Public Workshops

Orin Martin demonstrates pruning techniques to workshop attendees

Each year the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden work with the staff of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) to develop a slate of fruit tree, gardening, and other instructional workshops for the community. These workshops range from 3-hour classes offered at the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus to free Q&A sessions at local garden centers. 

Workshops are geared to both beginning and more advanced gardeners. In-person workshops have traditionally been offered for a fee but upcoming online events are being offered for free while the Farm & Garden remain closed due to UCSC COVID-19 safety protocols. You can watch recordings of past online workshops on the CASFS YouTube channel.

Other annual events hosted by the Center and cosponsors include the Spring Plant Sales, Strawberry and Justice Festival, and Fall Harvest Festival. For details on upcoming workshops, seed exchanges, Food System Learning Journeys, and other events, see the Events Calendar page.

Spring 2021 Workshop Schedule

Summer Garden Soil Prep

April 7, 5pm-6:30pm

Rich, healthy soil is the foundation for a lush, productive food, herb, and flower garden. Get your garden plot ready to plant those seeds and seedlings with the help of instructor Orin Martin, manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden at UCSC. This soil class will cover the basics of composting, cultivation, and fertility for any home gardener.
Watch the recording>>

Winter Squash Grow Along, pt. I

April 16, 5pm-6:30pm

Winter squash is a nutrient-dense, ancient crop that comes in hundreds of shapes, sizes and flavors. Grown in summer, it's called winter squash because it stores well for months. Orin Martin and guest "stars" in this series of online sessions that will follow the lifecycle of one or more winter squash you will grow at home.
Watch the recording>>

Introduction to Irrigation

April 20, 5pm-6:30pm

Instructor Avry Miller will discuss the role of water in agricultural and home scale irrigation: how to evaluate soil moisture and structure, understand the impact of environmental conditions on irrigation and determine the irrigation needs of specific vegetable and tree crops.
Watch the recording>>

Winter Squash Grow Along, pt. II

May 12, 5pm-6pm

This session will focus on site selection, soil prep and planting. Attend one session or attend them all! 
Watch the recording>>

Growing Citrus for the Home Gardener and Small-Scale Grower

June 16, 5pm-6:30pm

In this free lecture participants will learn about the best varieties of citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, and more) for the Monterey Bay region; how to select and prepare a planting site; how to plant; and how to irrigate, fertilize, prune, and control pests and diseases in a range of citrus trees.

Summer 2021 Workshop Schedule

Winter Squash Grow Along, pt. III

July 7, 5pm-6pm

In part 3 of our winter squash grow-along, we will check in about our plantings. It has been a cool spring on the Monterey bay coast and everything's off to a slow start. This class will begin with a 30 minute talk on watering in a drought year, squash pests to monitor for on young plants, and a review of pollination including tips on how to pollinate by hand if you're growing to save seed, are lacking pollinators or are getting fruit drop. We'll reserve the last 30 minutes to open questions, anything you want to ask about your garden! This grow along is intended to be a virtual conversation. Send your questions and photos in advance to

Botanical Baking

July 24, 1pm-2:30pm

Bake your garden into your sweets and bring your blooms into your celebration rooms! This free, virtual workshop will detail how to create your own special treats incorporating ingredients from your garden. We will learn how to infuse buttercreams, bake with herbs, and decorate cakes with fruits and flowers. Attendees will receive recipes for botanically baked goods, a list of edible flowers, and a seasonal decoration guide.

Sketching in the Garden

August 4, 5pm-6:20pm

In this class, participants will work on cultivating observational skills and artistic talent with inspiration from the Alan Chadwick Garden. Starting with a short presentation about a variety of approaches to field sketching and journaling, we'll take a look at several different examples of how to create a successful sketchbook page composition with an overview of materials, techniques, and a quick demo. All levels of experience welcome.

See Also