Retired Stearns Farm manager Kathy Huckins will again share her in-depth knowledge of growing vegetables with beginning and aspiring gardeners in a hands-on course. Huckins, who has offered the course for the past two years 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.

“I loved that it spanned seven months, from the time snow was on the ground and the garden was just an aspiration, through the entire summer and fall,” one recent participant said. “It really showed me how the garden is actually a year round process.” 

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

  • March 18: Soil testing; garden location & sizing; seed ordering
  • April 15: Soil workup; amendments; compost; layout; bed prep
  • May 20: Planting & transplanting; watering; tools
  • June 17: Weeding; staking; mulching
  • July 15: Interaction; insects; diseases; harvesting; fall planting
  • August 19: Harvesting; food storage; permaculture
  • September 16: Post harvest; season extension; cover crops

The course costs $280, and enrollment is limited to 8 students. 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