offered as a series at a discounted rate through December 31, 2016. Starting January 1, 2017 the class will be offered a la carte, with the Wednesday evening classes as one pair. Details for each session are listed below:
Wednesdays February 15 & 22, 5pm-9pm: Urban Agroecology: Ecosystem-based Food Production for Cities Intensive: For urban dwellers, the city is our habitat. In this two-evening intensive, we will explore the principles, goals and practices of growing food in cities when ecological and social systems when they are woven into the design and function of a growing site. Four hands-on, skill-based workshops follow the intensive to deepen practice of this ecological perspective. **Required readings will be assigned a week before class starts.
Saturday, March 12, 9am – 1pm: Pruning Fundamentals: We will cover the why, when, and how of pruning woody plants, coppicing, pollarding, root pruning, tool sharpening and sanitation. This workshop will be hands-on and take place outside working with trees in the landscape at Garfield Park Conservatory.
Saturday, March 18, 9am – 1pm: Methods of Propagation: In this hands-on workshop, we will learn how to make soft wood and hard wood cuttings, how to make successful divisions, and more advanced considerations for selecting and saving seed.
Sunday, March 19, 9am – 1pm: Skills in Landscape Reading: seeing and mapping ecological systems: Being able to understand the dynamic interplay of geography, human made structures, hydrology, soil, spontaneous vegetation and other systems influencing your site will help in decision making, designing a new site or reworking an existing one more intelligently. Participants will work in small groups on an outdoor exercise in mapping a site and finish in the classroom with mapping with a list of criteria and make, measure and record their observations and return to the classroom and share them.
Saturday, March 25, 9am – 1pm: Beneficial Fungi in the Garden: Understand how fungi helps your garden’s soil health. This workshop will cover how to work with arbuscular mychorrizhae and species of fruiting mushrooms that can be grown outdoors in compost or through your vegetable garden or fruit trees.
About the Instructor: Nance Klehm cultivates and forages medicinals and edibles, keeps bees and a fruit orchard, raises chickens and quail, grows for a seed bank and stewards 50 acres of land in the driftless region called, Pachamanka.
She is the Director of Social Ecologies (www.socialecologies.net) which works internationally on wastestream revisioning and reallocation, soil contamination and fertility, and agroecological practices.
Her work has received extensive media coverage and mentioned in many books. She won the 2012 Utne Visionary Prize as is a two time finalist for the Curry-Stone Design Prize. She is currently working on two publications on the topic of Soil.