14 July, 2019

Seed Saving Considerations


As I prepare to give a seed saving lecture this afternoon, here are some considerations many of us have not thought about in our seed saving quests. Following this one page, there are several other posts related to seed saving for reference to all. If you get the chance to attend a seed saving course at some time, take it! I was amazed at all a person can learn. This is an area of human endeavor that has been around for more time than we know and it has been a foundation for civilizations for centuries! This simple act of saving a seed, has been intregal to the lives of all who came before us, and let us not fool ourselves, our technology can cause us more harm than good when used in ways that fail to acknowledge what has come before. Seed saving is soul satisfying and fun.

In addition to saving seeds for your own use, for useful seed saving it was better to choose one or two crops that you would focus on entirely for seed saving and swapping. Doing this allows you to develop a seed over time that suits a particular soil and climate, and, accurately observe its characteristics and needs. For that seed or those seeds, keep detailed accounts of as much information about everything observed or known about them. :
  • color
  • odor
  • size
  • soil
  • water
  • sun
  • cultivation and harvesting time
  • variations in the seed
  • where you planted it
  • scientific name (as the colloquial name of it may vary)
  • popular names
  • uses
  • origin (where it came from)
  • date of seed preparation, etc.
As you prepare the seed for saving, you would then make detailed notes about these seeds.

Seeds without accurate information become nearly useless

Receiving seeds without knowing anything about them other than their variety renders the seed almost useless for planting. Although it may be fun, in terms of productivity it is akin to starting from zero.

Tips for saving seeds

  • Select and keep the best plant for collecting seeds, don´t eat it.
  • Clean the seed as dirt will encourage bacteria or fungus to grow and this will rot the seed.
  • Keep them clean and dry.
  • Paper bags are better than plastic bags.
  • Put the paper bags then in clean, dry jars with lids.
  • Maintain in a cool and dark place, if you can.
  • Create a place for saving and organizing your seeds.
It is better to have a small quantity of seeds to save and exchange for which you have an abundance of information than to take on too much to manage information.


A Plant Isolation Distance Chart


Please note, these distances have been formulated for rural environments – no one has data applicable to urban growing, but the suspicion, and the experience of most SLOLA members, indicate that the distances will vary from these, and sometimes by quite a bit. In the final analysis, one needs to learn one's own growing situation and note air flow and insect activity. These charts also do not account for 'organic' methods which almost invariably means more insects interacting with the plants and create further variances from the figures below.

Plant
Isolation Distance

(Ashworth)*
Isolation Distance

(USDA)
Pollinator
Amaranth
¼ to 2 miles 1
wind, insects
Arugula
½ mile (2640')
660 feet 7
insects
Basil
150 feet
insects
Bean, Common
0 to 1 mile 4
0 5, 4
self 2
Bean, Fava
0 to 1 mile 4
0 5, 4
self 2
Bean, Lima
0 to 1 mile 4
0 5, 7, 4
self 2
Bean, Tepary
0 to 1 mile 4
0 5, 7, 4
self 2
Beet
5 miles
wind
Broccoli
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Broomcorn
660 feet 7
self 2
Brussels Sprouts
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Cabbage
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Cantaloupe
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Carrot
½ mile
insects
Cauliflower
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Celery
1 mile
insects
Chinese Cabbage
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Chinese Mustard
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Chives
1 mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Collards
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Cilantro
½ mile
insects
Corn
2 miles
660 feet
wind
Cotton
¼ mile 6
self, insects
Cowpea
0 to 1 mile 2
0
self 2
Cucumber
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Dill
1 mile
insects
Eggplant
50 feet
self 2
Fennel
½ mile
insects
Garlic
1 mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Garlic Chives
1 mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Gourds
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Kale
½ mile
660 feet 7
insects
Lamb's Quarters
5 miles
wind
Lettuce
25 feet
self 2
Melon, Honeydew
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Melon, Musk
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Mustard
½ mile
660 feet
insects
Okra
1 mile
825 feet
self, insects
Onion
1 mile
¼ mile
insects
Parsley
1 mile
insects
Pea
50 feet
0 2
self 2
Pepper
500 feet
30 feet
self, insects
Potato
30 feet 3
30 feet 3
self, insects 3
Pumpkin
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Radish
½ mile
660 feet 7
insects
Sorghum
660 feet
self 2
Spinach
5 miles
wind
Squash
½ mile
¼ mile 7
insects
Sunflower
½ to 3 miles
½ mile
insects
Swiss Chard
5 miles
wind
Tomatillo
0 4
30 feet 7
self 2
Tomato
0 4
30 feet
self 2
Turnip
1 mile
660 feet 7
insects
Watermelon
½ mile
¼ mile
insect

