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Common Ground Garden Supply and Education Center
559 College Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94306, United States

Upcoming Events At This Venue

February 1, 2014

5 Saturdays: Feb 1, Mar 1, April 5, May 3, & June 7

Learn garden design and planning, composting, soil testing and preparation, seed propagation and transplanting, watering and how to nurture healthy edible crops. You can create a garden oasis of beautiful edibles in the front, side or back of the home. Master harvesting techniques and learn what compost crops to plant after harvest. Permaculture design and GROW BIOINTENSIVE methods harmonize together in this special series. Homeowners and professional landscape designers will gain valuable knowledge to create gardens of nutritious and delicious organic food in your homes and communities. Make lasting friendships! Learn about proper tools, supplies, books and resources throughout the course. Bring your copy of How to Grow More Vegetables to all classes. One-hour lunch break; bring your own lunch. Class size is limited. Students will receive a certificate upon completion. Register early for this Popular Series. Taught by Drew Harwell who is an edible-garden and Permaculture consultant, the manager of Jesse Cool’s Seeds of Change Garden and the former Common Ground Garden Manager. Register online.

Start: February 1, 2014 10:00 am
End: June 7, 2014 3:00 pm
Cost: $325

April 19, 2014

California is in a drought situation and we are all being asked to save water. You can install a simple graywater system, which will save you 6,000 to 11,000 gallons of water per year. Good news is that Santa Clara County now provides a rebate for simple graywater systems. This class will discuss the different types of graywater systems, how to install a simple one, what to do, what not to do, and what plants and products are most compatible with graywater irrigation. Taught by Sherri Osaka who is a licensed Landscape Architect, Bay-Friendly Qualified Designer and owner of Sustainable Landscape Designs. She lectures on and implements ecological landscaping techniques specializing in native plants, graywater and rainwater irrigation and pervious paving.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: April 19, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $32.77

April 26, 2014

Drought in California is inevitable, and this year it’s worse than ever. How can we all use our water wisely? Cut down or eliminate our lawns, for sure. Use drip more, yes. Recycle shower water, yes. Plant lots of vegetables and fruits, yes!! According to Treehugger.com, growing the average pound of lettuce commercially uses 15 gallons of water, tomatoes 22 gallons, and a pound of potatoes 30 gallons. Years ago, John Jeavons did much research on water use by farmers and home gardeners and reached the conclusion that the home gardener, using organic techniques, saves us all gallons of water. Learn which vegetable crops are best to grow in a drought and which techniques will help you grow your garden using as little water as possible. Taught by Rosalind Creasy who is a landscape designer, edible plant expert, and consultant for Denver, CO, water department and has gardened her way through three California droughts. She is also a garden writer, photographer and leading authority on edible landscaping.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: April 26, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $32.77

May 3, 2014

Planting a bountiful garden in containers and small spaces is a cinch with the right varieties and materials. Start now to plan and plant the food garden that carries you through summer into winter. Special attention focuses on organic methods, potting soil, how to consider your space, and best varieties to grow in containers and limited space. With restricted water availability the instructor will discuss several ways to conserve water and grow a productive food garden. Taught by Rose Marie Nichols and her husband Keane McGee who are owners of Nichols Garden Nursery in Albany, OR. Nichols is a family-owned seed company serving home gardeners for over 60 years. Rose Marie is coauthor of McGee and Stuckey’s Bountiful Container, a complete guide to growing edible plants in containers. Stay after class for a book signing.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: May 3, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $32.77

May 10, 2014

You can do a lot with just a few herbs. This class will discuss how to use ten immensely useful plants, many of which are probably already growing in your gardens. You will learn how to plant, prepare, harvest and use these plants for common maladies and for health preservation. Darren makes students comfortable and confident using herbs from their gardens to support health and vitality. He loves to share his knowledge and experience of herbal medicine with students.Taught by Darren Huckle, who has been in clinical practice as an herbalist/acupuncturist for over 10 years and an avid herbal gardener for almost 20 years. Bring a snack.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: May 10, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $44.04

May 17, 2014

Learn the safest ways to manage ants, snails, slugs and other pests and disease in your summer garden. Find out about lesser-known beneficial insects that are an integral part in keeping a balance in your yard. Integrated Pest Management is safer for kids, pets, and the environment. Brought to you in partnership with the City of Palo Alto Watershed Protection and the Our Water, Our World Program. Taught by Teresa Lavell, who is a certified IPM Advocate and works with water agencies in the Bay Area to promote cleaner waterways by educating home gardeners on less-toxic solutions for their gardening problems.

