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Course on Beekeeping
The season-long course of 10 classes is being offered to interested students as a package for the price of $80, with drop-in opportunities for individual sessions at the rate of $10.00 each. Topics for each monthly class are briefly listed below, with more detailed descriptions of each here. The series will begin on February 15, 2014. Registration and payment for the full series can be done here.
To see a full description of all the classes, please click here.
Monthly Class Topics of the Course
February 15: Equipment Options for Keeping Bees
March 22: Specialty Tools and Assembling Your Equipment
April 12: Bee Biology/Checking Over-wintered Hives
May 17: Splitting Hives and Swarm Prevention
June 7: Supering and Honey Production
June 21: Hive Inspection and Pest Identification
July 19: Varroa Mite Monitoring
August 23: Honey Extraction
September 27 Managing Hives in the Fall
October 11: Preparing Your Hives for Winter
Shari Kane and Dave Steele, Project Grow gardeners, have developed the art and science of winter gardening with low tunnels and want to share their discoveries with you. Meet them at their plot in Lakewood and see what a low tunnel is and how it has allowed them to grow vegetables when snow is on the ground and to start earlier, long before most gardeners can begin! Then learn how they did it, down to the last nut and bolt, so that you, too, will be able to do it next winter. The class is free but registration is required.
Inge Ferguson, Jesse Raudenbush, Joet Reoma and Marcella Trautmann, experienced Project Grow gardeners, many of them master gardeners and composters, will share tips and techniques that have helped them to garden successfully. If you are a novice gardener, or even an experienced one, attend this class to learn how to garden more effectively and efficiently in 2014. Topics will range widely, to cover problems often encountered by gardeners at the start of the season, and will include, but are not limited to, the following: preparing beds for planting, choosing the right tool for the task at hand, amending the soil, decoding seeding and planting instructions, selecting appropriate staking methods and materials, using row covers effectively, watering wisely, preventing weeds, and the like. Class will be open to questions and individual problems.
The class is free but registration is required.
The first of a two part series of classes This explores water conservation in home (backyard and indoor) and community gardens. Specific goals include:
- Awareness of community/municipal garden rules regarding water use.
- Understanding the ecology of how much saturation is needed to support plant life.
- Understanding how much water you really use and how much it costs.
- Appropriate times to water and most efficient method for each time.
- Plant selection and gardening methods that save water
- Efficient times to water versus good times for plants to be watered
- The benefit and dynamics of rain gardening
- Ingenuous ideas of some small-space and water-wise gardening.
The class is free but registration is required.
Growing potatoes and sweet potatoes is easy and fun. They taste better than store-bought ones, too! Learn the history and characteristics of different potato varieties and how to raise them from seed or tuber. Then learn about sweet potatoes, a totally different plant, and how to grow them in Michigan. Instructor is Royer Held, potato and sweet potato grower, extraordinaire. The class is free but registration is required.
At the Apiary in the Discovery Garden at Leslie, we will discuss swarm biology and behavior and examine hives for signs of swarm preparation. We will discuss and possibly perform splits or other types of swarm management, as well as options for preventing, catching, and dealing with swarms. Rain date: Sunday, May 18.
Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.
In this hands-on workshop, participants will be able to see various water conservation measures that have been installed at the Discovery Garden. Then, under the direction of Joet Reoma, Master Rain Gardener, they will be able to help transplant water garden perennials that have been grown on site into their final water-conserving location. Participants will be able to take home perennials to start off their own water garden. Dress for the weather and outdoor work. Class is free, but registration is required.
Pests are an unhappy but realistic aspect of gardening. They cannot be eliminated, but they can be managed. The IPM approach to their management looks at the life cycles of pests and their impact on the environment and combines it with available pest control methods so as to manage the destruction they inflict in ways that are least costly and hazardous to people, their gardens and the environment. Inge Ferguson, Master Gardener, will walk you through this well-established method for identifying, monitoring, preventing, and controlling pests in your garden. Class is free but registration is required.