Footnotes:

  1. Green amaranths may need only ¼ mile, grain amaranths up to 2 miles.
  2. Potatoes are not commonly reproduced from seed.
  3. See note on tomatoes and beans in the article on Saving Seeds True-to-Type.
  4. "Distance adequate to prevent mechanical mixture is necessary".
  5. Isolation distances for cotton vary from 100' between similar varieties, to ¼ mile between 'upland' and 'Egyptian' types ('foundation' or 'preservation' grade).
  6. Extrapolated from similar species.

A Short Seed Saving Bibliography

A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers, Organic Seed Alliance © 2010 OSA This publication is a free download from organicseedalliance.org. It is a succinct guide with few frills but a great deal of good data. A free publication that is worth paying for! Organic Seed Alliance is a non-profit relying on contributions to fight the invasion of hybrids and GMO seeds in our lives. I suggest throwing a donation their way as they deserve it.

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's & Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding & Seed Saving , Deppe, Carol © 2000 Chelsea Green This is the most exhaustive and thorough book on the process of seed saving. Written with loving appreciation of seeds like no other book I've ever read, Carol Deppe is at once an authority on seeds and plant breeding and a knowledgeable gardener whose books I snatch up and devour as fast as possible. If you have interest in this field, buy this book now.

Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation, Nabham, Gary Paul, © 2002 North Point Press, Though not strictly about saving seeds, this book, along with almost all of Nabham's books give one the reasons to save seeds. I respect and admire Nabham's work – he writes brilliantly and tells stories we need.


Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History,Weaver, William Woys © 2003, Owl Publishing Company, (My copy says 'Henry Holt.') Originally published in 1997, it is now out of print and getting a copy can be hellish. It is a wonderful book that needs to be put back in print because the research he put into the book makes this to be the most informative books on heirloom vegetables that has ever been published. Mother Earth News has the entire book on a CD – you can find it on their website – of course that doesn't duplicate having one's hands on the book, but you will have all the data.


The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer's Guide to Vegetable Seed Production, Navazio, John ©2012, Chelsea Green Publishing This new book was written to fill the void in the marketplace that had no definitive text for professional growers growing seeds organically for the organic seed trade. This is an up and coming market as the world turns more and more to organic produce and growers have begun to realize that seed produced by growers using non-organic methods performs best under non-organic regimens. Suddenly, there is a market for organic seeds and varieties developed to grow in organic gardens. This book is rigorous and is not light reading. Be prepared. But is also chock full of data you will want to know sooner or later.

Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine, Nabhan, Gary Paul © 2008 Shearwater Not a seed saving book, but Nikolay Vavilov's research into the seeds of our foods is fascinating reading and helps ground a reader in the history of seed collecting and the reasons why we want to save seeds from the wilds.

A Seed Saving Glossary

Here are a few words that are used a lot in seed saving and their definitions. This is a good resource for a seed saver, whether just starting out or needing to refresh one's memory. 



