Previous GANG workshops

Back Camera 2009 GANG Workshops

A Green Acres Community Garden (GANG) Initiative sponsored by the Green Acres Neighborhood Association (GANA)

Co-sponsors: the Bloomington Permaculture Guild, Transition Bloomington, APPLE (Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Economy), Renaissance Permaculture Farm, and Permaculture Activist magazine.


How to grow and maintain a diverse, wildly abundant garden from seed through harvest that will nourish your body, your mind, your soul and your relationships with all beings.

Instructor and Project Director: Keith Johnson botanist, gardener, and permaculturist [email protected]

Registrar and Project Manager: Ann Kreilkamp property owner and steward [email protected]

All eight workshops: $100

Workshops per day $15

Neighborhood discount: $10 and volunteer discounts available.

Workshop limited to the first 20 who sign up

Saturday, March 28, 10AM-4PM

Getting Grounded in the Earth: Planting and Transplanting Useful Trees and Shrubs

The conditions of a planting site are as important as the plant. Soil type and drainage, available water and sunlight, exposure to drying winds, winter stresses, predation, and other factors must be considered. Matching the needs of the plant to the site increases the survivability, performance, and longevity. At this event we will be learning how to transplant shrubs to new locations and how to plant new fruiting shrubs and trees. A short lecture / slideshow (with handouts) opens the day and then we will move directly into the landscape for hands-on planting and transplanting

demonstrations. 12:30PM BYO bag lunch (refreshments provided).

Saturday/Sunday, April 25-26, 10AM-5PM

A Carpet Sandwich, Please — Hold the Water: Small Pond Construction for Rainwater Catchment and Irrigation

The hole has already been dug, so the remaining tasks are a breeze. Learn all about shaping the sides and bottom, lining with a carpet / plastic / carpet sandwich, installing stone edging, creating a silt trap / wetland bog,installing edible and flowering water and bog plants and finishing touches.

Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the first day and hands-on tasks for remainder with breaks at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

Saturday. May 23, 10AM-5PM

Mulch Ado About Something Delicious: The Lasagna Style Instant No-Dig Garden

People complain about having black thumbs in the garden. In fact, that’s the right color. When we focus on feeding and growing soil the earth gets blacker. Healthier soil means healthier plants (and healthier people, too). You can have a green AND black thumb without an aching back and learn to make, in a few short hours, an instant organic food garden that needs almost no weeding. Learn how a small amount of additional garden work will develop, expand, mulch and plant existing beds that can be made using soil previously

excavated from the pond and drainage earthworks. Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the day and hands-on tasks for the remainder with break at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

Sat./Sun., June 27-28 9:30AM – 5PM

IMG_0058The Fascinating, Fully-Featured, Fabulous, Functional, Ferrocement Fence

Learn through lecture, slideshow and demonstration how to build a beautiful, strong, long-lasting fence that will exclude deer, provide a trellis for grapes and espaliered fruit, include built-in seating, and create microclimates for sensitive plants. This technique, utilizing a skeleton of rebar and steel with a skin of mortar, has been used to build 300 ft long boats, water tanks and houses. We can teach you how, over the course of two days, to build a beautiful and functional garden element by attaching 6 inch rebar mesh to

preinstalled rebar uprights and then applying mortar coats to both sides and finishing with a final earth tone-tinted coat of waterproofing cement. Your fence can be customized for your garden space and designed in an attractive wave pattern for extra strength featuring alcoves for lighting and the potential for three-dimensional sculptural elements.

Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of day one and hands-on tasks for the remainder with breaks at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

Saturday, July 25, 9 AM to 5:30 PM

Planning, Prepping and Planting for the Fall Garden

The “end” of the growing season is the best time for many of the garden’s best yields, especially with early planning. Warm soil and cool breezes encourage rapid growth of many food crops and there’s less concern about bugs and weeds. Fall is also a great time to add trees and shrubs when the warm soil nurtures the new plants. This class will consider the species options, essential seeding and transplant tasks, and general garden prep for an extended and abundant fall harvest. Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the first day and hands-on tasks for remainder with break at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

August 22, 9 AM – 5:30 PM

Drought- and Stress-proofing Your Home and Garden

The most important principle of drought-proof gardening is to understand your climate and microclimates, take good care of the soil, and select appropriate plants. In this one

day class you will learn how to have happy, thriving plants in hot, dry periods as well as in the deep freeze of winter. We’ll consider how to disease and pest proof your garden,

too. On top of all this we’ll look at the strategies for stress proofing your home through all the seasons. Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the first day and hands-on tasks for remainder with break at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

September 26, 9 AM – 5:30 PM

Preserving the Harvest: Canning, Drying, and Fermentation for Food Security

Instant and fast “foods” have colonized the psyche of our culture and displaced the ancient arts of food preservation. We have thus become more dependent and less able to

care for ourselves and families. The rising costs of production oblige us all to relearn and reclaim the skills that were commonplace to our elders. This one-day class will examine and apply the basic means of creating a food reserve for improved winter nutrition, lower food costs, and a healthier diet. Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the first day and hands-on tasks for remainder with break at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided).

