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Our Urban Farming Series, offered by The Sustainable Couple, Kelli and John Lane, will meet every other Tuesday through April.
February 9 - Why Urban Farming in Marion?
In this introductory session, John and Kelli will facilitate a collaborative discussion about Marion’s urban agriculture ordinance. Participants will get recommendations for working with neighbors (because convincing folks of the benefits of urban farming can be challenging!), and a wealth of resources and connections for making your urban farm a reality. They'll share a roadmap for this series, and you’ll get membership to an exclusive Facebook group.
February 23 - Chickens, Bees, Worms, and Other Living Things
Learn about keeping backyard chickens on your budding urban farm, and about getting started with beekeeping and vermicomposting (worms, baby!). Kelli and John will share their own experiences with "yard birds," and give a demonstration on how to clip wings. John will bring his vermicomposting system, and a local guest speaker will give you the skinny on bees. Lastly, participants will get resources on where to purchase chicks, bees, and worms.
March 8 - Planning Gardens and Starting Seeds ($3 materials fee due at class)
Gardeners, unite! In this hands-on session, participants will learn about companion planting, crop rotation, garden location, succession planting, and more. The last half of this session will include hands-on support from Kelli and John and fellow participants in creating your own garden map and planting schedule. Please come to this evening's session prepared with a hand-drawn, aerial map of your backyard and/or garden area, a pencil, and a BIG eraser.
March 22 - Urban Farm Essentials: Rain Barrels and Compost Bins
After your garden is established, urban farmers need to ensure all the resources are in place to maintain it. Participants will learn about making your own rain barrel (Kelli and John have 11 of them!) and compost bin. They'll share several print and online resources, but bring a notebook!
April 5 - DIY for Your Urban Farm (small materials fee due at class for making your own kit)
Urban farming takes place inside the home, too! In this session participants will learn how to make their own liquid laundry soap for less than $0.08/load, how to make other household cleaning products, where and how to use essential oils, and some basics on canning and processing your bumper crops of fresh produce.
April 19 - You Can’t Do it All: Supplementing Your Urban Farm with Local Treasures
As they wrap up the series, Kelli and John will share their tried-and-true tips for sourcing local beef, pork, and other produce options, and will provide an introduction to foraging (well, more like gleaning). Depending on the weather and the interests of participants (which we'll know from prior sessions), this class might be held in a "field trip" location! A guest speaker or two will join us.