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Volunteers with personal knowledge and experience offer classes throughout the year, all on topics relating in some way to our four areas of focus: agriculture, commerce, recreation, and natural resource stewardship. Class size is limited to 10 to make the experience more interactive, and fees are kept quite reasonable (generally between $10-$35 for a two hour class). All proceeds go to support programming at the farm.
Saturday, October 5 (11 am to 1 pm)
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Workshop
Rob Hallbauer, Whidbey Island Conservation District
What is Green Stormwater Infrastructure? It is a system of practices that are designed to collect, store, treat, infiltrate, and reuse stormwater. Rather than collecting and conveying stormwater offsite through pipes and other conveyance systems, native vegetation, landscaping and small-scale hydrologic controls capture, treat and infiltrate the stormwater near its source.
It is increasingly evident that untreated stormwater discharges to our streams, lakes, Puget Sound are harming aquatic ecosystems. As more development occurs in the Pacific Northwest, rain pours off roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and other impervious surfaces into our ditches and streams, transporting pollutants such as fertilizer, oil, herbicides, and pet waste. Studies show that the effects of development and impervious surfaces have severely degraded sensitive watersheds and habitats in Puget Sound. One way to minimize the impact of your property is to catch, store, infiltrate, and reuse the stormwater that comes off of your rooftops and driveways. If this interests you, join us for a workshop where we’ll learn about ways to make beneficial use of your rain water while reducing runoff from your property.
Rain barrels provide an easy way to collect and store rainwater for use in the garden or on landscaping. This provides the benefits of reducing the runoff from our properties, reducing our demand on our aquifers, and providing a free source of clean water for our landscapes. We’ll learn about the Greenbank Farm’s new rainwater collection and reuse system, and we’ll learn how to design and build your own rainwater harvesting system. Harvesting rainwater provides the homeowner with a free source of clean water for gardening or landscaping while also reducing their impact on water quality in downstream water bodies.
Rain gardens and bioswales reduce the runoff from your yard and absorb pollutants into the soil, where they can become immobilized or absorbed by plants. Instead of flowing into a ditch or stream, rainwater infiltrates into the ground, where it nourishes our plants and replenishes our groundwater aquifers. As an added bonus, a rain garden planted with the right types of plants attracts birds, butterflies, and bees. We’ll learn how to determine where to locate your rain garden, and how to design and build it.
Thursday, August 15, (3 – 5 p.m.)
Variety-Trial Field Day
Help us evaluate this year’s on-farm variety trials for carrots and beets.
In our trials, we grew 12 varieties of each crop in our search for open-pollinated, high-quality, fresh market varieties that we could both market and save seed on. Included in the trial are popular hybrids as check varieties as well as new OP breeding stock being developed. We will have in-ground and dug up plants on display as well as washed and cut roots for taste testing. Come see what variety you might want to grow next year!
At 3pm, we will give a brief overview of the variety trial process and describe the selection of varieties. At 3:30pm, we will open it up for attendees to observe and self-evaluate the trials as well as ask questions of Greenbank Staff.
When: August 15th, 3pm-5pm
Where: Greenbank Farm, 765 Wonn Rd, Greenbank, WA, 98253 (Once at the farm, drive to the end of the parking lot and walk north towards the large greenhouse.)
Info: For more information, please contact Sebastian Aguilar at email@example.com or 360-222-3171
This field day is funded by the WSDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program.
Monday, July 17 (9:30-4)
Soil Class: Specially Designed for Farmers, Farm Workers and Gardeners
Come learn the why’s and how’s of organic soil management with Doug Collins of the WSU Small Farms Team.
Over the past few years, Collins and his team have been researching fertility and soil management on organic farms in western Washington in order to help farmers optimize their organic crop production in our unique bioregion while using sustainable practices.
