Organic Garden Seminar Series

This season, we are excited to introduce our OG Seminar Series.  During the growing season, we will be running small workshops that will cover a range of different gardening topics.  The seminar series is meant for both the first time gardener as well as the Master Gardener.  While our intention is to teach you, we also hope to learn about your gardening experiences and what’s worked for you. 

Space will be limited for these workshops; a maximum of 10 spots will be available for each session.  Those on the Sustainability mailing list will have first dibs at a spot (you’ll get a notice a couple days before it goes out on the DailyDigest).  So if you haven’t yet, make sure you subscribe to the Sustainability mailing list (on the mySMC page, on the right there is a link called Mailing Lists – click on that and scroll all the way down).

Specific dates will be announced as each session gets closer; the times will be 12:15-1:00.

Garden Structures & Companion Planting (3rd week)
Our first seminar will go over gardening basics with a focus on garden structures and their uses (different types of trellises, hoop-houses, row covers, insect nets and plastic mulches).  Also, we’ll talk about the technique of companion planting and show you our favorite companions and discuss what their function is (and how well they’ve worked for us over the years)
Pruning (suckering) Your Tomatoes (4th week)
Ever heard of suckers?  We’ll show you how to identify suckers in order to prune your tomato plants to ensure a healthy plant and a good harvest.  Bring a pair of garden pruners and we’ll do a hands on workshop!

Garden Pests! (1st or 2nd week)
We’ll walk you through the garden and show you how to identify many of the common pests that like to inhabit your garden: cucumber beetles, squash bugs, flea beetles, cabbage worm, tarnished plant bug, etc.  We’ll also discuss the organic methods we utilize to try to keep these pests under control.

Harvesting and Curing Garlic (3rd or 4th week)
Did you plant some garlic in the fall for a summer harvest (or are you interested in planting it this year)?  Do you know when the best time to harvest it is and how to “cure” it?  We’ll show you how to identify the right time to pull up your garlic as well as methods on how to harvest it without puncturing the delicious bulbs.

Planning your Fall Harvest (1st week)
 Has your lettuce and spinach bolted?  Would you like to enjoy fall radishes or scallions?   We’ll go over making a plan to plant in order to enjoy a fall harvest of delicious greens  and other vegetables.  We’ll also discuss different ways to pro-long your fall harvest into early winter (some easy & cheap tricks to do this!)

Garden Vision Over Lunch! (3rd or 4th week)
Celebrate the end of summer with the Garden crew down in the garden.  We’ll harvest your lunch in the morning: fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet bell peppers, garlic hummus & pesto to spread on local breads.  Enjoy some garden cantaloupe for dessert.

While enjoying a very fresh, delicious lunch, we’ll talk about our vision for the Organic Garden program and ask you for ideas as well!

(We will be asking for a voluntary donation for this lunch session)

The OG Seminar Series Instructors:

Michael Carlin
Mike just graduated in May with a BA in Environmental Studies and is this year’s OG Intern.  His gardening experience comes from his parents.  Mike can’t remember a summer at home where he wasn’t in his parents garden taking care of vegetables and pests.  His interest in organic gardening has grown since his time at SMC through the Environmental Studies program and hearing from friends about the OG as well as different guest lectures by Heather Lynch talking about the program.

Piper Krabbenhoft
Piper, SMC ’14, is majoring in Environmental Studies and is this year’s OG Crew Member.  Piper was eager to become part of the OG Crew as she’s interested in getting back to where food comes from and how sustainability plays a role in this process.  She’s interested in rebuilding the human relationship with food, with a focus on the soil to seed relationship.  Piper took part in the India Trip of May 2012 with the Environmental Studies program which focused on biodiversity based organic farming; this trip solidified her passion for sustainable agriculture.

Heather Lynch
SMC Sustainability Coordinator/Associate Director of Facilities and Organic Garden Program Director, Heather Lynch is a fourth generation gardener.  An Extension Master Gardener (UVM Master Gardener program 2013) and a Master’s of Science candidate in Sustainable Food Systems at Green Mountain College 2015, Heather strongly believes in the importance of experiential learning when it comes to local food systems and the importance of having such a space to get hands-on learning in this growing field, especially for a campus in Vermont.


  1. Organic gardening is very safe and very good idea for gardening because it all depends on natural ways which I come to know through your post so thanks for this sharing.

    organic gardening


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