Free Beginners Workshop

What is covered?

Everything for the course is provided although A few have regretted not bringing a notepad. The backdrop of these workshops is low cost, organic and demystification by explaining rather than rote learning. Korean natural farming is introduced and discussed in all the workshops. Details from upcoming workshops are discussed if relevant. Most of the time, I over-plant, so have seedlings to give away.

Powerpoint and whiteboards are not used, rather a show, tell and in some cases actually doing. Each week you can see what’s happening in the Sanctuary Garden. If there is produce you can taste raw, you get the chance to do that too. Bring a coat or jumper just in case the wind picks up.

Tea and coffee is available, you can make it to your desired strength and sweetness. In workshop #4 we’re in the kitchen and you’ll get to taste and enjoy produce from the garden and if I can, we can compare it against shop bought.

The donations we get, are spent on big things like water pumps and truckloads of compost. Seeds and plants are often donated or they are in “stock”. Grant is not paid, he’s loves pulling things out of skips, picking up free second hand pots and tools. His time putting the courses together and teaching are gratis. Most of the produce grown is either eaten on site or donated to food banks. The plants and Korean natural farming ‘liquids’ you take home are free too.

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Workshop #1.

We go through how not to kill a plant, what kills seedlings and seeds. Types of compost, how to use vermiculite and perlite, sowing seeds, how and when to water. Choosing pot sizes for seeds, seedlings and final sized pots. What are smart pots, root bound plants, how roots and stems grow, preventing lopsided plants, and feeding plants.

If the weather is good, it’s all done outside, it’s touchy feely, interactive and the reasons why are explained to help demystify growing plants. We touch on how to grow veggies without spending a fortune on tools, pots, compost and seeds.

Workshop #2

Is hands on, you get to transplant some seedlings, of various sizes into pots. The tools you don’t need to buy, root size, when to plant out or pot on seedlings. How to grow herbs from live supermarket herbs that usually die by their ‘sell by’ date. Show how to take cuttings, plant them and talk about successes and failures.

Workshop #3

This is the details of some of the things touched in earlier workshops. We how to choose veggies, where to plant them in a bed, squarefoot planting, living soil, soil amendments, easy composting, pest control, raised beds and weeding. Saving seed, cross pollination and F1 seeds are covered too.

Workshop #4

This is a tasting experience, showing how to make pesto, hummus, lemonade, cookies with mint from the garden and how to oven dry cherry tomatoes, amongst other things. My recipes are probably a little more relaxed than Jamie Olivers, I used words like ‘a skoosh’ ‘dollop’ ‘handful’ but in most cases you’ll see the raw ingredients.

Workshop #5

How to plan what to grow and when. How to keep track of what’s in the garden, what to harvest and put seeds into soil. Depending on time of year, will depend on what’s covered, but will be the basis of planting all year round. For those of you who are super organised, you can take these simple systems further, I’m not a fan of paperwork or keeping on top of it but this works for gardeners rather than book keepers. It doubles as a planting reminder, journal and reference.

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