West Bend


Workshops/Speakers: Asheville, N.C.

April 12-13, 2014

Workshop speakers are listed alphabetically by speaker’s first name. To narrow your search, click on the categories listed on the left.

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Compost Your Way to Better Soil
Barbara Pleasant - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
Home composting expert Barbara Pleasant will share dozens of practical composting techniques for turning kitchen and garden waste into an essential soil amendment for any type of garden. Learn novel passive and active composting methods for enriching your soil, including composting innovations shared by MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers.

Organic Gardening for Newbies – Avoiding Beginner Mistakes
Barbara Pleasant - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
For new gardeners, the first three seasons are especially challenging because there is so much to learn. Which mistakes are you most likely to make, and how can you avoid them? MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor Barbara Pleasant, award-winning author of Starter Vegetable Gardens, will explore the top 10 pitfalls for organic gardening newbies, and share proven strategies for success.

Heirlooms, Hybrids or GMOs?
Cheryl Long, Barbara Pleasant and Thaddeus Christian - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
Join MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors Cheryl Long, Barbara Pleasant and Thaddeus Christian as they explain the pros and cons of hybrid, genetically modified, open pollinated and heirloom seeds. You’ll learn when hybrids are a good choice, and why some heirloom seeds may not perform as well as they should.

Permaculture and Human Nutrition
Chuck Marsh - Organic Growers School
As food security issues deepen, vegetables are not enough. This workshop will explore what foods we need to grow to thrive nutritionally in our local foodsheds, and how permaculturally informed food growing strategies can support the growth of a nutritionally complete local and regional food supply for our families and our communities.

Grow a Sustainable Diet
Cindy Conner - New Society Publishers
Cindy Conner combines her experience with GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-farming with what she’s learned through study and practice in organic gardening, soil building and nutrition since her first garden in 1974. Learn how she has put it all together in a way that works for her and get valuable tips for growing your own sustainable diet. Her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth is new in 2014.

DIY Aquaponics
Dan and Don Adams - Earthineer
Aquaponics combines aquaculture, for raising fish, and hydroponics, for growing plants. Join Earthineer's Dan and Don Adams in their latest DIY project. This presentation will cover the basics, and you'll learn how you can build your own starter system.

Bioshelters: Design and Management of Solar Greenhouses
Darrell Frey - New Society Publishers
This workshop presents a detailed study of several bioshelters, or ecologically managed solar greenhouses. These include the original bioshelter, the New Alchemy Ark, Solviva Bioshelter, and the bioshelter at Three Sisters Farm. Both design and management for year-round crop production will be discussed. The bioshelter at Three Sisters Farm, in Northwest Pennsylvania includes greenhouse beds, a poultry room, potting room, packing kitchen, storage areas and compost facilities.

Permaculture: Design for regeneration
Darrell Frey - New Society Publishers
This presentation will provide an overview of Permaculture Design principles and practices through a study of Three Sisters Farm and several other projects. Three Sisters Farm is a 5-acre market garden. Since 1989, they have been marketing produce and hosting educational programs from their bioshelter and gardens. The farm strives to promote biodiversity and conserve energy and resources, caring for the earth while producing a range of farm products.

Grow Fruits and Nuts at Home
Debbie Lienhart - Organic Growers School
Discover the basics of growing fruits and nuts in your yard, starting with identifying the best planting locations, and then planting and maintaining the plants for highest production. Learn strategies for easing fruit- and nut-bearing plants into an ornamental landscape and growing more fruit and nuts in small spaces. If you're new to growing fruits and nuts, this is the workshop for you!

Growing Berries in Your Yard
Debbie Lienhart - Organic Growers School
Who doesn’t love fresh berries? Berries are easy to grow in Western North Carolina, and they're highly nutritious and delicious. There are berries for every yard—all shapes, sizes, soil types, and even in containers. Whether you're putting in a whole berry patch, tucking a few plants into your landscape, or even a pot or hanging basket on your porch, identify the best planting locations, select the right types and varieties, and plant for a long, productive yield.

