Free Webinars on Seed Saving, Composting, School Gardens and More!

Spread the word among friends, family and colleagues: The People’s Garden Fall Webinar Series is back!

Want to learn ways to make your People’s Garden healthier? This series of online trainings offers expert advice on processing and storing seeds, engaging volunteers, growing native plants, composting, and starting and sustaining school gardens. Ask the instructor questions during the LIVE sessions @PeoplesGarden on Twitter using hashtag #AskPGI.

There is no charge for registration and all sessions are open to USDA employees and the public. You may register for one or all of the sessions depending on your interests. Registration is open now at

A series of five hour-long trainings will broadcast live on Thursday, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13; and Wednesday, Dec 5 and Dec 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Check out this flier for more details.

  1.  Seed Saving: Processing and Storage – 11/29/2012 12 Noon – 1:00 pm EST

Instructor: Shannon Carmody – Public Programs Manager, Seed Savers Exchange
Decorah, Iowa

Last year Shannon introduced us to seed saving with this webinar. Now she’s back to build on that foundation and teach us ways to process and store seeds. Learn how to ferment, clean, thresh, winnow, and dry seed after harvesting, and how screens, tarps, fans, and other commonly available items can be used during the process.
Engaging Volunteers in the Garden – 12/5/2012 12 Noon – 1:00 pm EST
Instructor: Lori Jean Mantooth – Director, Training Programs – Points of Light
Atlanta, Georgia

Volunteers can be your greatest assets as they increase your capacity to grow, maintain and make a garden sustainable. This session will explore best practices for volunteer engagement including how to identify meaningful service opportunities and recruit volunteers with diverse skills and interests.
Going Native – 12/6/2012 12 Noon – 1:00 pm EST
Instructor: Thomas D. “Tom” Landis – Native Plant Nursery Consulting – Retired USDA Forest Service
Medford, Oregon

Cori Rotter – Keep America Beautiful, Inc. Manager, Beautification & Community Greening
Stamford, Connecticut

Growing native plants can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. Obtain practical information on the growing and planting of North American (Canada, US, and Mexico) native plants for restoration, conservation and landscaping. Hear how Keep America Beautiful, its affiliates and its partners mobilized Americans this fall to plant native species in support of National Planting Day.
Composting and Compost Use – How, Why and Where – 12/12/2012 12 Noon – 1:00 pm EST
Instructor: Al Rattie – Director, Market Development – US Composting Council
Sellersville Pensylvania

Cary Oshins – Director, Education & Outreach – US Composting Council
Sellersville Pensylvania

Wanna make your own compost? You can produce high quality compost on a small-scale, but it’s important to use quality control standards from start to finish. Learn how you can get started, what to do with what you produce, and the many benefits and uses of compost.
Best Practices in Starting and Sustaining a School Garden – 12/13/2012 12 Noon – 1:00 pm EST
Instructor: Liz Falk – Professional Development Educator, Cornell Garden-Based Learning
Ithaca, New York

We know that garden-based learning increases a child’s likelihood to eat fresh vegetables, can increase a child’s attention span, and foster positive relationships across ages. Learn best practices on how to incorporate gardens into schools, to make garden projects successful and sustainable, and to encourage participation from others in your community.


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