This is not a comprehensive glossary, but should define most terms you will find in seed saving literature.
alternate-day caging - A technique that allows two different flowering varieties to be pollinated by insects without being cross-pollinated. Cages constructed of wood, wire, or plastic frames are covered with fine screen. One variety is covered with cages one day, allowing the other to be visited and pollinated by insects; the cages are switched each day to allow insect access to the previously caged variety.
anther - Organ where pollen is produced.
chaff - Broken pieces of dried seed capsules, stems, leaves and other debris mixed in with seeds.
characteristics - General features caused by unidentified complexes of genes including but not limited to freeze tolerance, cold tolerance, regional adaptability, winter hardiness, early maturation, and flavor.
cleaning screen - Screens with different-sized openings are used to separate seeds from chaff. The screen number denotes the number of openings that will cover a one inch line. A screen is selected with openings just large enough to let seeds drop through without the chaff or as in the case of larger seeds, a screen selected to allow the chaff to drop through without the seeds.
cross-pollination - When pollen is exchanged between different flowers from the same or different plants.
dehiscent - A seed capsule opened to discharge seeds is dehiscent. Seeds must be harvested before this process takes place and the seeds are lost. In some varieties, the seed capsules literally explode.
dioecious - A species with male flowers and female flowers on separate plants as opposed to monoecious.
dominant trait - The variation of a specific, identifiable gene that results in obserable traits. For example, tall is a dominant trait in pea plant growth. Crosses with bush varieties will usually result in tall varieties. See "trait."
F1 hybrid - The "F" in F1 hybrid stands for filial or offspring. F1 means the first generation offspring after cross-pollination. The majority of F1 hybrids are sterile or produce offspring unlike themselves. See "hybrid."
F2 hybrid – The second generation offspring and so on.
filament - Tube that supports the anther where pollen is produced.
flail - The process of fracturing or crushing seedpods in order to free the seeds. This can take the form of everything from simply rubbing broccoli pods between your hands to driving over bean vines with a car or bribing high school students to jump up and down on seeds.
flower - The part of a plant where reproduction takes place and seeds are produced.
hybrid - Varieties resulting from natural or artificial pollination between genetically distinct parents. Commercially, the parents used to produce hybrids are usually inbred for specific characteristics.
inbred – reproduction of plants using parents that are significantly similar over time. In some plants this is not a problem (tomatoes and lettuce, for example) as they have flowers with both male and female and are typically fertilized within the flower before it even opens (see 'selfing'); other plants, needing a wide variety of genetic information to remain healthy cannot last long with such a limited gene pool.
inbreeding depression - A loss of vigor because of inbreeding. Inbreeding is the result of self-pollination or pollination between two close relatives.
insect pollination - Pollen is carried from one flower to another by insects.
monoecious - A species is monoecious if it produces single plants with separate male flowers and female flowers on the same plant.
open-pollinated - Open-pollinated varieties are stable varieties resulting from the pollination between the same or genetically similar parents. Not hybrid.
ovary - The female part of a flower that contains the ovules. Fertilized ovules develop into mature seeds.
perfect flowers - Individual flowers that contain both stamens and pistils, that is to say, both male and female parts.
pistil - The female reproductive organ in a flower made up of the stigma, style, and ovary.
pollen - Equivalent of sperm in plants. Pollen grain fertilizes plant ovules.
pollination - The process of sexual fertilization in plants. The male chromosomes contained in pollen are combined with the female chromosomes contained in the ovules; pollination can be done by insects, wind, water, birds or bats. In most vegetable crops pollination is carried out by wind or insects.
recessive trait - The variation of a specific, identifiable gene that results in observable traits only if the dominant trait is not present. For example, wrinkled pea seeds result only in varieties where the dominant smooth-seed trait is missing.
rogue - The process of removing or destroying plants with unwanted characteristics or traits.
selection - The process of saving the seeds from plants that exhibit desirable characteristics and traits. To identify desirable characteristics, plant the same variety in different environmental conditions, or plant different varieties in the same environ mental conditions.
self-pollination (selfing) - When pollination takes place within a single flower, usually before it opens. Other flowers or plants are not needed. Self-pollinating flowers are called "perfect flowers" because they contain the stamens that produce pollen and the pistil that receives the pollen. Isolation distance to prevent cross-pollination is not necessary unless insects are known to invade the flowers before pollination is complete.
silique - Long, tube-like seedpod that splits in half.
stamen - A flower's male reproductive organ consisting of the filament, anther, and pollen.
stigma - The opening in the pistil through which the pollen passes to the ovary.
style - Contains the pollen tube between the stigma and the ovary through which the pollen is carried.
thresh - A term used by growers and seed savers to describe the process of separating seeds from chaff; they can be separating for grain to eat or for seeds to save, the term is ubiquitous.
trait - A specific feature traced to an identifiable gene or group of genes. Pea traits traceable to single genes include vine growth (bush or tall), seed texture (smooth or wrinkled) and disease resistance (fusarium, enation mosaic, and powdery mildew).
viable - A viable seed is one that will germinate and produce a vigorous plant. Seeds must not be harvested before they have matured enough to be viable. There is wide variation in the point of maturity at which a seed can be harvested and the time passing when the seed will still be viable. Seeds have been known to remain viable for hundreds of years, but in practice, many seeds are no longer viable even after five years.
vigor - Strong, vibrant germination and growth. A desirable characteristic.
wind pollination - When pollen is carried from one flower to another by the wind.
winnow – A seed cleaning technique still used from ancient times to clean seeds by moving air from a fan or breeze to separate heavier seeds from lighter chaff.

