Since March, I’ve been taking the Growing Food course that’s been taught mainly at Hali, and it’s given me a new perspective on what our farmers do. Lead instructor Elmarie Roberts, who farms Sunbird Farm and leads Hali’s educational programming, has been guiding students through a challenging program. 2016May07ElmarieFrancoisPlantCarrots

In the past 7 weeks, we’ve covered the basics of soil and sun analysis, seeding and propagation, composting and water management. We’ve tried out a broad fork, done some double digging, talked a lot about microbes and planted carrots, corn and beans. We’ve charted our gardens, analyzed soil structure, sun and shade, and planned crop rotations using principles learned in the classes and workshops.

2016-May-02GFCompostIt’s a challenging, meaty course, and the students include first time gardeners, graduates of Gaia’s Organic Master Gardener course, people who wish to improve their small scale gardens and others who are considering farming as a career. The course runs March through September, so there’s a way to go yet, and I’ll add   more as our learning unfolds.