Sunday, September 12, 2010

Organic Gardening Certificate Program

This Saturday I started the fall session of the Organic Gardening Certificate Program in SE Portland. There are about 50 students. The morning was the big picture about organic gardening and a high level introduction to permaculture.

The afternoon session was at the Learning Gardens Laboratory, two blocks away. Weston, the main instructor, gave us a tour of the gardens which included:
  • master gardener demonstration garden plots where they grow food for a local food bank
  • teaching gardens for elementary school students
  • OSU extension gardens where they were experimenting with gardening in straw bales
  • neighboring community garden
  • Portland Metro demonstration garden for reducing toxic runoff and water-wise gardening
  • a new community garden because the old one had a multi-year waiting list
  • big green houses that are in need of a major renovation
  • a garden for 18-21 year old special ed students to learn gardening skills growing and selling cut flowers
We then broke into three groups and each went through three exercises
  • introductions
  • making a little gadget for visualizing the sun angle at different times of year
  • using triangulation to go from a landscape to a paper plan or from plan to land
The triangulation exercise really clicked for me. I've been trying to settle on a process for developing my base map and overlay maps for the garden plan.