October 24, 9 AM – 5:30 PM

Extending the Growing Season 9-5:30PM

The twin challenges of climate change and energy decline will require us to make the most of opportunities to lengthen both ends of the growing season. We’ll take a close look at the multitude of options including cold and hot frames, cloches, greenhouses, wind barriers, heat islands, and other features. A wider array of plant choices can also go a long way to extend our food production. Year-round production is not out of the question for Indiana. We will explore several successful models thriving in much colder climates. Lecture and slideshow plus handouts at the start of the first day and hands-on tasks for remainder with break at 12:30 for BYO bag lunch (snacks and refreshments provided)

I took two workshops, and particularly remember the pruning workshop. I came away from it with knowledge and confidence to actually prune fruit trees, and to do it safely. The posting of excellent notes on the website was the final help! I pruned several trees after that workshop, and they are all thriving. — Shodo Spring

2010 GANG Workshops

A Project of the Green Acres Neighborhood Association

And an educational project of the Association of Regenerative Culture

At the Green Acres Neighborhood Garden

2601 E. DeKist St.

[April 17: Compost design system Construction: Melissa Clark’s SPEA class: others

are welcome to observe and/or participate.]

Less is More: Pruning For Fruit

Sunday, April 18, 2-4 p.m.

This workshop, led by Nathan Harman, will be a strolling explanation and demonstration of techniques for keeping backyard fruit trees healthy and productive. We will work on

assorted ages, sizes, and types of fruit trees within a one block walk of the GANG site, including apples, peaches and pears as well as bush and cane fruit. Pruning is by far the

most important factor in the health and production of a fruit tree, after soil and climate, and is an essential task every year. We will not prune in the rain, so the rain date is Sunday the 25th.


Get Growing, GANG: Start The Garden

Saturday, May 15, 1-5 p.m.

Led by Rhonda Baird and Nathan Harman, this workshop will provide an overview of spring garden tasks. The first half of the workshop will be indoors and the second half, hands on in the garden. Let’s see how those raised, heavily mulched, lasagna beds we built last year are coming along and build a few more, too. We will cover starting seeds in flats and direct seeding, transplanting starts, using the cold frame, checking for weeds, damage and problems, as well as soil analysis and amendment. Snacks and beverages provided.

How’s It Going? Problem Solving and Re-design

Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This workshop, led by Rhonda Baird, will ask the all-important questions “Is this working? and How can it work better?” We will use permaculture thinking to re-evaluate

the design and function of various elements of the GANG site. We may make small physical changes and work in the garden, but this design workshop is intended as a thought pattern exercise that can be applied to any landscape. This is an all-day workshop so BYO lunch. Snacks and beverages provided.

Summer Begets Fall: Planting the Fall Garden

Sunday, August 1, 1-5 p.m.

Just as summer crops are planted in spring, fall crops are planted in summer. This workshop will focus both on caring for the garden in the high heat of summer and on planting the foods that will be harvested through the coming cool. This is the hay-day of the garden and we will hopefully have yields galore. But, the weeds and insects and drying sun are also trying to make their way, so mulch, shade cloth, row cover and other techniques will be employed as we keep the summer crops vibrant and give our fall crops a running start. Snacks and beverages provided.

So… Much… Food! Storing the Harvest

Sunday, August 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In the midst of summer, it’s easy to think the zucchini and tomato flow will never quit. But cease they shall, and that’s when we turn to the cupboard full of the years stored sunlight in the form of canned, dried, frozen and fermented garden foods. This workshop will teach a variety of preservation methods useful to the home gardener. We will spend an hour with slides and handouts and then harvest, process and sample. Learn how to reduce food costs while increasing nutrition and flavor through the winter. BYO lunch.

Putting the Garden to Bed and Celebration

Sunday, November 7, 2-5 p.m., then celebrate

Though there are still winter-hardy plants in the ground, this is the time to clean up and compost any garden wastes, mulch well, tidy up, and put season-extending hoop-houses and cold frames over more tender greens. Learn what plants require what degree of care in this risky weather and just how far into winter they can go. We will also spend time

putting our tools to bed, cleaning, sharpening, oiling and storing to be sure they last as long and work as well as possible. It’s difficult to get excited about spending less time in the garden and that’s why we’ll enjoy our second annual harvest potluck dinner and celebration afterwards!