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We offer accessible gardening classes year-round; we announce and open registration for classes one month before the beginning of each quarter (January-March: December 1, April-June: March 1, July-September: June 1, and October-December: September 1), but from time to time do offer classes on shorter notice.

Below is our full class list in alphabetical order, and you can click here if you would like to download it in PDF format; summaries of each class in approximate chronological order follow.

Looking for a hands-on gardening experience? Check out our Workshops page. For a more discussion-based class? Check out our Garden Reading Group!

Alphabetical Listing

Back to Basics: Edible Gardening 101
Bad Bugs Begone: Pest Control in Your Garden
Beyond “Dirt”: Garden Soil and Amendments
Chicken End of Life Issues
Choosing and Using Edible Native Plants
Custom Classes
Fall Planting for Your Winter Garden
Garden Invaders: Recognizing and Removing Invasive Plants
Gardening on the Move
Gardening with Young’ns
Intensive Gardening Practices: Growing a Lot in a Little Space
Intro to Building Garden Structures
Intro to Cooking and Eating In Season
Intro to Food Preservation
Intro to Planning Your Garden in the Off-Season
Let it Rot: Keys to Effective Composting
Permaculture in YOUR Garden (and Life!)
Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter
Seed-Saving Basics
Seed-Starting: Dig It, Drill It, Dump It
Transplanting Starts: The Fine Art of Plant Massage
Walking Tours (One Focus Area Per Session)

Chronological Listing

Back to Basics: Edible Gardening 101
This class is for people who may be brand-new to food gardening, returning to it from an extended absence, or starting over in a new climate. It introduces the garden calendar for this region and offers guidelines for what you will need to do and when in order to be an effective grower in the Portland area.
(January-June, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Seed-Starting: Dig It, Drill It, Dump It
This class will cover the advantages of starting your own seeds indoors and under cover outdoors. Participants will learn proper seed-starting techniques and find out how to foster the right conditions for growing seedlings to transplant size. Participants will take home seeds that they start in the class.
(January-March, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Intensive Gardening Practices: Growing a Lot in a Little Space
Have you heard of SPIN farming? Square foot gardening? Other ways to grow more vegetables on less land than you ever thought possible? Attend this class to become familiar with the highlights of these (and other) approaches to growing a lot of food in a little bit of space, and how to apply them in your garden.
(January-June, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Choosing and Using Edible Native Plants
Many native edibles are easy to grow, easy to prepare, and easy to incorporate into our eating habits. We will cover a short list of some of the most accessible edible and medicinal natives during this class. Please note: Consulting an experienced herbalist before using most medicinal plants is advised.
(January-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Garden Invaders: Recognizing and Removing Invasive Plants
Our gardens are a great place to start identifying and eradicating harmful and invasive weeds. This class covers the most common garden invaders (including pesky weed species) and best practices for making sure they leave, and don’t come back.
(January-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Gardening on the Move
If you have not (yet) settled down, but you still want to grow your own food, this class will offer tips and tricks for gardening on the move. Topics will include practical skills with container gardening, creating movable planting areas, transplanting, and proper plant care, as well as how to address some of the more emotional challenges of caring for a garden that goes with you wherever you go.
(January-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Gardening with Young’ns
As a parent, grandparent, teacher, mentor, or other caregiver, working together in the garden is one of the best ways to get active and stay healthy while connecting with your younger counterparts. This class will cover basic best practices for gardening across age gaps.
(January-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Intro to Building Garden Structures
Have you been thinking about building in your garden? This class will cover best practices for outdoor construction and introduce some of the options available for creative and functional garden structures: raised beds, compost bins, season extenders, terracing, chicken coops, goat pens, and more. (Note: For more hands-on experience check out our Workshop on this topic. We do recommend taking the intro class first, and often offer them together.)
(February-April & August-September, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Beyond “Dirt”: Garden Soil and Amendments
Readying the soil for spring-summer planting is one of the most important tasks gardeners face at this point in the year. But what is soil made of, and what does it need to benefit the plants we want to grow? This class will provide an overview of soil types and basic soil ecology, give gardeners tools for assessing their soils, and provide suggestions on when and how to use various soil amendments.
(February-June, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Let it Rot: Keys to Effective Composting
Leave it alone long enough, and it will surely decompose. But will it nourish your plants like you want it to? This class, which provides tips for several composting approaches (including pile and sheet/lasagna methods), will cover how and why compost works, and how to make it work for you.
(February-October, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Bad Bugs Begone: Pest Control in Your Garden
Losing crops to pest damage can be incredibly discouraging for beginning and veteran gardeners alike. In this class, you will learn about the most common garden pests, and best practices for removing them and making sure they stay away.
(March-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Transplanting Starts: The Fine Art of Plant Massage
When it’s time to start transitioning those starts that you’ve lovingly nurtured and protected to the great outdoors, it’s time for this class! Participants will learn why some plants grow better from starts instead of seeds, and receive guidance on timing; hands-on practice with transplanting techniques will be emphasized. Participants will leave with at least one start to transplant into their own garden space.
(March-May, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Intro to Cooking and Eating In Season
At some point, most gardeners find themselves thinking: “Well, I grew it—now what?!” This classroom session focuses on what to do with the produce you’ve grown, and where to get complementary seasonal ingredients that don’t come from your garden. Recipes and resource guides for what’s in season provided. (Note: For more hands-on experience check out our Workshop on this topic. We do recommend taking the intro class first, and often offer them together.)
(March/June/September, 1.5 hrs., $20)

