2016 Class Schedule

Most courses are part of the Farm & Garden Apprenticeship but are also open to the public for $20 per session. They occur on Tuesday evenings from 6-7:30pm, and will either be at EarthDance, in a public classroom or at a field trip host farm. Please register in advance. Current apprentices may bring along one guest free of charge to one session during the year. Schedule subject to change; contact apprenticeship@earthdancefarms.org for updates and class locations.

 

May 3rd

Field Trip to Maplewood Richmond Heights School Gardens

Join EarthDance apprentices for a visit to This unique program provides a child-centered environment that helps students learn from the natural world around them. With its focus on nature, the life cycle of plants, and the study of nutrition, MRH is preparing students to make decisions to promote their own health, the health of the community, and the health of the planet.

May 10th

Save the Veggies! Pest & Disease Management

Farm Manager Matt Lebon introduces you to the methods and thinking organic farmers use to tackle problems of pest and disease.

May 17th

Preserving the Harvest

Join us for a class on the many ways that fruits and veggies can be transformed into tasty treats with a much longer shelf life. This overview of dehydration, pickling, fermentation, and freezing will teach you the basics of at home food preservation. Attendees will receive recipes and handouts for continued learning.

May 24th

Starting from Scratch: Methods of Propagation

This on-farm class will demonstrate the many ways that plants can be grown. Learn about seeding, making cuttings, transplanting, dividing, and other common methods.

May 31st

Resources for your Farm

Learn about the various services that the federal and state government provide for farmers.  Representatives from the Farm Services Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Missouri Soil & Water Conservation, and Lincoln University Agricultural Extension will speak about free technical assistance, loans, grants, and cost-share funding that farmers can tap into for help as they run businesses that are profitable and benefit the natural world.

June 7th

Permaculture 101

In this introduction to permaculture, you will learn about the function and implementation of permaculture design principles at the homestead and garden scales, as well as several examples of commercial farm-scale permaculture.

June 14th

Applied Permaculture Design at Matt Lebon’s Homestead

 

Visit EarthDance Farm Manager Matt Lebon’s urban homestead. Tour his recently installed rain garden and edible landscaping, and learn how he designed his yard to yield perennial abundance.

June 18th

Planting For Pollinators (Public Workshop)

Saturday, June 18th, 10:30am-12pm

Join Deanna English (2015 Apprenticeship Alum and Nature Educator at the Litzinger Road Ecology Center) for a FREE interactive class on native plants and their pollinator partners. During this workshop, Deanna explains, “we will talk about the important role that gardeners and farmers play in supporting the unique biodiverse region we and our other non-human kin call home.  Once we have a little background, we will head out on the farm to explore EarthDance’s native plantings and see what we can discover.”

June 21st

Herbs as Medicine

Come learn about basic  herbal medicine making. Tour EarthDance’s herb garden and learn from farmer and herbalist, Crystal Stevens, as she introduces the procedure for concocting tinctures, teas and salves.

July 5th

Livestock Farmers Panel

Blaine Bilyeu of Papa’s Pastures, who specialize in raising Berkshire pigs, Steve & Tracey Riddle of the Shepard’s Wife and Tipsy Sheep Farm and Bryan of Three Springs Farm, who raise grass-fed beef, will all be speaking about their businesses at this class on livestock farming. Register here.

July 12th

Seed Saving

Learn from experienced seed saver Melissa Breed-Parks about techniques for saving your heirloom seeds. Gain hands-on experience with a few easy-to-save seeds, including tomatoes and lettuce. Register here.

July 26th

Organic Fruit Production and Orcharding

Join Guy Ames of Ames Nursury and Orchard for a talk about the challenges and solutions for raising a wide variety of fruit on a small or commercial scale in the Midwest’s hot and humid climate. Register here.

Aug. 2nd

Field Trip to Food Roof Farm

Food Roof Farm is a project of Urban Harvest STL, founded in 2011 by EarthDance alumna Mary Ostafi! Urban Harvest is a nonprofit aiming to provide food for urban dwellers in need, restore biodiversity to downtown St. Louis, and engage the community in the benefits of urban food production. Register here.

Aug. 9th

Farming as a Business

More info coming soon! Register here.

Aug. 16th

Finding Your Farming Niche

Learn from farmers who have chosen to specialize. During this panel discussion, EarthDance apprentices and the public will hear from Vicki Lander, flower farmer of Flower Hill Farm; Carrie Bernstien of Baetje Farms (goat creamery); and Nate Wolff, farmer to Vin de Set Restaurant. Register here.

Aug. 23rd

Field Trip to Three Rivers Farm

Three Rivers Farm in Elsah, Illinois produces mixed vegetables for 300 CSA members on 12 acres of ground.  Farmers Amy Cloud and Segue Lara will speak to the mechanization and efficiency methods that enable them to grow so much food with minimal labor. Register here.

Aug. 30th

Compost = Miracle

Farm Manager and Compost Enthusiast Matt Lebon will share the science of composting, and how you can get started building your best compost pile yet! Participants will also learn how a functioning compost pile is like a dance party in an elevator. Register here.

Sept. 6th

Practical Soil Stewardship & Cover Cropping

Join us at the farm for a hands-on class on soil stewardship techniques. Learn about cover cropping, soil samples, crop rotation, and other methods of soil management used at EarthDance. Register here.

Sept. 13th

Field Trip to Thies Farm

More info coming soon! Register here.