Learn to garden organically in this class series


Organic Growers School is teaming up with Fifth Season Asheville and Diana Schmitt McCall, the manager of the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden in Black Mountain, to offer its fifth annual organic gardening series, entitled “Get Growing.”

The series will take place from 7-9 p.m. April 5, 12, 19 and 26. It will focus on all aspects of organic gardening: planning, planting, production, and pests. The four-part series is appropriate for first-time gardeners as well as those with some experience.

The first three classes will take place at Fifth Season Asheville Market, 4 South Tunnel Road, in Asheville, in their brand new location. The fourth class will be a hands-on, education tour of the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden in Black Mountain, which features a variety of garden methods such as French Intensive, square foot, hugelkultur, no-till and more. The cost of the program is $20 per class or $75 for the series.

•April 5: Why you should consider growing organically; important site, size, and design considerations for your garden; growing the soil and nutrient basics; garden seasons; and useful tools will be discussed.

•April 12: Techniques for starting seeds and transplants; dealing with common problems; how much to plant; composting and vermicomposting; converting your lawn to garden; an edible yard; and maximizing your garden space.

•April 19: The virtues of mulch; water and fertilization considerations; compost tea; cover cropping and n-p-k; organic disease and insect control; and tips for fall gardening.

•April 26: A hands-on, education tour of the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden to review topics from the first three sessions, see these techniques in practice, as well as build your confidence through experiential learning.

Organic Growers School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Asheville that has provided practical organic education in the Southern Appalachians since 1993. Fifth Season Garden Center’s new location at Market Asheville on Tunnel Road houses a large classroom space, which will host the series. It also provides participants an opportunity to view and purchase gardening products such as seeds, plant starts, soils, amendments, tools, nursery plants, and more.

Diana Schmitt McCall is an instructor with Organic Growers School and also manages the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden, home to nearly 70 gardening families, more than 100 fruit and nut trees, mushroom logs, a native species trail and a biodynamic donation garden. The garden produces 4,000 pounds of produce annually for distribution in Black Mountain.