Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A hands-on gardening class

This past saturday morning my sister and I took a gardening class at Country Gardens Farms and Nursery in Sharpsburg and it was really an incredible experience for us.

Country Gardens and Farms, well-known as a nursery and greenhouse seller and supplier is moving to a thriving CSA (community-supported agriculture) business which means they sell shares before the season begins and the share-holders pick up a weekly supply of organic vegetables. They basically receive whatever is in season. They also raise grass-fed beef, chicken and pork, and sell free-range eggs and milk. People can buy from their store and they also take their vegetables to several area markets. They still are in the nursery business, but are moving to the growing CSA movement. I am providing a link so you can learn more here.

The class was called Organic Farming 101 and it was a great learning experience for us. Today I will show a few photos of their gardens and I will continue tomorrow with some things I learned from the class.

My sis and I only thought we had learned a good deal while gardening this past couple of years. Most of what we have done has been trial and error. We have been a bit frustrated at times by trying to follow organic practices, but I am hoping that taking this class will help us take it up a notch, because we had so many of our questions answered. It was so nice to see that someone is having great success without using traditional chemicals. We have worked hard to do this but have at times been terribly frustrated.

Here is what we can strive for in our garden. The photo at the top is of their old vegetable garden space. Now they are growing cabbage, bok choy, greens and onions.

The bok choy is beautiful.

Their broccoli is at their peak. We were surprised because our broccoli is not doing well. The answer is that broccoli and Brussel sprouts must be planted in August. Bummer. Our broccoli won't make this year but we will try again at the end of the summer.

They have rows of tomatoes, and are planting more. Their best seller this year was Sungold.

Can carrot tops look prettier than this?

I love their sugar peas that are being harvested very soon. Our peas are chest-high. Theirs vines are taller than us. I loved how they utilitzed the space around the peas by planting lettuce. Looks like flowers.

Their squash is a little ahead of ours and it looks great.

They do have a beautiful farm and tomorrow I will reveal more.

1 comment:

  1. Great gardening tips! The photos are beautiful, I really like the close up of the broccoli. I'm not used to seeing broccoli, except in the grocery store. Thanks for sharing, Joanie