We connect you with gardening classes happening in the community!

Food Literacy for All: Kalamazoo Meetup

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community College, MSU Extension and Bronson Healthcare

Tuesdays January 28, February 11 and February 25

Food Literacy for all is a University of Michigan course featuring different guest speakers each week on topics surrounding food, health and equity. The course will be livestreamed and followed by a facilitated discussion on January 28, February 11 and February 25 from 6:30-8pm at the KVCC Marilyn J. Schlack Culinary and Allied Health Building at 418 E. Walnut St. in Kalamazoo. Prior to the event, food and beverage are available for purchase from the 418 Restaurant from 4:30-6:30pm. This event is a partnership between University of Michigan Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, Detroit Food Policy Council, and Food Lab Detroit.

This is a free series open to all, but please register here to let us know which sessions you plan to attend.

Ag Action Day

Offered through MSU Extension

Friday, 1/31/2020 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Ag Action is an annual event held at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College featuring educational sessions on agriculture, food safety and home gardening. It also features a trade show highlighting products and services provided by local businesses

Fee: $35 before 1/4 and $40 after 1/4 or at the door

Register  here.

Michigan Family Farms Conference

Offered through Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Saturday, 2/8/2020 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

The theme of the 17th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference is “Nurturing Resilient Farms – 2020 & Beyond.” The conference offers beginning, small-scale, and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. It is an energizing, hands-on event featuring multiple tracks of breakout sessions plus a youth track to engage the whole family. 

Fee: $35 before 1/4 and $45 after 12/31 or at the door

Register  here.

Intro to Backyard Poultry

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 2/22/2020 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

In this introductory class to keeping backyard poultry, the participants will learn the basics of raising chickens on a small scale, including breed selection, raising chicks, housing, handling, sanitation, and flock wellness.

Fee: $10

Register  here.

At Home Herbalism

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 pm

2/6/2020 – 3/26/2020

Herbs are a traditional source of nutrition and healing. Participants in this class will explore the impact of ancestral plants, sources of materia medica, ethical and sustainable foraging techniques, as well as recipes for building a home apothecary. Participants will engage in on-campus plant walks to discuss bioregional, cultivated, and seasonal plants. Includes hands-on workshops.

Fee: $180

Register  here.

Master Rain Gardener

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm

2/26/2020 – 3/25/2020

When heavy rains fall, gardeners in urban and suburban areas can help manage stormwater! A Rain Garden is a garden bed planted in a shallow depression with specially adapted plants, which lets rainwater soak into the ground where it falls. This is an in-depth class that will teach you everything needed to create a living rain garden at your home or place of work and become a certified Master Rain Gardener. Co-hosted by the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council and Kalamazoo Nature Center in partnership with Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Fee: $125

Register  here.

Beekeeping 101

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm

2/25/2020 – 3/31/2020

Join instructor Charlotte Hubbard in the first course of this three-part Beekeeping series, and learn about introductory bee biology, needed equipment, apiary preparation, options for obtaining bees, and how to get them into their new home.

Fee: $140

Register  here.

Seed Stewardship 101

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 3/14/20 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This first course in the seed stewardship series will introduce you to the art and science of seed saving. You will learn how the simple act of saving seeds can build resilience within our local food system and take home the knowledge you need to begin saving seeds in your home or community garden.

Fee: $30

Register  here.

Build a Native Bee Hotel

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 3/21/20 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Tunnel nesting bees are important pollinators for fruits and vegetables. Unlike honeybees, tunnel nesting bees do not live in colonies or move in swarms, so they are also often called solitary bees. Participants in this class will learn how to build and manage a bee hotel to support their local tunnel nesting bees. Each participant will be able to take home a bee hotel at the end of the class.

Fee: $30

Register  here.

Season Extension with Low Tunnels for Farm and Garden

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 3/28/20 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Stretch your harvest further into the winter and start harvesting earlier in the spring by using low tunnels. Using our hoop bender, you’ll make a set of 6′ by 3′ low tunnels for your farm or garden, and learn what and when to plant for a successful winter and early spring harvests. Low tunnels can be used directly in the ground, inserted into raised beds, or used inside a hoophouse to provide additional protection.

Fee: $40

Register  here.

Composting 101

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 pm

4/2/2020 – 4/16/2020

Do you want to lower your carbon footprint and make your own organic fertilizer in one simple process? Learn to compost! Composting is the process for recycling wastes like kitchen scraps and grass clippings into an organic soil amendment that will help your garden retain moisture and support beneficial microorganisms. It’s a great alternative to putting food and yard wastes in landfills, where they generate methane. In this 3-week course, participants will learn about the biology of composting, how it works, why it is important, how the final product can be used, and how to do it at home.

