Organic Gardening Workshop

courtesy freefoto.com
courtesy freefoto.com

Have a green thumb or want to cultivate one? On Saturday, August, 29, 2009 from 9:00am to 12:00pm, the National Zoo’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability will be offering a workshop on organic gardening for anyone interested in growing plants, fruits, and vegetables in an environmentally sustainable way.

The workshop will be taught in the auditorium of the Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, VA by Tanya Amrheim Paull, the vegetable garden manager of the sustainable, chemical-free Belle Meade School and Farm.

Topics will include

–composting
–natural methods of pest control
–water conservation
–indoor gardening
–native plants, vegetables, and herbs for the autumn growing season.

Participants will leave prepared to turn their own gardens into sustainable havens.  The cost of attendance for FONZ members is $55; for non-members, the cost is $70.  Interested participants may register online by August 26 at Conservation Training.

Can’t make the workshop? Here are some organic gardening tips, courtesy of the Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability.

  • Choose native plants. They are already suited to the biological and climatic conditions of your garden and do not require additional water or chemical additives.
  • Put your vegetable scraps to work! Create a compost pile. You will both reduce waste and add nutrients to your garden.
  • If rainwater is not enough to keep your plants healthy, try to water in the early morning or late evening to avoid waste through evaporation.
  • Consider running a soil test. You can then determine the plants that will thrive in your garden without the application of fertilizers.
  • Before turning to chemical pesticides, do some research. You may be able to find plants that you can add to your garden to serve as all-natural pest deterrents.

Head of the Class

Greater Goods (1626 U Street) now offers “classes for greener living” including Waste & Recycling, Greening Your Home, and Water Conservation, and more. The cost is $20 for early registration and $25 at the door. The first workshop on Jan. 26 will cover:

  • An overview of the main energy hogs in the home and what you can do to decrease their energy consumption
  • 10 easy steps you can take to be more energy efficient and save money
  • Suggested products and services to help you implement these steps
  • Additional resources to continue your education

And when you do drop by, don’t forget to bring a donation for the Capital Area Food Bank.