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General News · 12th December 2012
As winter approaches and we each do what it takes to make eight hours of daylight joyous, I hope this letter finds you well. It is intended to pique your interest and leave you with something to look forward to when the sun returns, or in the very least it’s fire starter.

Months ago I wrote a brief letter that discussed two points. One, a break from the norm as far as the garden program operates in 2013; a sabbatical year, time to recalibrate the Kompostmeister cloning unit. The other point, the one that finds this in your mailbox is an opportunity to learn new or hone existing skills in the agricultural arts.

This spring Linnaea Farm is offering an 8 part series that is intended to help you get closer to what food security truly means. The classes are arranged with seasonal lessons to guide you through the tasks at hand in the garden, and a little theory behind the practice. The sessions will take place on Saturday afternoons from 2 until 4pm. The afternoon will start inside the Linnaea Farm Education Center with a talk on the day’s topic. The classroom setting will give me a chance to share my knowledge on the subject with pictures and discussion. Each afternoon will finish with a walk through the greenhouse and production garden to see concepts in action.

Bring questions from home and ideas from everywhere and we will try to leverage my experience as an instructor and market gardener, against your desire to grow your own top-quality, decomodified food. Sign up now for this limited seasonal offer! Take advantage of the situation; get ready to get the dirty on dirt, and discover the twin delights of a smaller footprint and greater food sovereignty.

The first class starts with a look at some of the garden greats who have come before and what can be applied at home with help from phenology and a sense of place. Seed sowing and plant propagation follow with a talk on the conditions plants want, and how to get a jump on the season. All the vegetables that I ‘ve grown to love; is a look at the annuals we love to eat, where to plant them, and the season for doing it. Compost making and soil care mark the 4th and 5th Saturdays, and are at the heart of good organic garden management. Pests and weeds, both good and bad are signs that need to be heeded in the garden. While certain annual pioneer plants might be considered weeds in the annual veggie bed, they can also be seen as ‘soil condition indicators’, or even as valuable medicine to be collected. It’s all about broadening perspectives and observation skills in the hopes of achieving balance. Year round cropping is the best part of a coastal garden, fresh food year round. Yet taking full advantage of our comparatively mild winters required good, balanced planning, and we’ll look at this in class seven. The last class in the series finds the space like a well-planned garden to integrate, intercropping, companion planting, mulching, green manures and anything else that co-operates.

For over 25 years Linnaea Farm has offered an apprenticeship program that has tried to foster the spirit of ecological stewardship in each student over a growing season with classes and hands on education. The hope of this series is to condense and compile the best of what the garden program offered students from abroad, but in a form digestible to islanders. (Even if you live on another island or you feel as if your garden is one.) The information from one class to the next is intended to build throughout the series and season. This continuity offers the best chance of absorbing the information so it can be applied at home. It is strongly recommend to sign up for the complete course, but life and circumstances may not allow this for everyone.

WHEN: Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm
WHERE: The Linnaea Farm community center.
COST: $160.00 for the series or $30/session
Please check all the classes you wish to attend, attach payment (cheques can be dated March 1st, 2013 and payable to Linnaea Farm Society) and send:
Attn: Adam Schick
Box 98
Manson’s Landing, BC
V0P 1K0



 March 9th - Garden Greats, Sense of Place, Phenology

 March 23rd – Seed sowing, planning for success, season extension

 April 6th – All the vegetables I’ve grown and loved, rotations and demands

 April 20th – Cultivation, soil care

 May 4th – Compost Making

 May 18th – Pests and Weeds

 June 1st – Year round cropping

 June 15th – Companion planting, intercropping, mulching and green manures.

Thank you for your time reading this. Hopefully it has piqued your interest and if so, please fill out the above information and return, or contact us at (250) 935-6747 to register or ask any questions.

Adam Schick