Fee: $80

Register  here.

Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community College

4/3/2020 – 4/4/2020

The fourth annual Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium will focus on the future of foodways, and will provide a platform for discussions about the intersection of food and culture, and health and environment as well. It will provide a space to talk about how the things we have learned through history, traditions, and culture can inform us to move forward and build a just, healthy, and sustainable future for all. 

Friday, April 3: Art Hop Keynote at Kalamazoo Valley Museum
5:30 and 6:30pm
Abra Behrens, chef, farmer, and author of Ruffage
Light refreshments served.

Saturday, April 4: Workshops at Marilyn J. Schlack Culinary and Allied Health Building
9am-3pm
Join us for a day full of interactive cooking classes, cooking demos, presentations, food sampling, exhibits, children’s activities and more. All sessions are free and open to the public; some sessions require advance registration. Full agenda to come.

Grow Biointensive 101- More Vegetables, Less Work!

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm

4/1/2020 – 4/22/2020

Do you want to produce more fruits and vegetables in your garden with less effort, less water, and higher yield? Using principles from Permaculture, Organic Farming, and the Grow Biointensive model, this class will teach concepts and techniques for improving fertility and growth, minimizing weeds & pests, and maximizing production for your backyard garden. Participants will take home a biointensive cedar box for planting and a versatile gardening tool: the cobrahead.

Fee: $140

Register  here.

Intro to Plant Propogation

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 4/11/2020 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join ValleyHUB farm coordinator Tip Maddux in this interactive hands-on session on how to propagate herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Methods for growing different types of plants from seeds, leaf cuttings, and root divisions will be covered. Students will be able to take home several plants to grow in their homes and gardens. Strategies and ideas for successful growing in containers or in limited space will also be discussed.

Fee: $50

Register  here.

Tour of the Food Innovation Center

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 4/11/2020 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Or

Saturday, 5/16/2020 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

ValleyHUB is a farm, food hub, and education center based at the Food Innovation Center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The Urban Farm at ValleyHUB showcases a range of sustainable agricultural practices. The five-acre site includes an indoor grow room, a heated greenhouse, outdoor raised beds, and a passive solar hoophouse. The Food Hub is a licensed food processing facility equipped to produce fresh-cut fruits and vegetables at a range of production scales. Join us on this *FREE* tour to explore our beautiful site, and learn about our programs and practices.

Fee: FREE

Register  here.

Beekeeping 102

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm

4/28/2020 – 6/2/2020

This course is the second in the three-part Beekeeping series. Weather permitting, hands-on learning in the Food Innovation Center’s apiary is planned for each week, where students will evaluate hive strength, health, and how to support growing colonies. Classroom review will cover swarming, splits, integrated pest management, and a further focus on biology through the season and keeping bees in Southwest Michigan.

Fee: $140

Register  here.

Mushroom Cultivation Crash Course

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 5/9/2020 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Mushrooms are a great addition to any outdoor garden, and they could also very successfully grow in a basement or a spare room indoors. This 3-hour course on cultivating mushrooms at home will cover topics like deciding what kind of mushrooms to grow, where to obtain the cultures and materials needed for production, and how to create good environments for mushroom growth. Participants will get to take home inoculated substrates with oyster, shiitake and winecap spawns. Guidelines on how to monitor and support the mushroom growth will be provided. More in-depth mushroom cultivation class will be offered in the fall of 2020.

Fee: $40

Register  here.

Seed Stewardship 102

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 5/16/20 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

In this second seed stewardship course, you will learn how to design your garden for abundant food and seed production. We will examine a variety of garden designs, plant a model seed garden at the KVCC Food Innovation Center, and workshop participant garden plans. Participants in this course will be invited to participate in a season-long community seed stewardship project, which includes two additional one-hour workshops during the summer in which we will cover scouting, isolation and hand-pollination techniques, seed-selection, and wet and dry seed processing.

Fee: $40

Register  here.

Hands-on Polyculture Backyards

Offered through Kalamazoo Valley Community Programs

Saturday, 5/23/2020 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Do you want to turn your backyard into a sanctuary for pollinators and native plants, while also growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers from early spring to late fall? Learn the basic principles of polyculture gardening. In this class you will learn how to plan your new garden, how to select seeds, and plants, and how to maintain it for many years to come. The polyculture garden at the Food Innovation Center will be used as an education model, and class participants will engage in hands-on learning through planting a variety of crops in it. Participants will also be invited to participate in a season long polyculture backyard project, which includes two additional *free* workshops during the summer, where they can bring questions from their own gardens, and engage in summer garden activities.

Fee: $20

Register  here.