Gardening Classes

Gardening Classes

Come visit our Big River Organic Nursery and Farm

Since 1984 the Big River Nurseries has been one of the mainstays of the Stanford Inn experience.  Organic from the beginning, Big River Nurseries now supplies a substantial amount of produce to our award-winning Ravens’ restaurant. Feel free to walk the grounds and talk with the gardeners! Private classes are  $60/person or $90/couple. Groups of 3 or more are $50/person.

Our gardening instructors offer a wide array of classes ranging from ‘basic gardening’ to ‘Calories and Carbon’ -Learning how to grow all of your calories for the year in the smallest amount of space possible while still maximizing the amount of carbon that goes back into the soil.

  • Matt Drewno

  • Director – Greenbelt Project

Matt Drewno is the Garden Manager for Ecology Action’s Growbiointensive gardens hosted at the Stanford Inn. Ecology Action is pushing the edge of sustainability – exploring ways in which humans can grow complete diets on the smallest amount of space possible by researching appropriate technologies, crop varieties, methods and strategies for growing.

Matt offers beginning and advanced gardening classes.

Available Gardening Classes …

Basic Organic Gardening (1 – 2 hrs): Join Big River Nurseries Director Clay Houghland or Ecology Action’s Matt Drewno for an introduction to gardening. Learn exactly what you need to know to begin a garden at home (indoor and/or outdoor). Planning your garden, choosing the right soil and compost, finding a variety of plants that grow well in your local climate, basic garden care and upkeep, harvesting, and more! Includes a tour of the Big River Nurseries and Ecology Actions’ Biointensive demonstration garden, both located on the grounds of the Stanford Inn.

Beginning Gardening for Children (2 hrs) – Children ages 4 – 12: A fun, interactive gardening class for a parent and child. Introducing children to gardening begins a life-long relationship to nature and a connection to where our food ultimately comes from. Big River Nurseries Director Jaime Jensen makes gardening extremely accessible and easy for children to understand.

Planning Your Garden for Your Menu and Your Menu for your Garden! (1 – 2 hrs): Learn how to get the most out of your home garden by choosing crops that you like to eat, with a closer look at leafy greens, root crops, fruits, and grains. Learn about crop rotation, ornamental edible gardens, real-life how to’s of harvesting, recipes, and food preservation.

Knowing Your Soil (2 hrs): Join Big River Nursery Director Clay Houghland or Ecology Action’s Matt Drewno to learn the basics of soil structure, soil prep, compost, soil nutrients and plants, nitrogen fixers, and worms, all within the context of maximum sustainability and environmental consciousness.

Beginning Biointensive Mini-Farming (1 – 3 hrs): Biointensive gardening focuses on maximizing the amount of calories that can be grown on a minimal amount of land. Through methods spearheaded by John Jeavons and others, Biointensive gardening is emerging as a crucial and effective solution to our food crisis In this beginning class, matt will discuss the core Core concepts of biointensive and understanding the state of the world through agriculture.

Advanced Biointensive Mini-Farming (2-3 hrs): Productive and sustainable gardening methods for your own backyard, incorporates the concepts from the beginning class, and expands into intro an in-depth coverage of 8 key biointensive principles. Learn how to design a mini-farm and move beyond sustainability and into soil building and restoration.

Calories and Carbon (2-3 hrs): Learn how to grow all of your calories for the year in the smallest amount of space possible while still maximizing the amount of carbon that goes back into the soil – carbon production being an often overlooked but essential consideration when planning an efficient and sustainable garden. Learn the “60-30-10” method which yields sustainable calories while ensuring significant amounts of carbon production for the soil. The “60-30-10” method dedicates 60% of crops to high calories and maximum carbon, 30% to high calorie plants yielding less carbon (but needing less space), and 10% to regular garden crops (tomatoes, lettuces and other leafy greens).