Downy Mildew Trials - Looking for cucumber, melon and squash varieties to resist the new strains of Downy Mildew.
Edmund Frost and Sapphyre Miria - Twin Oaks Seed Farm/Common Wealth Seed Growers
In the past 10 years Downy Mildew (DM) has emerged as the No. 1 problem affecting cucumber, melon and squash crops in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast and Midwest.In this workshop, Edmund Frost and Sapphyre Miria will review the basics of the Downy Mildew problem and disease cycle. They will look at the results of Twin Oaks Seed Farm’s trials. Hear about their ongoing efforts to find DM-resistant seed strains and to breed new DM-resistant varieties.

Can the Sweet Corn
Hank Will - Grit Magazine
Some folks call it field corn. Others call it ornamental or “Indian” corn. While most folks are focused on sweet corn for homestead growing, heirloom flint, flour and dent corns are much more versatile and arguably more practical in the garden or small field plot. Most are easy to grow, some have incredibly short growing seasons, some are highly drought tolerant, and all offer a multitude of uses, including being ground into flavorful cornmeal and flour. Join GRIT Editor-in-Chief and field corn freak Hank Will as he walks you through the process of raising, harvesting, using and storing this “amaizing” crop on a homestead scale.

Plants With Benefits: An uninhibited guide to the aphrodisiac herbs, fruits, flowers and veggies in your garden
Helen Yoest - Gardening With Confidence®/ St. Lynn's Press author
Are some plants aphrodisiacs, or is that just a myth? Garden expert and plant detective Helen Yoest takes us on a romp through history, lore and ethnobotany to find out how 50 plants got their "hot" reputation – and what modern science has to say about it. Discover which common garden plants and favorite edibles have that "something extra" and why. Yoest's book Plants With Benefits is filled with lush photography, growing tips, and recipes for preparing teas, potions and tasty treats for your pleasurable use. Can a plant create feelings of arousal, contentment or receptivity? It looks like the answer is yes.

Growing Great Garlic and Perennial Onions
Ira Wallace - Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Learn about heirloom garlic and perennial onion varieties from planting to cultivation and harvesting at home. This workshop covers soil preparation, weed control, disease prevention, harvesting, curing, and storage requirements for adding these culinary essentials to your garden.

Herbs, Plain and Fancy: A talk and tasting
Ira Wallace - Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Come and enjoy an assortment of sweet and savory herbal delights, then learn how to grow them in your garden, use them in your kitchen, save their seeds, and increase your self-sufficiency.

Grow Your Own Woodland Botanicals for Fun or Profit, or Both!
Jeanine Davis - New Society Publishers
If you have even a little bit of shade on your property, you can grow some of your own forest medicine. Jeanine Davis will start with a colorful presentation to introduce you to a wide array of woodland botanicals, including ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, ramps and bloodroot. She will cover the basics about the plants, their conservation status, and how to grow them. Davis will also have plant material to demonstrate how to propagate some of these plants, so you will gain the confidence to start growing medicinal herbs of your own.

You Can Grow Your Own Hops
Jeanine Davis - New Society Publishers
Most of the hops grown in the United States are grown in the Pacific Northwest, but contrary to popular belief, we can grow them on the East Coast, too. In this workshop you will learn how to grow hops on a small-scale in your backyard for home brewing or on a larger scale to supply local craft breweries.

A Bio-Intensive Market Garden
Jean-Martin Fortier - Les Jardins de la Grelinette
Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Despite growing on 1.5 acres of land, owners Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches manage to feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands. For more than a decade the market garden has provided their only household income. Their operation generates close to $140,000 in sales with a profit margin of about 45%. The secret of their success resides in the low-tech, high-yield methods of production they have developed by continuously focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.

In this conference, Jean-Martin Fortier provides an overview of all aspects of vegetable production at les Jardins de la Grelinette, demonstrating how adopting intensive methods of production can lead to the optimization of a cropping system.

The Right Tools for the Job: Proper use, care and selection of hand gardening tools
Joel Dufour - Earth Tools
You want gardening to be as easy and fun as possible, but with the tools commonly available to us these days, this is darn near impossible. Learn how to identify, find, use and maintain high-quality tools that will not only last for years, but will also make gardening less work and more enjoyable. Many unique tools will be at the workshop to get your hands on ... This isn't just a slideshow!

Growing Unusual Fruits
John Holzwart - Moonwise Herbs
Everyone enjoys the sensual pleasure of tasting a new and exotic tropical fruit, but few people realize that they can taste these delicious fruits in their own backyard. Join John Holzwart of Moonwise Herbs as he shares tips for growing and preserving unusual fruit. Fruit that we will discuss and/or sample may include edible dogwoods, aronia, elderberries, sea buckthorn, autumn olives, pawpaws, figs and many more!