Collins will start with an overview of soil science exploring the physical, biological and chemical properties of the soil and then talk about how to enhance and manage these properties, using organic methods, to grow healthy, high yielding plants. Collins will also talk about soil testing and how to best use the results in creating an organic fertility plan. This all-day workshop, with both classroom and field components, will give participants a thorough understanding of the strategies, opportunities and challenges local organic growers have in managing their soils.
When: July 17th, 9:30am-4pm (Lunch break will be from 12pm-1pm. The Greenbank Cafe will be open or bring your own lunch and enjoy the farm.) Class will be held in the main barn and is free of charge.
Info: Please contact Sebastian Aguilar at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Speaker Bio: Doug Collins is an extension faculty member with WSU’s Small Farms Program. His work focuses on soil quality and fruit and vegetable production for small farms. Doug has a Ph.D. in soil science from Washington State University, an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Montana State University, and serves on the board of directors of Tilth Producers of Washington
Friday, July 12 (1 -3 pm) Suggested donation: $10 – CANCELLED
Small Business Loans: The Must-Dos for a Successful Application
There are new sources for obtaining small business loans, such as our Whidbey Island Local Lending Group. In order to ensure that your loan application is seriously considered, there is information that you must supply. We will discuss what to include in your application and where to get that necessary information. Suggested Donation $10. Rsvp to email@example.com
Monday, Sep 10 (12:30-2) Suggested donation $10-15
Principles of Soil Fertility
Come learn the in-depth strategies and principles that organic farmers use to manage their soil fertility. Under applications of nutrients lead to poor growth and yields while over applications cause water and environmental pollution. Learn how to analyze soils and apply the right amount of nutrients for your crops.
Suggested donation is $10-15, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org 360.678.7710.
Monday, August 20
Using and Selecting Cover Crops (12:30-2) Suggested donation $10-15
Cover crops are an ideal way to build and maintain your soils fertility and tilth while preventing erosion, managing weeds and providing beneficial insect habitat. Come learn about the principles, crops and timing of one of organic farming’s best strategies in soil management so you can implement them in your fields or gardens.
Suggested donation is $10-15, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to email@example.com 360.678.7710.
Monday, July 9
Acquiring and Maintaining Organic Certification (12:30-2) Suggested donation $10-15
Curious about organic certification? Do you want to (need to) know what the rules are? How much it costs? What it requires? Come for a class and discussion on applying for and maintaining organic certification. Organic certification can be a great way to let your customers and neighbors know you are a safe and healthy grower and you may be surprised how affordable and simple it can be. Suggested donation is $15, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Monday, Jun 11
Irrigation Practice and Design (12:30-2) Suggested donation $15
As summer approaches, so does the dry season. If water is available, irrigation helps keep crops growing and productive as well as keeps the soil biology active. Do you know when to irrigate, how much water to apply and how to apply it efficiently? Come for a class and discussion on understanding irrigation principles, both application and system design, so you can maximize plant growth while minimizing water use. Suggested donation is $15, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Monday, May 14
Creating and Using Farm Budgets
If you are considering running a small vegetable farm, either for-profit or non-profit, you need to estimate your income, expenses, and seasonal cash flow, to make sure you create a farm plan that meets your goals (and doesn’t put you in the red!). “Creating and Using Farm Budgets” will cover the types and general amounts of both capital and operating expenses small vegetable farms often have and how to create and manage a farm budget, including creating a cash flow spreadsheet.
Monday, April 9, 12:30-2 pm, Suggested donation of $10-20
Crop Planning and Recordkeeping in Vegetable Production
As a vegetable grower, how do you ensure that you will have the crop you want, ready at the right time, in the amounts that you want? You plan! We will look at each step in the process from setting harvest goals and using days-to-maturity and average yields to create a planting calendar that tells you when, what and how much to plant to meet those goals. The key to a good plan is the data supporting it so we will also look at how to take good records so your future plans can become ever more accurate. Be prepared for Farm Math 101!