10 July, 2019

#7 in An Intermittent Series: Gardening Principles, Diversity


No matter how many fascists scream and holler about having state that is what they call “genetically pure,” any look at nature tells a prudent observer that diversity is the key to a healthy organization, be it a club, a nation state or your garden. The natural world runs on diversity which is one of the reasons that classification of species is oftentimes very contentious and bitter.

The alternate to diversity is a pathway to death and stagnation. We all know about problems caused by inbreeding – look at the long lineage of English kings if you need a nudge to see what can happen over generations – and it's true for all living beings, including plants in our gardens. Nature deals in diversification and we should follow that lead.

You may not have a big garden, but still, every attempt should be made to increase diversity. In our year round gardens, we have the climate to grow crops that do well in summer and a whole other palette for winter. This is good as it interrupts the some of the life in the soil that is after your vegetables. Usually you'll find that one species will work in hot weather and a different one in cooler weather, requiring different regimens to survive – and, of course you are planting different crops in the different seasons. So you'll disrupt food sources, or habitation choices, as you switch from season to season, the climate urging you to change as we warm and cool in our annual cycle.

If you plant tomatoes in one spot in Spring, and then use that same plot for lettuce and other greens in Fall, you have disrupted the disease and insects preying on tomatoes. You can plant tomatoes in the same spot next year. Now, I know you can plant tomatoes every year in the same spot. I'd rather you didn't. You might get along for two, three or more years with a good tomato crop, but sooner or later your luck will run out and then you're in a pickle! To get rid of the diseases your tomatoes have attracted, might prove daunting. Certainly, you'll have to leave that plot fallow and NOT grow any of the nightshades, like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and some others, because they will attract the same species that are ruining your tomatoes. I would probably put some alfalfa seeds down, and when they are about knee high, chop them down and dig them into the bed – in that soil plant winter crops like chard or kale – whatever you like in winter. That following summer, again do not plant tomatoes. Maybe plant a summer cover crop from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (https://www.groworganic.com/cover-crop-seeds/soil-building/summer-soil-building.html ). Finally, in the third year of this ordeal, give yourself one tomato to try. If it exhibits the same affliction, do the whole thing over again hoping that a cure has been found in the interim.

But garden diversity is not confined by species – for yourself, plant multiple varieties! Have a hot pepper and a not so hot pepper; a red tomato and gold tomatoes; an early bean and a late bean! Mix up what you plant.

I'll plant some carrots with the intent to have them raw – others I'll plant specifically to pickle. For pickling I prefer the blunted ends of Nantes carrots, which will turn into pickled carrot sticks with less waste that you would find with the tapered Chantenay carrots.

Scarlet Runner Beans are a favorite for
the multiplicity of ways to eat them!
And their bright flowers.
While I like almost all beans, when I grow Pencil Pod, I'm growing them for pickles as well. The beans come quickly and, if well-picked, are quite straight, making canning them much more pleasant with less waste than, say, Royalty Purple Pod, which is planted as an early bean, being one of the few that will germinate in cold weather when others would just rot.

On the other hand, for a longer, more diverse crop of beans, Scarlet Runner beans outshine almost anything else you can plant. First off, you have these wonderful, very bright, red flowers that are worth a bouquet, but don't do that because in few weeks those flowers will become beans. They will be big! The pods about 1 ½” wide and 8 inches long and, though intimidating, they are tender and as delicious as any other snap bean you can get your hands on! After a time, the pods begin to shrink, outlining the beans. The bright purple beans can be cooked as a “shelly bean.” Finally as the bean dry, they can be stored like any other dried bean and cooked over night for a hearty soup or stew. And it didn't mention that they climb. Plant them with something to climb on and you will enjoy a good supply of green beans and be blessed by the flowers. Besides red, there is a red/white 'edition' and I have been gifted with a variety, completely unknown to me, of a brown seeded runner bean – I'll let you know what I learn in the coming year with these beans.