6 Inches of Soil in 6 Months and 600,000 Bugs
John W. Moody - Some Small Farm/Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
"Great soil ... Everyone wants it, but not everyone has it. So, how can you build great soil while also capturing waste streams to reincorporate into the natural earth cycles (and generate free food for your flocks and other animals)? Some Small Farm started four years ago with less than 1% organic matter soil, on land that had been overgrazed year after year into little more than solid clay. The farm now produces bountifully from the application of soil-building principles to the land."

Advanced Seed Saving and Vegetable Breeding for the Home Gardener and Farmer
Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann - Fruition Seeds
Ever wonder how to create your own new varieties of vegetables? Or do you have a hybrid you really want to figure out how to save seed from? Are you interested in saving seed from biennials like beets, chard, carrots, kale, cabbage? Come learn about how you can start breeding your own vegetables and saving those hard to figure out biennials. We will teach the same methods humans have been using for 14,000 years to create the wondrous array of food we have today. If you have a working knowledge of seed saving, you will get the most out of this class, but all are welcome to be inspired.

Intro to Seed Saving
Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann - Fruition Seeds
The significance of seed cannot be overestimated: From how we approach global biodiversity to how we choose our afternoon snack, every decision we make impacts what and how seeds are planted around the world. Come learn about the history, significance and techniques of seed saving. Expect to come away inspired and empowered: Though much has been lost, each seed evidences the extraordinary hope that exists in every crack in the sidewalk!

Growing and Storing Cold-Hardy Winter Vegetables
Pam Dawling - Twin Oaks Community
Get the details on crops, timing, protection and storage. Why farm in winter? Here’s the information to succeed: tables of cold-hardiness, details of four ranges of cold-hardy crops (fall crops to harvest before serious cold, crops to keep growing into winter, crops for all-winter harvests, overwintering crops for spring harvests), scheduling, weather prediction and protection, hoophouse growing, and vegetable storage.

Crop Rotations for Vegetables and Cover Crops
Pam Dawling - Twin Oaks Community
We will provide ideas to help you design a sequence of vegetable crops that maximizes the chance to grow good cover crops as well as reduce pest and disease likelihood. We will discuss formal rotations as well as ad hoc systems for shoehorning minor crops into available spaces. The workshop will discuss cover crops suitable at various times of year, particularly winter cover crops between vegetable crops in successive years. We will include examples of undersowing of cover crops in vegetable crops and of no-till options.

Pollinator-Friendly Gardening
Ruth Gonzalez - Reems Creek Nursery & Landscaping
One out of every three bites we eat depends on pollination. Bee and butterfly populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Learn about the challenges our pollinators are facing, easy steps you can take to be a pollinator-friendly gardener, and how to create a season-long smorgasbord of beautiful blooming plants that benefit our pollinators and bring you pleasure throughout the year.

Irrigation Basics for Production Gardeners
Stacey Murphy - Ashevillage Institute
Water is life. Finding ease and predictability with irrigation makes growing so much more pleasurable! In this workshop, you'll learn how to take advantage of rainwater,easy plumbing basics and more.

Saving Seeds From Your Garden
Steve Carlson - Seed Savers Exchange
In the days before seed catalogs, collecting and saving seeds for the next year’s garden was essential. Today, seed saving plays a critical role in preserving rare, heirloom varieties and the garden heritage they represent. Join Seed Savers Exchange to discuss the process of saving seed from garden fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, squash, peppers, melons, beans and more), and learn how to participate in this backyard preservation.

Soil Blocks for Vegetable Production
Tom Elmore - Organic Growers School
Soil blocks allow growers at any scale to produce quality transplants with minimal investment in containers. Soil block starts are easier to transplant and often produce healthier plants. This workshop describes a soil mix recipe, getting the moisture right, sowing techniques, and how to manage soil blocks for great vegetable transplants.

Tomato Grafting for Plant Vigor
Tom Elmore - Organic Growers School
Seed catalogs are starting to offer dozens of rootstocks that impart soil disease resistance and improved plant vigor to tomato plants. This workshop will describe the surgical process for placing your favorite tomato scion on one of these emerging rootstocks, a home-scale "recovery room," as well as how to decide whether the benefits of grafting are worth the trouble.

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