Start Planting a Biointensive Future for Your Garden!

Ecology Action
5798 Ridgewood Road
Willits, CA 95490

USA: (707) 459-0150
fax: (707) 459-5409


Please donate $40 to our 40th Anniversary Fundraiser about_memberships.html

Only 11 cents a day can make a world of difference
in creating a sustainable future for millions of people around the world!



Visit Ecology Action's International
Mail-Order Service,
Bountiful Gardens, online at:

www.bountifulgardens.org


and consider getting one of our books on the Biointensive method such as the newly updated 7th edition of

How to Grow More Vegetables

How to Grow More Vegetables


and/or the Biointensive book especially for beginners:

The Sustainable Vegetable Garden

The Sustainable Vegetable Garden



You may also want to explore the following:

John Jeavons

• John Jeavons' website:
www.johnjeavons.info

Common Ground Garden Supply in Palo Alto

• Common Ground's Website:
commongroundinpaloalto.org


Take a tour or join a workshop!
• Take a garden tour or join a workshop at Ecology Action:
EA calendar of events

Take a tour or join a workshop!
• Find articles, networking opportunities, GB gardening hints and more at the RenewAll Garden Project website:
renewallgardenproject.net


Subscribe to our e-newsletters by
clicking here.

 

 


A New Workshop Opportunity!

  • Workshop
    Description
  • Workshop
    Topics
  • Reading
    List
  • Teacher Bio
    & Other Classes
  • Workshop
    Registration

GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Community Garden Integration Intensive Series
Spring 2013 Session

6 Classes will be held from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm on the following Saturdays:
February 16 and 23, March 2, 9, 16 and April 6
In signing up for this workshop, participants agree to attend all 6 classes.

Location: The Common Ground Demonstration Garden
687 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA

ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP SERIES

This six-class intensive series is designed to enable established and newly created community-based gardening and farming programs to integrate the biologically-intensive, holistically sustainable and optimally productive GROW BIOINTENSIVE (GB) mini-farming method into their projects. Gardeners who manage, are involved in, or seek to establish community based gardening and agriculture sites will come away from this series with an intuitive understanding of sustainable soil and garden management, the hands-on skills they need to apply that understanding, as well as the tools to measure, document, and study their progress.

The classes will include presentations, demonstrations, hands-on practice, and guided discussions. Participants will have the opportunity “cross-pollinate”: to get to know each other’s programs/projects and to build greater collaboration and community among the Bay Area’s gardeners and gardens.  Setting achievable goals together for our respective biologically-intensive demonstration sites will be an integral part of the 6-week program.

By using GB methods, community-based garden and agriculture programs can improve their yields while decreasing their need for external fertilizer and compost inputs. The efficiencies of GB speak for themselves.

GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming techniques make it possible to grow food using:

1. 67% to 88% less water
2. 50% to 100% less fertilizer
3. 99% less energy than commercial agriculture, while using a fraction of the resources.

These techniques can also:

1. Produce 2 to 6 times more food than conventional methods
2. Build fertile soil up to 60 times faster than in nature, if properly used
3 . Reduce the amount of land needed to grow comparable amounts of food by 50% or more  

In addition, the data-based GROW BIOINTENSIVE approach makes it easy for gardeners to track their project’s progress, and to record their yields and to track them over time. By keeping track of the work they do to improve their soil and then seeing their results, gardeners are inspired to keep their gardens growing and improving every year. This measurable progress can also serve community-based garden programs in fundraising.

GB community gardens can serve as models of self-sufficient sustainability for participants’ constituents and neighbors to learn from. The relationship between the gardens and communities can be synergistic; in fact, the community structure can make the GB approach even more sustainable. In addition to creating greater access with less investment by sharing tools and infrastructure, community gardens and farms also pool human resources by accumulating gardening experience and knowledge, utilizing the power of many observers, allowing a distribution of tasks according to ability, availability and interest. These gardens and programs are able to have greater success than the sum of what their individual members would be able to accomplish alone.

Through training programs like this six-class Saturday series in GROW BIOINTENSIVE Agriculture, Ecology Action hopes to create a network of skilled Bay Area gardeners, and community gardens that support each other in their communities’ quest for food security and resilience.

Tuition: $250.00
Materials Fee: $10
Work-trade Option: In exchange for 15 hours of garden work (to be completed after classes or during regular Wednesday morning workdays), a $125 tuition refund is available. This is a great opportunity to practice garden skills as you learn them.

To register for the workshop series, click here.

Cancellation Policy: If you decide to cancel your registration before Feb 1st, $125 will be refunded to you or can be applied to another Ecology Action workshop during 2013. No refunds will be available after Feb 3; if you decide to cancel after this date, $125 can be applied to another Ecology Action workshop during 2013.