This kind of diversity is repeated through out nature. The more diversity in your garden, the more resilient it will be in all kinds of climates. The ascent of global climate upheaval will demand that we be as diverse and as resilient as possible in order to contend with the changes that cannot be anticipated - we must employ diverse food production to allow ourselves redundancy in our food supply.

Gardeners and farmers have, until now, been able to predict with some certainty, what the coming six months of weather will bring. This is no longer true. We will soon have common forecasts that will predict weather on that scale, but even then, there will be errors and we will have to survive until the next crop comes in. That will be our biggest challenge. The only way to overcome this is a diversity of crops and a diversity of humans in different locations growing those crops.

So shoot for diversity in your garden, no matter how small it may be, you still have room to plant a variety of species and I urge you to take advantage of that.

david

28 June, 2019

Introduction to Seed Saving Course Offered


These seeds were just given to me. I'm calling them a Brown Seeded Runner Bean. These are
the largest runner bean seeds I have ever seen. Definitely will grow them out and try to get them
into the seed library next year! 


If someone gave you some beautiful seeds, what would you do with them? You  probably would want to grow them out and share them! But how do you know they'll be good seeds, that they'll reproduce like the wonderful beans in the photos? I'm glad you asked and the answer is better than blowing in the wind!   

This July 14th, 1:30 to 4:30, I'll be teaching an Introduction to Seed Saving class at The Learning Garden! How about that? This class gets you into saving those that are the easiest to save, but introduces you to principals that can be applied to other seeds that aren't so easy. This class will feature handouts that will be major resource for you no matter what you seeds you want to save! 

Contact The Learning Garden or David King (310.722.3656 or greenteach@gmail.com) to reserve your spot and handouts! Our usual trademark of answering your questions and entertaining presentation will be there. 

We'll have cold water and snacks on hand and we'll work outside weather permitting! Remember, the Garden is pretty close to the ocean and will be cooler than wherever you are in LA. 

Cost for the seminar and packet is $20. 

See you at The Learning Garden! 





07 April, 2019

Urban Food Production, Spring 2019


Course Number: Biology X 489.6  

Instructor: David King

310.722.3656

There are no prerequisites for this course, although some experience with gardening will prove useful.

All classes meet at The Learning Garden on the Venice High School campus where it can be hot and cold by turns – but reliably MUCH MORE VARIABLE than other parts of Los Angeles. For your own comfort, please bring a sweater or coat to every class meeting. Class will meet regardless of the weather. Expect to get wet or dry or hot or cold as we will be outside for a portion of every meeting.

The production, packaging, and transportation of food are large contributors to our global carbon emissions. Throughout the Los Angeles Basin, food gardens have sprung up to produce local healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables while contributing energy and financial savings in difficult economic times. Using the history of growing food in the city in times of need as a template, this course explores how homegrown food can reduce your food budget and address environmental concerns. Participants each have a small plot for growing food where they can experiment with new ideas and enjoy their harvest. Topics include fruit trees, vegetables, and berries that do well in our climate as well as often overlooked food-producing perennials and how to grow food in modern city lots where the "back forty" describes square feet and not acres.

Textbooks Required:

Title The New Sunset Western Garden Book
Author Brenzel, Kathleen Norris (Editor)
Edition Feb. 2012
Publisher Sunset Books
ISBN 978-0376039170


There will be no assigned reading from the book, but it really is essential if you are gardening in Southern California. The most recent edition is not really necessary, however, it does have more data in it and with each edition Sunset pays more respect to food gardening.

This will be supplemented by postings on my Garden Notes blog, http://lagardennotes.blogspot.com/ . I hope to post most of the material in the days prior to the class when it will be used.

Textbooks, Recommended:

Title The Kitchen Garden
Author Thompson, Sylvia
Edition First
Publisher Bantam Books
ISBN 0-553-08138-1
*(She has a companion cookbook that is worth investigation too!)
Title Heirloom Vegetable Gardening
Author Weaver, William Woys
Edition First
Publisher Henry Holt
ISBN 978-0760359921
A NEW edition at last!!!
Title Pests of the Garden and Small Farm
Author Flint, Mary Louise
Edition 2nd
Publisher Univ of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
ISBN-13: 978-1879906402
Title The Resilient Gardener

Author Deppe, Carol
Edition First
Publisher Chelsea Green
ISBN-13: 978-1603580311


There will be no assigned reading from these books. The rest of the literature, as references, will prove invaluable to any serious student in this field. There will be bibliographies describing other books as the quarter progresses, I am a ferocious reader and not at all shy about suggesting books I think deserve your attention. From the bibliography, you will choose one book to read and report on. This report will be turned in at the end of class; see the point assignment structure on the next page.

