Purdue Extension-Marion County has launched its first series of urban agriculture workshops designed to help urban gardeners and farmers add to their skill set while networking with other growers.
The 2019 Marion County Urban Ag Workshop Series runs through September and sessions will take place at several locations around Marion County. The comprehensive series covers everything from seed starting to extending the growing season.
"All of the workshops are appropriate for growers of any skill level or scale," said Amy Matthews, Purdue Extension-Marion County's urban agriculture program coordinator. "We want to highlight and share all the community knowledge that is out there, and we plan to add additional workshops throughout the season as we hear from producers about topics that are of interest to them."
The two-hour workshops run from 6-8 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Those arriving 30 minutes early will be able to take self-guided tours of each location. Upcoming sessions are:
* May 2: Lasagna gardening at Temple Garden, 4033 N. Temple Ave.
* May 16: Urban livestock at Paramount School of Excellence, 3020 Nowland Ave.
* June 6: Summer production in high tunnels at Mad Farmers Collective, 2048 S. Meridian St.
* June 20: Veggie wash-pack at Mad Farmers Collective.
* July 11: Introduction to cut flowers at Indy Urban Acres, 7700 E. 21st St.
* July 25: Native plants for pollinators and pest control at CUE Farm at Butler University, Bulldog Road near the athletic fields.
* Aug. 1: Organic pest control at Mad Farmers Collective.
* Aug. 22: Soil health in intensive production at Eagle Creek Community Garden, W. 56th St. and Reed Rd.
* Sept. 5: Vermicomposting at Lawrence Community Garden, 9240 E. 46th St.
* Sept. 28 (2-4:30 p.m.): Season extension at Mad Farmers Collective.
Workshops are $10 each or $8 each if registering for three or more. For full workshop descriptions and to register, go to http://www.cvent.com/d/h6qcmy.
Matthews said the workshop series is part of an overall effort to support urban agriculture.
Networking and educational opportunities are offered during the summer through the Urban Grower Workshop Series and other grower gatherings. In winter, the Urban Agriculture Certificate Program is offered for those wanting to start, strengthen or get involved in urban agriculture.
The urban agriculture initiative also offers support for projects such as school gardens, community gardens, market farms, and educational gardens and farms. Through community partnerships, such as with the Indy Food Council, work is done to highlight urban agriculture and create an environment for it to thrive in the Indianapolis area. For example, later this summer a comprehensive urban agriculture map will be released.
A preview of the map, as well as other urban agriculture information and resources, is available on the IndyGrown website.