Walking Tours (One Focus Area Per Session)
On each of our walking tours, we explore a neighborhood and/or a community garden. Participants can expect to become familiar with different techniques being utilized in the field, compare and contrast methods, and visit with diverse Portland gardeners.
(June-August, 1-3 hrs., $10-$30)

Intro to Food Preservation
Even the smallest garden spaces can yield an unmanageable amount of fresh produce during the height of the harvest. In this class, we will present the most common and effective methods of preserving food, the tools of the trade, and the best ways to preserve overabundant crops for later use. (Note: For more hands-on experience check out our Workshop on this topic. We do recommend taking the intro class first, and often offer them together.)
(July-October, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Fall Planting for Your Winter Garden
It’s not too late to sow an edible garden that will bear through winter and/or set you up for an early spring harvest! In this class, we will cover cold-hardy veggie varieties and how to prepare your garden space to be fruitful through winter.
(July-September, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Seed-Saving Basics
Sometimes it’s good to leave your plants to go through their whole life cycle in the garden—it means you can harvest seeds and use them to continue on next year! In this class, we’ll examine the different sorts of seeds produced by garden plants and how to harvest and store them.
(August-November, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter
Want to get a head start on your spring garden, but not excited about maintaining it throughout the rainy season? In this class, we will discuss strategies—like cover cropping and sheet mulching—for tucking your garden in for a long winter’s nap, and having it be rarin’ to go when you wake it up in the spring.
(September-November, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Chicken End of Life Issues
It is common, when fall hits and the light starts to wane, for egg production to slow and for chicken-keepers to find themselves asking hard questions about their older birds. In this class, we discuss the egg-production cycle and humane options for birds whose production is diminishing. We recognize that this can be a sensitive topic for many chicken-keepers, and we offer this class primarily for keepers who consider their birds both pets and potential sources of food. Please note: Those who consider their chickens ONLY as pets may not find this class appropriate.
(September-November, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Intro to Planning Your Garden in the Off-Season
We’re heading into some long months with fewer physical activities to take on in the garden. What better way than planning to stay connected to your space till it’s time again to get back out there? This class provides an overview of off-season garden planning, including choosing and deciphering seed catalogues, creating garden timelines and calendars, including reading a seed packet, creating a garden journal, choosing the right crops to grow in your situation, planting in succession, and rotating your crops. (Note: For more hands-on experience check out our Workshop on this topic. We do recommend taking the intro class first, and often offer them together.)
(October-February, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Permaculture in YOUR Garden (and Life!)
Permaculture is a design philosophy that is commonly applied to gardening, but which can also be applied to larger systems: businesses, educational endeavors, and other life work. In this class, we cover the personalities behind and basic principles of permaculture, introduce resources for learning more in the Portland area, and discuss how permaculture can be applied across disciplines. Folks who have earned or are pursuing the Permaculture Design Certificate or have done self-study in permaculture are welcome; this is a very basic class, but there will be time for all participants to share their experiences with and thoughts about p’culture.
(Year-Round, 1.5 hrs., $10)

Custom Classes
If you want to suggest a specific gardening topic and can help us gather a group of five or more folks to attend a class on it, we will likely be able to create one to meet your needs! This is a great option for neighborhood associations, community gardeners, church groups, and businesses interested in learning more about a specific gardening topic. Please get in touch with us at classes@IndependenceGardensPDX.com if you are interested in this option.
(Year-Round, Length/cost based on topic & approach)