Course Schedule (still under construction):

DATE
TOPIC
07 April
Introduction/Seed Starting/Urban gardening in context today/12 Points to a Better Garden Sustainability and Food Issues in Modern America/Visit Garden
14 April
Books/ Food crops of summer/growing up
21 April
Tools/Urban Gardens Bigger Picture
28 April
Planting/Sheet composting/Composting/ Planting Timing and Design/SLOLA/Seeds/Light/Water/
05 May
Sources/Annuals/ Soil Contamination and Remediation
12 May
Planting/Companions/Crop Rotation in a Small Garden/ Beekeeping?/Introduction to goat keeping (?)
19 May
Goats in the Urban Foodscapes
26 May
Holiday
02 June

09 June

16 June
Planning for Continuous Harvests/Potluck/Submit your journal etc for a grade.

(Syllabus may be changed as needed to reflect reality.)
Please note that in Spring quarter there are a few holidays and plants do not take a holiday. – we will need to ensure that watering happens to keep the plants alive if there is no rain while we all enjoy our celebrations.

Point Assignment Structure
Class participation (and cooperation)
20

Grade of A
> 90%
Garden Journal
20

B
>80%
1 page book review
20

C
>70%
Planting Project
40

D and F
Failing
TOTAL
100



I have two over-arching goals in all the classes I teach:
      1. To teach folks how to grow some of their own food.
      2. To teach folks how to be a part of a community.
If you want a good grade, keep that in mind. These are the things we will need as a people in the very near future. If we don't learn this, we will be in deep trouble.

Therefore, please note, I try to grade you on your personal improvement. Cooperation is counted more than competition in my classes.

Office hours are by appointment only – please call or email me. I am willing to meet with you; I want you to learn; I do not want you to struggle. Please do not hesitate to call me, rather than try to talk to me in class when I can't really give you undivided attention. Extra points are available if you wish to earn more credit.

Each class, as we start, will usually begin with lecture and then proceed to the garden where we will share the garden chores and harvest.

You are encouraged to experiment in the garden plot. Your process should be thoroughly documented in your journal – your thinking and your understanding of what is happening in your garden. If you have a problem, research a solution.

Pick one book from the ones presented in class to read and report on.

As often as I can, I will prepare some seasonal food to eat. There are no places to buy food while in class and we are here for four hours. Students are encouraged to bring in food to share with the class at all meetings. Students should bring in their own plate and eating utensils so we can have a minimum waste event. The last class meeting will be a potluck where we will all share local and fresh food! (That's the point, right?)

Criteria for your garden journal grade:
  1. Documentation of what you planted when
  2. Documentation of weather elements – temperature (minimum and maximum) as well as an precipitation and noting humidity or dryness, especially of Santa Ana winds.
  3. Germination per cent of plant sown from seed
  4. Choice of varieties sources and reasoning
  5. Success/failures discussed – alternatives to failures/expansion of successes
  6. Plans for the future
  7. Drawings (or photos) of the garden (either done by hand or by computer program) NOTE: this notebook is NOT your class notes – they might be included, but what I want are your garden observations!

Criteria for your garden plot grade:
  1. You should experiment and try something you have never done – explore!
  2. Our plot and adjacent pathways must be cleared of weeds.
  3. Our plot and adjacent pathways must be well mulched. (Up to me to find the mulch.)
  4. All of our plot should be attractive and be growing some food.
  5. Your journal should indicate you learned something from the plot, your journal and your plot are intertwined and work together.
  6. When presented with the opportunity, you should cooperate with other students, help those in need and be team member of this class.

The person who starts from seed vs. bringing in growing plants, will have plants not nearly as far along as the others – but stands to make a better grade if they have experimented with growing from seed – I am more interested that you LEARN in this class – just doing what you already have done doesn't teach you anything. We are all gardeners here, if we don't have patience yet, we soon will. Cultivate patience with your plants in this class setting.

All handouts (including this syllabus) will be available on the blog site:


Please keep a sweater or jacket handy. Class is not canceled on account of rain. As long as you can hear my voice, class will go on, though I will try to get us out of a rain.