 

Workshop Topics

Class 1: Soil

  • What is living, healthy, productive soil?
  • Organic material, organic matter, compost, humus, nutrients, and microorganisms
  • How nature creates soil, and how GROW BIOINTENSIVE (GB) creates soil
  • Introduction to the eight principles of GB

Class 2: Compost & Compost Crops

  • Basic plant botany: Metabolic vs. Structural Carbon
  • Not all compost piles are equal: how to optimize your compost.
  • Growing compost crops.
  • Compost Crop Personalities

Class 3: Special Root Calorie Crops and Complete Diet Farming

  • Weight-efficiency vs. area-efficiency
  • Introduction to Diet Design.
  • How to use the Master Charts
  • Growing special root calorie crops.
  • Calorie Crop Plant Personalities.

Class 4: Open-Pollinated Seed & Benefits of Using GB in Community Gardens and Farms

  • What are open pollinated seeds? Why are they important?
  • Saving seed
  • Harvesting, processing, and storing grains and other challenging crops

Class 5: Best Practices for GB Sites and Goal Setting

  • Setting goals together for our respective biologically-intensive demonstration sites
  • What EA hopes to see in a biologically-intensive demonstration site (what needs to be included, and where adjustments are welcomed and encouraged).

Class 6: Data Collection

  • Examples of the difference data collection makes:  much higher yields, less work, greatly reduced organic fertilizer and water consumption, more compost production from a smaller area.

Demonstrations and Hands-on Activities will include:

  • Setting up a GB growing bed
  • Deep Soil Structure Preparation:  Double Digging (and amending)
  • Building, turning, and sifting compost
  • Using the Master Charts to determine seed requirements
  • Starting and pricking out seedlings
  • Transplanting
  • Low-tech threshing and grinding
  • Diet design and basic garden planning
  • Data collection and management

 

Required Reading/Viewing

This course will be fast-paced, and will cover a lot of material. In order to facilitate a deeper understanding of the material, participants will be required to do additional readings and watch instructional videos before the first class, and between subsequent classes.

The readings will cover the scientific basis for and findings of GROW BIOINTENSIVE, the details of how to use various GB techniques, as well as the global and local need for transformation of our food-raising systems.

Please read or watch the following before the first workshop session:

  1. Worldwide Loss of Soil and a Possible Solution:  on soil depletion rates.
  2. A Hopeful Solution: UN article on how Biointensive farming prevents desertification
  3. Unforgetting Lessons Our Father Farmers Taught Us: readings on ancient sustainable farming practices in China from Farmers of 40 Centuries.
  4. Understanding what happens to civilizations that do not fully care for their soil:  from Soil and Civilization
  5. Getting Started with GROW BIOINTENSIVE: GROW BIOINTENSIVE DVD (all segments)
  6. How To Grow More Vegetables—and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You can Imagine 8th edition, pp.  15-32
  7. The Sustainable Vegetable Garden pp.  27-32.

If you need any of the items listed, you can purchase them from:

Common Ground Garden Organic Garden Supply and Education Center
559 College Avenue, Palo Alto, CA
650-493-6072
www.commongroundinpaloalto.org

Or, you can order them online from Bountiful Gardens.

 

Teacher Bio

Zuzanna Drozdz is the Coordinator of the Common Ground Garden in Palo Alto. This garden is a community-based mini-farm project of Ecology Action that serves as an outdoor classroom for classes for the community and local schools.

Other classes TBA

Workshop Registration

Registration and payment should be completed by the application deadline of February 1, 2013, but participants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as these workshops can fill quickly.

Space is limited. In case of oversubscription, the Ecology Action staff will select later applicants on the basis of the impact their work is likely to have in the future; priority will be given to those with a goal of using GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming practices in outreach and public service projects. Workshop fees will be returned to those not selected.

Tuition: $250.00
Materials Fee: $10
Work-trade Option: In exchange for 15 hours of garden work (to be completed after classes or during regular Wednesday morning workdays), a $125 tuition refund is available. This is a great opportunity to practice garden skills as you learn them.

Cancellation Policy: If you decide to cancel your registration before February 1st, $125 will be refunded to you or can be applied to another Ecology Action workshop during 2013. No refunds will be available after Feb 3; if you decide to cancel after this date, $125 can be applied to another Ecology Action workshop during 2013.


  1. Download and read the 6-Session Workshop Information Packet (20KB PDF)

  2. Complete the Online Workshop Application/ Registration Form for the workshop series: (our secure online registration form, hosted by FormSpring will open in a new window).

  3. Pay for tuition and fees. When you submit your workshop registration, you will automatically be redirected to our online payment page, hosted by PayPal. Make sure to complete payment or your registration will not be processed. Prices are as follows:

    • $250 for tuition

    • $10 materials fee

    • Please note that participants will be responsible for providing all meals and lodging for these workshop sessions.

  4. Download, print and fill out the Common Ground Garden Release Form, and bring it with you to the workshop. You will not be able to participate in the workshop without filling out this form. To download the Release Form, click here.

  5. Look over the Required Reading for the workshop sessions.

    If you need any of the items listed, you can purchase them from:

    Common Ground Garden Organic Garden Supply and Education Center
    559 College Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306  
    650-493-6072
    www.commongroundinpaloalto.org

    Or, you can order them online from Bountiful Gardens.

If you need more information, please contact us at:
(707) 459-0150, M-F between 10AM-3PM PST.
or email contact@growbiointensive.org

 

To download a PDF of the event poster, click here.


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