A donation of $10-$20 is suggested though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Tuesdays, March 20, 27, and April 3, 1-3 pm, $20 a session/$50 if you sign up for all three
Love Letters Straight From the Farm
Molly Larson Cook
A writing workshop using David Masumoto’s book as a guide. This class is a three-part workshop to encourage writers and will allow for some time for peer/instructor critique. The class will provide an opportunity for writers to improve their writing skills while learning new ways to explore and appreciate the connection between nature, farming and self.
Molly grew up in farm country in Walla Walla and has experience with landscape design in Massachusetts. She later was a free-lance writer for Maine Audubon’s “Habitat” magazine and wrote about the importance of preserving our green spaces.
Sunday, February 12, 3-5pm, $10
Got Photos?: How to get them into your life
Jacki Scallan, Creative Memories Consultant
Do you have countless photos on your computer, camera memory card or phone that are disorganized and hard to share with your family and friends? Come learn how to sort and store your photos and other memorabilia from your life story in a way that is both easy and attractive! Also, discover how to take better photos so that you may best document the important moments in life. This course will involve an informative lecture, video, and a question and answer session so you’ll leave empowered with the skills to best preserve your memories.
Wednesday, February 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, $5
Michael Seraphinoff, former caretaker of Greenbank’s Loganberry patch and seasoned farmer.
A brief history of Greenbank’s historic berry, as well as practical insight into loganberry propagation, care, feeding needs, and harvest.
Sunday January 29, 10-12:30pm, $10
Winter Forest Ecology and Plant Identification
An Introduction to Winter Forest Ecology
Nathaniel Talbot, Environmental Educator, Botanist, Organic Farmer
What are some of the major ecological processes happening during the winter in the forests of Whidbey Island? We’ll take a look at winter nutrient cycling, deciduous vs. evergreen plant survival strategies, winter animal behavior, and how energy is moving and being stored throughout the forest food web. You will also learn how to identify some of the common perennial plants in the forest, both deciduous and evergreen, as well as learn about their importance in the ecosystem. The course will be taught while hiking the forest of Greebank Farm.
Saturday, January 28, 1-3 pm, $10
Cooking Straight from the Winter Gardening:
Growing Hardy Vegetables and Preparing Seasonal Soup, Salad and Dessert
Taught by Annie Jesperson, Deep Harvest and Greenbank Farm
Discover the delight of eating fresh right from the garden— in January! Learn what vegetables can be grown in the winter on Whidbey (and how to grow them), harvest ingredients from the Greenbank Farm fields, and prepare a complete seasonal meal to take home to wow your family and friends.
Sunday, January 15, 3-5pm, $30
Spanish Style Kale with Chorizo and Farm Fresh Eggs
Taught by Aracely Knox, Strawfield House and Farm
Want to learn how to turn those greens into a delicious Spanish meal? Come enjoy a hands on workshop from 3:00 t0 5:00 with supper following! Learn to cook freshly harvested kale with chorizo with fresh eggs from Aracely’s flock to complete this regional Spanish dish. This class is limited to 10 students. Bring your note pad and apron and learn directly from a very experienced cook who is also farming.
Wednesday, January 11, 10am-Noon, $15
Understanding Supplement Labels and Making Herbal Preparations
Taught by Toni Grove, BSc in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University
While sipping herbal tea, join a discussion on how herbal preparations are made, what to look for on the labels of commercially made preparations, and learn how to make a simple extract at home using easily obtained ingredients. Understanding supplement labels makes us safer consumers and finding less expensive alternatives that can be made with plants in our own yard can save money and improve our health.
Wednesday, April 2 (10-11:30), $5 requested donation
Solar P-Patch 101
Taught by Linda Irvine of SEED Island Community Solar
Do you want to understand the basics of the Greenbank farm Solar P-Patch? Be able to explain it to friends and family? Learn just enough to be dangerous in this entertaining class with Linda Irvine of Island Community Solar.
To propose a class, click here to access our class proposal form or contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org