Organic Gardening Classes

A local gardenerd writes in:

Where would you recommend that one take a good basic course in organic vegetable gardening in the SF Valley or LA areas?  Thanks in advance for any information or suggestions!”

I’m glad you asked!  I happen to be working on a 4-week Basic Organic Gardening 101 course for a couple of locations in Santa Monica as we speak.  It’s still in the works, but for all those who are interested, just e-mail me at and you will be notified of upcoming classes when they get locked down.

Just out of curiosity I did a search of local community colleges and continuing education facilities.  I was surprised to see the scarcity of organic gardening instruction in Los Angeles.  It’s not completely barren, but just tough to find.

At one point, Slow Food LA had an annual organic gardening course, but I was hard pressed to find anything about it on their website in a recent search.  The Master Gardener program through Common Ground/ UC Davis is by no means a basic course, but it’s something I’ve considered taking for awhile now.  It’s a time commitment, but you can find more information out at

Some nurseries offer one day classes, and the Huntington Library and Gardens often has classes in the afternoons.  Their calendar of events can be found at  I attended an herb garden planning event awhile ago and found it very interesting.  They generally schedule their events during “retired persons” hours, FYI.  I happened to have the day off from work so I went.  I haven’t looked at the Getty Museum’s schedule, but they often have events in their gardens.  I went to a lecture there last summer that discussed the plants of the Getty Villa’s Mediterranean Gardens.  Sadly, the visiting speaker was very German with a thick accent and we could barely understand her.  Still, it was interesting to know where the curators of the gardens culled their historical and horticultural information from.

All that said, I will now give a shameless plug for this class I plan to teach.  It will include the following topics:

What is organic and what isn’t
Basic soil structure and soil amendments
Small space and container gardening
What to grow when in Southern California
and much, much more.

Barring any technical difficulties, the class will be taught primarily in discussion format, with video interludes and some hands-in-the-dirt participation. Much of the content will be based on the needs of the participants.  I’m really looking forward to sharing all of this information and spreading the Gardenerd love.  Shoot me an e-mail if you are interested in taking the class at and I’ll keep you posted.

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