Grow Your Groceries

Classes and Courses for the Urban Farmer

gyg223x116Soil Born Farms’ Grow Your Groceries program is a beginning farmer and gardener training program designed to provide knowledge and hands-on experience to the aspiring urban grower. Our instructors are experienced masters of organic agriculture and horticulture and experts in farm entrepreneurship. We offer single day classes in diverse subjects such as: preparing spring, summer, fall and winter gardens; building soil fertility; garden design and seasonality; irrigation and water management; natural pest management; composting; fruit tree care; seed saving; beekeeping; foraging wild edibles and more.

Intensive long-form courses include Beginning and Intermediate Home Gardening. Designed for those interested in growing an ample amount of fruits and vegetables in a home, school, or community garden, this course provides in-depth training on concepts and best practices in sustainable annual and perennial fruit and vegetable production.

Event Venue Date Description
Beginning Home Gardener Weekend Intensive American River Ranch
  • Sat., March 30, 2019 9:00am

Our Grow Your Groceries Beginning Home Gardener intensive will cover the essential topics to help the new gardener create and maintain a thriving, abundant edible organic garden. Combining indoor presentations and interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities, this course will give you the knowledge and confidence to get out and grow food for you and your family.

Spring Plant Sale American River Ranch
  • Sat., April 6, 2019 9:00am

Join us for our collaborative plant sale with Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery & Demo Garden, a project of California Native Plant Society. Fill your spring garden with organic vegetable starts, medicinal and culinary herbs and flower starts grown in the Soil Born Farms Greenhouse and native plants from Elderberry Farms Nursery, Hedgerow Farms, WildJules Seedballs and Cornflower Farms. Featuring guest speaker, Wendy Johnson, the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate.

The Farming Life: An Intimate Ecology with Wendy Johnson American River Ranch
  • Sat., April 6, 2019 11:00am

Soil Born Farms Speaker Series: Organic Farming Legends. The Farming Life: An Intimate Ecology. Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. As one of the founders of the organic farming program at Green Gulch Farm ZenCenter, Wendy has been teaching organic agriculture and meditation for decades. 11am to 12pm in the Schoolhouse. Space is limited. Please register in advance to reserve a seat. $13 suggested donation, proceeds benefit the American River Ranch Restoration & Development Project. 12pm Join Wendy for a ceremonial fruit tree planting and blessing for our newyouth garden orchard. Everyone welcome. 10:30am and from 1 to 2pm Wendy will be signing her book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gatenear the Farmstand.

Garden to Vase: Growing Cut Flowers American River Ranch
  • Wed., April 10, 2019 5:30pm

Grow beautiful flowers without tilling the soil. We will talk about how to grow no-till flowering perennials and annuals that do well in our climate throughout the seasons. Students will learn the best flowers for cutting as well as the basics of harvesting and arranging. This is a lecture and demonstration style class.

View Details
Family Herbalist Course Beginners Program 2019 American River Ranch
  • Sat., April 13, 2019 10:00am

Join Candis and her team in learning the basics of Western Herbology while integrating it with Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine. This six-month course will include medicine-making, plant ID, how to treat acute ailments, use of tonic herbs and food for strengthening vitality, as well as how to harvest local herbs for medicine. You will learn about your own constitutional needs and ways to balance yourself for better health and well-being. This program will include herb walks around the farm and the American River. There will be lots of tasting, smelling, and hands-on experience with the herbs!

Preparing a Summer Garden American River Ranch
  • Wed., April 17, 2019 5:30pm

Plan your garden space for optimal production and enjoyment in this hands-on class. You will learn how to prepare, plant and care for an abundant, thriving summer garden. We will discuss starting seeds, crop selection, garden layout, and more. This class is perfect for brand new gardeners or for those who are new to this growing region.

View Details
Building Soil Fertility American River Ranch
  • Thu., April 18, 2019 5:30pm

Healthy soil is the foundation of a bountiful garden. In this hands-on class, we will assess which nutrients and amendments healthy soils need and find resourceful ways to create flourishing crops for your home garden or family farm.

View Details
Gardening with Native Plants American River Ranch
  • Sat., May 4, 2019 1:00pm

Get a hands on introduction to planting, growing, and planning your garden with native plants. There’s nothing easier to grow than the natives, but it takes just a bit more observation and knowledge to get them to thrive. Journey with me into Sacramento’s native plants and be a part of the growing number of people who contribute to the sustainability of the ecosystem in which we live.

View Details
Homegrown Herbalism Course American River Ranch
  • Wed., May 8, 2019 5:30pm

This course is an opportunity to explore herbal medicine from soil to teacup. Participants will learn the basics of planning, starting, and maintaining an herb garden, plant harvesting and storage, safe and sustainable collection of wild medicinal plants, making home remedies for use throughout the year, and the specific applications for several medicinal plants. This is primarily a hands-on, outdoor class, with lecture woven in.

Managing Pests American River Ranch
  • Sat., June 15, 2019 9:00am

We will review common garden pests in the Sacramento areas and how to manage them without toxic pesticides. There will be a special focus on beneficial insects. A portion of the class will be outside in the field to find and identify pests and their natural enemies on site.

View Details
Intermediate Urban Backyard Beekeeping American River Ranch
  • Sat., June 29, 2019 10:00am

This workshop is designed for backyard beekeepers interested in learning intermediate level skills. There’s no prerequisite knowledge required, but it will be more advanced than an introductory level workshop. We will have a short lecture and group learning style introduction to topics and then an apiary tour with open hive inspection with practical, hands on skills to move you to the next level of beekeeping.


Attending the Grow Your Groceries course helped jump-start my farm career. I have always dreamed of starting a flower farm and, after just 2 or 3 classes, I was selling my flowers wholesale to a local florist. ~ Amber Gardner, Amberchella Flowers