Pre-registration is required. If you’d like to attend, you can register in person at our retail outlet, or by phone: (604) 952-8820. Please register as early as possible for each course that interests you.
Fertile Ground: How to Use Organic Fertilizers
The natural world is full of materials that can be used to enhance soil fertility. From seaweed to bat guano, from alfalfa meal to greensand, there are many natural soil amendments — but how do you use them, and when? Master Gardener Brian Campbell will equip you with the skills to choose the right fertilizer for your specific conditions and crops. Learn about the macro and micronutrients that vegetables and other plants need to grow to their full potential. ($15.00)
Sunday, January 13th, 1-3pm
Organic Pest Solutions
Some insect species, in sufficient numbers, call for the gardener to take action. Brian Campbell will show you the sustainable gardener's approach to dealing with nuisance species. Learn how to correctly identify the problem and assess its seriousness, how to attract beneficial predatory insects to your garden, and how to employ the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system. We don't just reach for insecticide any more! ($15.00)
Sunday, January 20th, 1-3pm
Garden Planning 101
Planning is the key to success in any garden of any size, and gardeners have many considerations to make before they get started. Brian Campbell will share his thoughts on how to lay out and plan a vegetable garden with spacing and timing in mind. This course will provide the essentials of taking a concept to a fully productive garden or small farm. ($15.00)
Sunday, January 27th, 1-3pm
Preparing Your Garden
It's still very early in the year, but there are lots of things you can do to prepare your growing area for the lengthening days of spring that loom ahead. Brian Campbell will explain how to improve your soil, sow seeds indoors, plan your calendar, start early cover crops, and lots of other practical steps. Don't let spring catch you off guard - be prepared to make the most of your whole growing season!
Sunday, February 3rd, 1-3pm
Success with Seeds
Master Gardener Brian Campbell will walk you through the sometimes tricky process of awakening seeds from their dormancy, and coaxing them into healthy seedlings, and eventually into thriving garden plants. Learn about the water, soil, light, temperature, and nutrient requirements for starting seeds both indoors and direct in your garden.($15.00)
Sunday, February 17th, 1-3pm
All About Tomatoes
Let gardening expert Mark Macdonald walk you through the process of growing the perfect tomato. In this two-hour course, you'll learn how to choose the best variety, how to plant the seeds and care for the seedlings, how to raise lush, productive plants, how to prevent problems, and even how to save your own tomato seeds at the end of the season. You'll learn about tomatoes in history and culture, and how there came to be so many varieties to choose from. ($15.00)
Sunday, March 3rd, 1-3pm
Gardening for Pollinators
How can we grow food and simultaneously encourage the pollinators that are so essential to the process? What exactly is pollinator conservation, and why is so vital in this day and age? How can we make our outdoor spaces more attractive to bumblebees and other wild bees? And how do keeping honeybees or mason bees impact wild pollinator populations? Master Beekeeper Brian Campbell will share his passion for bees, as well as his extensive knowledge. ($15.00)
Sunday, March 10th, 1-3
Growing Food in Small Spaces
Long time food grower Cathy Houghland will reveal some of the best ways to grow lots of food, even when you lack the land to farm on. She'll talk about urban gardening, vertical gardening, and how to grow food crops in containers and raised beds. This is a hands-on workshop that includes a container that you will plant your own salad garden in. Join us for a fun and practical look at growing food plants in small spaces. ($15.00)
Sunday, March 17th, 1-3pm
Grafting Heirloom Apples & Other Fruit Trees
Master Gardener Brian Campbell reveals expert techniques for harvesting living tissue from one tree and grafting it to another to produce different varieties of apples growing from the same tree. Learn how you can preserve diversity by grafting different tree fruits like the professionals. Please bring a clean, sharp knife to this class. Grafting materials will be provided. ($45.00 - includes materials)
Sunday, March 24th, 1-3pm
Thinking of taking up beekeeping? We’ll discuss the beekeeper’s year, the tools and equipment you’ll need, and the challenges faced by both bees and their keepers. Master beekeeper Brian Campbell will teach you about the hands on demands – and rewards – of managing a hive in an urban (or suburban) environment. ($15.00)
Sunday, April 7th, 1-3pm
Planning Your Fall & Winter Garden
Just as your spring & summer gardens are getting going, it's time to think ahead, and plan for late season harvests — and even planting crops that will overwinter. Lots of people think about fall and winter gardening at the very end of summer, when it is already too late to take advantage of a wide range of crops. Learn how to prepare and plan for a longer harvest that can last 12 months a year so that you can enjoy the bounty. The workshop will also include a presentation on How to Eat More Kale with simple recipes that will help you enjoy the nutritional and tasty benefits of a winter garden. This class is presented by Mark Macdonald from West Coast Seeds and Tricia Sedgewick from The World in a Garden. ($15.00)
Sunday, April 21st, 1-3pm
Brian Campbell: Well known for his extensive knowledge of plants and pollinators, Brian is dedicated to sharing the importance of bees in our ecosystem and food security. He regularly teaches, mentors, and advises apprentice beekeepers and gardeners of all ages. Brian is our West Coast Seeds Bee and Sustainable Gardening reference person.
David Bradbeer: David is the Program Coordinator at Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust, and focuses on developing, administering, and evaluating the effectiveness of land stewardship programs, including the winter cover crop and grassland set-aside programs. David specializes in soil science, the use of farmland by wintering waterfowl, and small mammal and raptor populations in grassland set-asides.
Mark Macdonald: Mark manages seed trials for West Coast Seeds, and grows many varieties in gardens around Ladner. He blogs for West Coast Seeds at www.gardenwisdom.ca and has written extensively on vegetable gardening in the Lower Mainland. Mark photographs and writes much of the content of the West Coast Seeds Catalogue and Growing Guide.
Cathy Houghland: Cathy is a longtime gardener in Delta, and an expert at coaxing the best out of the land. Cathy and her family are self-sufficient - most of their annual vegetable needs are harvestd from their home garden. A market grower in the past, Cathy's commercial venture now focuses on growing sweet peas for florists. If you have questions about cover crops, beneficial insects, soil improvement, vegetable preserving, or growing a glorious assortment of sweet peas, Cathy is available at the Elliott Street store to provide expert advice.
The Classroom at West Coast Seeds
The Classroom at West Coast Seeds is available for certain special occasions, and can accommodate up to 30 people. If you are interested in using the space for workshops or classes related to organic gardening or farming, please contact us.
West Coast Seeds is pleased to offer receptions for garden clubs, community gardens, and all our friends in the organic movement. If your garden club would like to be hosted at West Coast Seeds, please let us know well in advance, and we'll provide refreshments, talk about what we do, and provide your group with expert garden advice.
The Classroom is located above the West Coast Seeds retail store in a heritage building known as Jordan's Stables. We regret that the Classroom is not wheelchair accessible.