Inside the Rodgers Ranch farmhouse, master gardener Marian taught the class about the advantages of herb spirals, keyhole beds, and mandala gardens and how to build them. Then she took students outside and just up the hill to the Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm so they could see these garden types on site! The class then took a short stroll over to Alex Brendel's amazing compost station (Alex is the founder of Bio-Char), where they measured out just the right balance of food residue, straw, and plant material to restore the balance of some soil that had gotten off kilter from too much nitrogen. A week later, In the final class of the series, concepts were reviewed and participants discussed what they'd learned to reduce their carbon and energy footprint and how they planned on applying newfound knowledge to their own yards, gardens, and container plants. Look for more permaculture classes later in the year! Photos by Alison Clary and Denise Koroslev
Jan Pinkerton-Spieth, from the Mt. Diablo Beekeeper's Association, brought thousands of friends with her to her workshop at Rodgers Ranch last night. Bees that is! Jan brought an observation hive (containing larvae, capped brood, honey, pollen and, of course, bees!), and she spoke to participants about the biology of bees, equipment for keeping them, what's happening to our bee population lately, bee-friendly gardens, and more. Everyone got to sample Jan's honey, including chestnut and pumpkin!
Kricket Nissen gave a two-part soap making workshop at the ranch this past week-end. She taught participants how to make soap from scratch, mold, unmold, and cut it. Talk about clean fun! To register for Kricket's next class at the ranch on March 19, go to http://www.rodgersranch.org/soap-making-workshops.html
On Saturday, March 5, Marian taught participants the advantages of growing from seeds, how to read seed packets, how to set up record keeping, how to distinguish which nursery plants are best to take home, best growing medium, tips for successful germination, and more! There are only two classes left in this series! To register, go to www.sustainablecoco.org/permaculture_series
Photos by Alison Clary