My friends over in Denver have asked me to give a weekend workshop on gardening and permaculture in an urban setting. With a new baby in arms, they have a little less time and energy to get their spring garden in order. “Turning the Problem into the Solution” is a favorite permaculture catch phrase which applies very well to this situation. They are also applying another permaculture principle: “Stacking Functions”.
They are really inspired to get their garden going and produce as much home-loved veggies as possible. However, time and energy constraints are an issue. They also would like more knowledge. The solution: host a permaculture gardening workshop where everyone benefits. Together we will create a community learning experience in their Denver neighborhood. Everyone will get some gardening techniques and principles that work in any space. We will share some meals and get to know each other, growing the community.
The hands-on part of the workshop includes: building soil and planting beds, composting, using cold frames, drip irrigation, and putting together a perennial guild of companion plants around an apple tree. In the process we will also get some much needed work done in their garden. I get to earn a little income doing something I love, do some city shopping and hang out with friends in the off-time.
One of the great potentials in an urban setting is community building.
For example, a neighborhood can get together and plan for everyone to grow a different kind of fruit tree in their yard. While individual space is limited, community space is quite large. In a few years the neighborhood will have its own orchard, producing a variety of fruit in all seasons.
Harvesting and processing natural abundance brings people together. There are many practical benefits like saving money and eating healthy home-grown produce. However, intangible benefits like community connection and quality of life are priceless.
A weekend Urban Home Gardening Workshop will be on May 3rd and 4th.
The class will be both theory and hands-on application. We will learn about soil, composting, planting, companions, cold-frames, drip-irrigation and more. The workshop will use Toby Hemenway’s excellent ecological gardening handbook: “Gaia’s Garden”. Everyone will get a copy to take home so they have a great reference to continue learning.
May 3rd and 4th – Saturday & Sunday
9 am- 4 pm
Denver, CO (Race and 20th St.)
Pay in full: $120 – Includes Snacks and a copy of Toby Hemenway’s ” Ecological Home Gardening Textbook: “Gaia’s Garden”
Reserve a spot: $20 (Non-refundable.)
Note: One drawback of urban gardening is not knowing the history of soil use on your site. If you dig up trash or partially burnt material, if you see areas where even weeds aren’t growing, or suspect for any reason that your soil may be contaminated it is good practice to get a soil test.
The Soil, Water and Plant Testing Laboratory at Colorado State University offers soil nutrient analysis as well as testing for heavy metal contaminates at a very reasonable price.
Accutest Labs offer advanced soil testing if you suspect other contaminants in your soil.