At the Apiary, we will discuss major nectar-bearing honey plants and honey flows and how to manage the hive to maximize honey production. We will discuss different supering strategies and hive arrangements, as well as possibly making “nucs” to manage queens and swarms. Rain date: Sunday, June 8. Instructor: Meghan Milbrath. Class limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.
Jesse Raudenbush, of Starr Valley Farm and third generation vermiculturist, will teach a class on the science of vermiculture, how to start and maintain a worm composting bin, and the benefits of worm castings in your garden. Students will make their own starter worm bin, create and add bedding, and finally add 1,000 Red Wiggler composting worms. All materials provided at time of class. Completed starter systems and worms go home with you and a set of notes on how to care for your worms!
The fee for this class is $30. Please visit Eventbrite to register.
At the apiary, we will go over major honey bee pests and pathogens and learn how to inspect the hive to monitor hive health and to determine the presence of pests. We will discuss diagnosis and best treatment options for sick hives. Rain date: Sunday, June 22nd. Class limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.
Have you wished to develop an interest in birds in your child? One way is to have a feeder where birds can congregate in your backyard. Another is to build a home where a family of birds might live. This workshop is designed for children and parents with a desire to build a birdhouse for their home garden. These birdhouses will be constructed out of pre-cut pieces of wood, prepared by instructor, Joet Reoma, and will need only assembly by your child (with parental help).
The fee for this class is $10.00. Please visit Eventbrite to register.
Rebecca Hutchins, expert daylily grower, hybridizer, and owner of Miss Becky’s Lily Farm in Carleton, Michigan, will again teach a class on daylilies. Topics to be covered are the biology of daylilies, best cultivation practices, methods of hybridizing new cultivars, saving and growing out seeds. Examples of blooming daylilies from her farm will also be shown. If you have ever had questions about daylilies, this class is for you! Class is free, but registration is required.
At the apiary, we will discuss varroa mites, the worst enemy of hives. We will cover the biology of this pest and ways to monitor, treat and manage it. Rain date: Sunday, July 20th. Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.
Vegetable gardeners bemoan the pesky presence of weeds that threaten to take over their garden. Much work goes into weeding them out. And yet in doing so, valuable foodstuff might be thrown away that are just as tasty and healthful, which grow without the need of coddling and care, and offer themselves free for you to harvest, if you only knew what they are! Instructor, Inge Ferguson, will redefine what a weed is and show you the abundance of naturally growing new foodstuffs that grow in your garden. Class is free, but registration is required.
Many dollars are spent by gardeners each year on seeds. And yet, with some planning and a little work, much of the cost for seeds can be avoided. This class will cover the advantages of gardening with heirloom varieties and seed-saving basics that can help you save money and ensure that you get the varieties that you grow and love. Participants will then try their hands at saving seeds from a variety of vegetables, including fresh tomatoes, grown by instructor, Marcella Trautmann. Class is free, but registration is required.
At the apiary, we will see learn what honey to extract from the hive, how much to take and the various options for extracting it. We will cover all types of extraction equipment and methods. Rain date: Sunday, August 24th. Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.
There are a multitude of heirloom vegetable varieties that survive today thanks to home gardeners of the past. You can maintain that connection by saving heirloom plant varieties for future generations, while enjoying them today. Discover why it’s important to do so and key seed saving techniques. In doing so, you might even create you own “heirloom” vegetable variety! Royer Held continues his exploration of heirlooms in this class. Class is free, but registration is required.
As fall approaches, there is the pull and push of wanting to extend your season and wishing to end it. If you are not ready to put away your garden, the panel of Inge Ferguson, Jesse Raudenbush, Joet Reoma, and Marcella Trautmann, will show that fall is a great time to grow cool weather crops that can keep you harvesting right up until a hard frost. It is also the best time to grow garlic, for harvesting next summer. Methods for extending your season, such as low tunnels, will also be covered. However, if you are ready for a good book in front of the fireplace, we will cover ways to close down your garden so that it is ready for next spring. Class is free, but registration is required.
At the apiary, we will see that the bees are getting ready for winter. We will discuss how to prepare a hive so that it is at an optimal strength and size for over-wintering. Rain date: Sunday, September 28. . Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.