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Sat, Apr 08


San Diego

College Area Community Garden Soil Workshop

Join Master Gardener/Master Composter, Charles Anacker for Beginning Vegetable Garden Bed Building & Renewing. Participants will explore kitchen composting and no-till practices for building and amending raised garden beds.

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College Area Community Garden Soil Workshop
College Area Community Garden Soil Workshop

Time & Location

Apr 08, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

San Diego, Zura Wy, San Diego, CA 92115, USA


About the event

Workshop Requirement

If you are not a CACG Member, in order to attend this adult workshop you must have a signed and submitted waiver. The waiver may be found here

Workshop Agenda

During the first portion of this gardening workshop, UCCE Master Gardender, Charles Anacker, will demonstrate methods and share tips for holding kitchen compostables for Green Bins. Our compost discssion will be followed by an exploration of utilizing compost and no-till theories of bed amending and rebuilding. 

During the second part of our time together, Participants will have the opportunity to practice no-till techniques in our community garden beds. Member gardeners are encouraged to amend their rented growing space during this time. Master Gardeners will be availble to provide guidance and answer questions.

No-Till Practice of Making and Amending Garden Beds

This Begninning Vegetable Gardening Workshop will teach us to stop thinking of making and amending garden beds by digging the amendments into the soil and consider science based practices of topping off the soil with compost and mulch to increase the life in the soil.

There is a misconception from conventional farming practices that we have to continually feed plants because plowing kills the life in the soils and fertilizes leach into the soil contaminating our waterways creating dead zones due to algae blooms. Every Plowing adds a surge of oxygen into the soil causing bacteria growth that consumes the carbon in the soil that gives a short term boost to plant growth, damaging plant health in the long run and forces the farmer to add more fertilizer creating a vicious cycle that keeps the soil lifeless, makes plants unhealthy, vulnerable to pest, and increases production cost. Our Land Grant Universities’ primary mission has been to study how to produce larger food and fiber crops, there was little research until recently into how to successfully grow on small farms and in home gardens.

Fortunately, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, has done research into no-til farming and developed practices that are more productive and less costly than the “til and spill” practices of conventional agriculture. They worked with the concept of the Soil Food Web where we can work with nature instead of treating nature as an adversary.

This new paradigm teaches us to realize that we should feed the  microorganisms and macro organisms” as they are the workers, literally, “in the field” who are feeding the roots of the plants, mining the minerals in the soil to make them available, doing the tilling, on a microscopic level, holding water in the soil for the plants, which in turn feeds them with root exudates. Our primary roll is to observe and learn.

After the harvest, we need to maintain an environment where microorganisms can thrive through all of the seasons and continue to increase the fertility of our garden beds and the health and abundance of our future crops.

About the Instructor

College Area Community Garden is proud to present Master Composter and UCCE San Diego Master Gardener, Charles Anacker, for this hands-on learning experience.

Charles has taught and demonstrated gardening and composting at Wild Willow Farm, Olivewood Gardens, UCSD’s Community Gardens, the Water Conservation Garden, Armstrong Garden Centers, San Diego Botanical Garden and Grossmont Adult Enrichment Center. He has also provided education to countless garden clubs, nature centers, libraries and Churches throughout San Diego County.

After a three year absence from working, teaching  and volunteering about Gardening because of catching COVID 19 in March of 2020 and being inactive due to being a full time Care Partner to his wife, Julieta, he is now returning to actively sharing with Beginning Gardeners and Future Gardeners through workshops like these and helping School Gardens to inspire a love and appreciation all of the many benefits of Gardening with Nature.

Charles is also working with his grandchildren, two enthusiastic young girls of 7 and 9 years to prepare their two garden beds for the Spring Growing Season removing weeds and doing an annual replenishment of compost. The abundant weeds have fed the soils abundant microorganisms all winter and soon it will be time to plant their favorite  vegetables and flowers.

Charles is dedicated to spreading knowledge and awareness about protecting our natural resource and valuable growing space for future generations.

Workshop Details

This workshop is held outdoors, so we suggest:   

• Dress in layers. Assume you will be cold, or hot. Either way, be ready.   

• Bring water   

• Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get messy and/or wet  

Garden gloves are welcomed but not necessary for workshops

HEALTH: If you are sick, please do not come to the workshop.

CLASS SIZE: 3 min. If the minimum is not met, this workshop will be cancelled.

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