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
Growing Medicinal and Culinary Herbs American River Ranch
  • Tue., April 14, 2020 5:30pm

This class is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Herbs in the home garden can add flavor to your meals, home remedies to your medicine cabinet, and beauty, diversity and beneficial insect habitat to your landscape. This hands-on class offers instructions for growing an array of herbs, and tips for harvesting and using what you grow.

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Garden to Vase: Growing Cut Flowers American River Ranch
  • Thu., April 16, 2020 6:00pm

This class is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 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.

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Building Soil Fertility American River Ranch
  • Sat., April 18, 2020 9:30am

This class is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Healthy soil is the foundation of a bountiful garden. Learn the composition of soil and how we can improve it to grow thriving plants. 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.

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Homegrown Herbalism Course American River Ranch
  • Tue., April 21, 2020 5:30pm

This course is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 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 course, with lecture woven in.

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Home Gardener Weekend Intensive American River Ranch
  • Sat., April 25, 2020 10:00am

This class is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Designed for beginning gardeners, the Grow Your Groceries Beginning Home Gardener Weekend Intensive will cover the essential topics to help the new gardener create and maintain a thriving, abundant edible organic garden. Combining indoor presentations with 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. Course topics include garden design and seasonality, building healthy soil, garden preparation and planting, water and irrigation, garden ecology and pest control and growing herbs and perennials.

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Preparing a Summer Garden American River Ranch
  • Wed., April 29, 2020 5:30pm

This class is postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to our government’s health and safety guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 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.

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Managing Pests American River Ranch
  • Sat., May 2, 2020 9:30am

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. Participants will have the option in class to purchase a $20 color photo identification guide from the University of California featuring over 110 specific disorders and pests of vegetables and 20 beneficials, many of which will be covered in this class.

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Experience the Secret Life of Bees American River Ranch
  • Sat., May 9, 2020 9:15am

Experience the secret life of honey bees at American River Ranch. You will learn how bees are vital to our environment and how they live together and function. After talking about how bees and pollination help the farm, you will put on a beekeeping suit and see the bees up close and personal inside the hive. You will see worker bees doing their jobs, how honey is made, the famous waggle dance and maybe even spot the queen bee. Then you’ll enjoy a sample of honey made by the bees you just visited. Suggested ages 8 years and older. All participants must wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and socks that cover their ankles. Avoid wearing any heavily scented skin or hair products. 

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Permaculture Design Principles American River Ranch
  • Sat., May 16, 2020 9:00am

Permaculture uses nature’s design to grow food, fuel, fiber and medicine for our needs while also enhancing the land at the same time. You will get a crash course on how and why permaculture works, and then learn how to establish a food forest garden that is the best physical manifestation of nature. This class is lecture and hands-on.

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Introduction to Urban Backyard Beekeeping American River Ranch
  • Sat., May 23, 2020 1:00pm

Are you planning to start your first backyard beehive this spring? Or are you just curious about urban beekeeping? Do you consider yourself a beginner beekeeper and want to learn new strategies or brush up on your beekeeping skills? This workshop will cover the basics for a successful start to backyard beekeeping.

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Free Worm Composting Workshop American River Ranch
  • Wed., June 3, 2020 6:00pm

Let’s turn our food and plant waste into something useful. Composting, or the act of breaking down organic matter, is a valuable tool for sustainable living. In this free class, we’ll discuss the basics of how to start, maintain, and harvest compost for your containers, gardens, yards, or community green spaces. This class is in partnership with Republic Services. All participants will be entered into a raffle to win prizes.

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Seed Saving American River Ranch
  • Sat., June 6, 2020 9:00am

Find out how to save seeds from your favorite crops. We will discuss the importance of seed saving, how to care for the plants to assure a good seed supply and how to create the right environment to save seeds. You will learn the difference between open pollinated plants and hybrid seeds, and will get hands-on experience cleaning and storing seeds.

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Intermediate Urban Backyard Beekeeping American River Ranch
  • Sat., June 27, 2020 9:00am

This workshop is designed for backyard beekeepers interested in learning intermediate level skills. No prerequisite knowledge is 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 open hive inspection with practical, hands-on skills to move you to the next level of beekeeping. We will focus on common beekeeping practices, including integrated pest management strategies in an urban setting and skills to make sure you know all of your options to keep your bees healthy. Even if you have read a few books, taken some other classes or already started keeping bees, this interactive workshop will have a lot to offer you.

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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