Space is limited, register online.

Start: May 17, 2014 10:30 am
End: May 18, 2014 12:30 pm
Cost: Free

May 31, 2014

Plants commonly referred to as weeds have many beneficial uses. Learn what they are telling us about the health of the soil. Learn how to harvest and process them for food and medicine, as well as tips on how to discourage the weeds you don’t want in your garden and how to encourage those you do. This class will start with a slideshow in the classroom and then venture out to a local garden for hands-on learning and to sample edible weeds provided by the instructor. Taught by Drew Harwell who is an edible-garden and Permaculture consultant, the manager of Jesse Cool’s Seeds of Change Garden, and the former Common Ground Garden Manager.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: May 31, 2014 10:00 am
Cost: $46.09

June 1, 2014

Learn about veggie gardening, including tending soil, making hot compost, caring for plants and trees, raising chickens and the best tools for getting the jobs done. Class taught at Los Altos Hills farm by a local farming enthusiast who set out to grow half the food she and her husband eat. Several years into the effort , and she’s well past that goal! Recommended for gardeners of all levels. Taught by Pam Scott(and her fellow farmers), who is a Farm Correspondent for Edible Magazine and creative consultant to start-up companies and non-profits around the country. She is a long-time fan of Common Ground. Offsite Class directions given when registered.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: June 1, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $40.97

June 7, 2014

Composting is nature’s way of recycling your fruit, vegetable, and yard trimmings into a rich soil amendment. Each class lasts about 2 hours, and there is no charge to attend. Compost bins, worm bins, and composting accessories are available for sale at compost workshops. Common Ground always offers the Vermihut worm composting system. On the day of the class, The Earth Machine™ and plastic worm bins will also be available. This class is a partnership between Common Ground, the City of Palo Alto Zero Waste and the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission of Santa Clara County.

Please register at www.reducewaste.org or call 408-918-4640.

Date: June 7, 2014 10:00 am
Cost: Free

June 21, 2014

We will have mainly heirloom varieties of apples, pears, plums and apricots. Choose your trees from the selection Tierra Madre Farm will bring to Common Ground. The trees are grown with organic practices on four acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains and in the lush hills of Watsonville. As of next year, these trees will officially be certified organic by the state of California. Owner and longtime farmer Shane Murphy has combined his years of experience farming, growing heirloom seeds, and his love of growing lesser-known tasty fruits to create a delicious and rare selection of fruit trees.

Date: June 21, 2014 10:30 am

June 28, 2014

You will be greeted with freshly harvested herbal tea and samples of many other herbs you can easily grow for their flavors, fragrance and medicinal properties. Learn how to plant, tend, harvest and use your garden herbs. Jody will talk you through the tricks and treats of making an herbal salad, with samples for everyone. Class will include organic plant care, herbs that grow well together, and how to create a container herb garden. You will take home recipes, a plant list, and everyone will plant herb cuttings and seeds to take home and grow. Taught by Jody Main, who is a local food and garden writer, educator and consultant. Her specialties include veggie, herb, berry gardens, container gardens and backyard chickens.

Space is limited, register online.

Date: June 28, 2014 10:30 am
Cost: $44.04

July 19, 2014

Organic Food Grown in our Neighborhoods!

  • Explore local organically-grown edible gardens
  • Learn about Grow Biointensive & organic gardening practices
  • Meet the creative gardeners & get great ideas

Tour Highlights: Water Saving Techniques, Fruit Trees, Raised Beds & Berries, Chickens & Coops, Greenhouses, Herb, Flower & Native Plantings, Composting, and Lots of Vegetables!

Common Ground’s Edible Landscaping Tour engaged over 400 people last year. This inspirational tour teaches valuable techniques and ideas about landscaping with edible plants. We raise awareness on issues ranging from sustainable gardening alternatives to saving water while creating delicious bounty!

Register online.


Date: July 19, 2014 10:00 am
Cost: $36.87