2018 Backyard Gardener Workshop Series Registration

Wolfe's Neck Center

Thank you for your interest in our Backyard Gardener Workshop Series.

This new series is designed for the aspiring small-scale farmer. Each session offers an in-depth exploration of a specific topic through lectures and hands-on activities, giving you the skills needed to confidently and successfully cultivate your own garden space. These programs are best suited for adult learners.
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Winter Growing Tour & Talk

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 1-4 PM
Cost: $20

Come out to the farm and explore best practices for winter growing. Participants will tour our year-round growing infrastructure and then venture inside to talk about extension practices for the backyard grower (weather depending).

Note: The workshop includes a tour through our fields to the greenhouse. These are not plowed or shoveled and you should dress warmly for the outdoors.

Topics Covered:
  • What do plants need to grow all winter?
  • Understanding photoperiod
  • Microclimates
  • Greenhouse components explained. Why incorporate mobility?
  • Maintaining soil fertility in a closed environment
  • Designing your winter garden


Understanding Integrated Pest Management Practices

Saturday, January 27, 2018, 2-4:30 PM
Cost: $15

Are the bugs and weeds in your garden getting you down? Come to the farm and dig into integrated pest management and integrated weed suppression management practices. We'll focus on organic solutions to help you get out of the weeds. 

Note: This is a lecture-based workshop.

Topics Covered:
  • Pest identification
  • Crop rotation and interplanting
  • Deep organic pest control
  • Timing crops according to pest life cycles

Compost Workshop

Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1-3:30 PM
Cost: $15

If you think you generate a lot of compost in your household, imagine what it looks like on a farm scale! In this workshop, we'll discuss what it takes to manage food waste and biomass (leaf piles, grass clippings, etc.), both in your own gardens and on our farm. Learn the science behind what's in your compost pile, followed by a walking tour of compost in action. The workshop will include both a lecture and a walk around barn and chicken tractor.

In the lecture we'll address:
  • Building the perfect compost for your home garden
  • Understanding the ingredients: Carbon to Nitrogen ratio
  • How do invertebrates & bacteria help us compost?
Then out to the chicken tractor to learn about:
  • How our laying hens provide more then just eggs, nutrients too!
  • How our "egg mobile" works
  • Why our "egg mobile" follows our cows
Then into the livestock barn to learn:
  • How we compost here on the farm
  • What does it take to manage a farm scale compost?
  • How does vegetable compost differ from the compost we spread on our hay fields?

Fruit Tree Pruning & Grafting Workshop

Saturday, April 7, 2018, 1-4 PM
Cost: $50

Start spring with an overview of orchard care for your backyard garden. We'll start in the conference room for a brief lesson in fruit tree grafting and pruning, led by ReTreeUS program manager, Richard Hodges. He'll cover grafting science and techniques which will then be practiced out in the orchard. 

From there, we'll head up to the Banter Orchard for a field lesson on pruning young apple trees, and next to the vegetable plot to demonstrate proper grafting in the field. Workshop members will graft their own Black Oxford apple trees - an heirloom Maine variety! - which they will get to bring home and plant.

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