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Victory Gardens for Peace Apprentices Host One-Day Workshop
By Brooke Eichenlaub, Victory Gardens for Peace 1-Year Apprentice

The VGfP Seed Library
The VGfP Seed Library
PHOTOS: Evan Mills

Participants learned that compost piles need the correct combination of materialsLearning how to hold a successful GB workshop is an integral part of the learning process for Apprentices and Interns at Ecology Action. This work helps them understand how best to explain the GB method to other people, and equips them to hold their own workshops and act as Biointensive Community Resources in the future.

The 2018 apprentices at the Victory Gardens for Peace held a One-Day GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshop, October 2018. The workshop drew a group with diverse gardening and farming experience who cheerfully exchanged stories and food-growing ambitions.

We started the day with a tour of the site beginning with a visit to the Victory Gardens for Peace seed library, located on the grounds of The Stanford Inn by the Sea near the town of Mendocino, CA. With over 400 varieties of seed, the seed bank is an overwhelming display of the beauty and abundance of gardening in your own backyard.

A number of topics were covered in the workshop including winter-garden planning, companion planting, and whole-system sustainability. With 70-plus combined years of gardening and farming experience present in the class of 10, the group was alive with discussion. During one particularly Rozalyn, 18 months, was a participant at VGfP’s 1DWengaging segment taught by Kimberley Fischer, VGfP Assistant Manager, students smelled, tasted, and admired locally adapted varieties of open-pollinated seed. Exclamations rose from the group about which new cultivars would be planted the following season and which plants were family-favorites for feeding pollinators and other beneficial insects in the garden.

Participants were also guided through hands-on composting, transplanting, and double-digging demonstrations that provided some technical feedback on common garden skills. The Workshop concluded with a deliciously fresh and colorful lunch with foods from the garden.

There is something special about being able to learn important, life-saving information with your neighbors and then enjoy the fruits of such labor together. Zack Wolf, one attendee of the workshop, said, "I feel that I was able to see an end result that was delicious and communal. Something that brought us together…" The whole day was a beautiful display of how gardening brings a sense of community and hope. Students left satisfied with full bellies and the knowledge of how to keep them filled.

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