Retired Stearns Farm manager Kathy Huckins is offering a hands-on course in organic gardening to share her in-depth knowledge of growing vegetables with beginning and aspiring gardeners. Huckins, who offered the course last year at her Northboro gardens and greenhouse, will lead students through an entire season of planning, seeding, tending, and harvesting their very own gardens.

Students will meet monthly on Saturday mornings between March and September. In addition to receiving a solid foundation in basic gardening techniques, students will develop a respect for and ability to interpret the complex interactions between soil, plants, insects, and animals. Besides the familiar summer gardening, students will be guided and encouraged to consider a fall garden, usually planted in the middle of the summer, as well as a winter garden.

Each class will run from 9:30 to 12:30 and will cover the following topics:

  • March 19: Soil testing; garden location & sizing; seed ordering
  • April 16: Soil workup; amendments; compost; layout; bed prep
  • May 21: Planting & transplanting; watering; tools
  • June 18: Weeding; staking; mulching
  • July 16: Interaction; insects; diseases; harvesting; fall planting
  • August 20: Harvesting; food storage; permaculture
  • September 17: Post harvest; season extension; cover crops

The course costs $280, and enrollment is limited to 8 students. (UPDATE March 13, 2016: Stearns Farm sharers get a 10% discount.) Registration closes March 15. For more information or to register call Kathy at 508.393.8695, email or visit