Week 1 Building Healthy Soil
Healthy soil is the foundation for successful gardening. But what is healthy soil and how do we build it? Learn what soil really is, including the rich diversity of underground life that makes a healthy, high-quality soil. Look at ways to improve and maintain high-quality soil, including using compost and cover crops. And learn how to collect and interpret soil tests.
Week 2 Managing weeds and insects in your garden
Weeds are often the biggest challenge for gardeners, but there are ways to stay ahead of them. Knowing the weeds and how they grow will help you find and the best ways to manage them. And some of the insects in your garden are pests, But the vast majority are quite beneficial. Instructor Larry Dyer will introduce you to the diverse plants and insects that may inhabit your garden and help you manage them.
Week 3 Planning your garden and the surrounding landscape
Over the long run, your garden will be more successful with a plan for long-term success. How do you decide what to plant, how much of it to plant and when and where to plant it? We will discuss the concepts for garden design, crop rotation and biodiversity management, including the perennial plants in and around your garden.
Week 4 Get your garden planted!
You’ve been thinking about your garden all winter. Now it’s time to get started. But do you direct seed or use transplants? And can you start your own transplants? What is the best timing for all of the crops you want to plant? We will discuss garden calendars and planting options, and it’s not too soon to start planning for your fall garden!
Larry Dyer has worked in the realm of sustainable and organic agriculture, agricultural ecology and community-based food systems for over 30 years. He has a doctorate in Entomology from Michigan State University and he is a Holistic Management® Certified Educator. His experience includes work with Native American communities in Northern Michigan to develop sovereign tribal food systems, growing in a hoop house at Bay Mills Community College, growing vegetables at Olney Friends School and Growing in Place Community Farm, and farming with horses and oxen at Tillers International. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay he worked on agroforestry with a cooperative of small farmers. Since 2011 Dyer has offered several dozen classes about organic farming and gardening, and he has played a leadership role in the Local Food Alliance of Northern Michigan since its inception.