Workshops / Classes

City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation

Class listing
Bloomington Parks and Recreation Community Gardening Program
  2014 FALL Garden/Bloomington Community Orchard Classes

The Community Gardening Program offers a variety of gardening and orchard management classes. For more information, call 349-3700 or email  hobsonr@bloomington.in.gov

To register for classes online, please visit www.bloomington.in.gov/parks




Gardening Classes



Grow Organic Educator Series

Learn organic gardening from the experts and share your knowledge with the community in this organic outreach horticultural certification program, which covers everything from soil science to seed saving and everything in between. Complete the course and volunteer hours in a number of community projects to be certified as a Grow Organic Educator or just take the course for your own enrichment. Get gardening with GOES! Textbook and comprehensive reference notebook included in fee. There are a number of optional Saturday workshops and field trips scheduled. Class does not meet 11/26. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, The Center for Sustainable Living and Hilltop Gardens and Nature Center.


Thanks to the generosity of a GOES graduate, scholarship assistance is available through the Cassell Memorial Scholarship fund. Scholarship applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the program and are available at the Parks and Recreation office. Applicants must provide proof of income and a brief statement indicating why they are interested in completing the GOES series. For more information about applying for a scholarship, call 349-3702.

Date: Wednesdays, 9/3-12/3, 6-9 pm (no class on 11/26)

Registration deadline: Aug. 29,  Code 86501-A

Min/max: 15/23

Cost: $125 in-city / $145 non-city

Ages: 18+

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: a team of gardening experts

Getting Started with Backyard Chickens

Considering a small, backyard flock of hens but not sure how to get started?  Have a flock but also wanting to know more information about your feathered friends? If so, this is the class for you! In this 2-part class series we will learn the ins and outs of raising chickens and look at the benefits of raising chickens in your own backyard. From having your own fresh eggs to enjoying “chicken TV” for pure entertainment there are plenty of reasons to be curious about this growing interest in having a backyard flock of your own. The first session will examine the basics of coop selection and design, feeding and watering, manure management, and dealing with predators. The second session will focus on acquiring your chickens, flock health and behavior, everything you need to know about eggs, aging hens, dealing with weather extremes and more! Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.

Date: Saturdays, 9/6 & 9/13, 1-3 pm

Registration deadline: 9/4, Code 96504-A

Min/max: 8/23

Cost: $14 in-city / $16 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Julie James

Fall and Winter Gardening

Join Mother Hubbard's Cupboard's Gardening Program to learn how to extend your gardening year into the fall and winter. Learn how to plan a cold season garden and to mitigate cold temperatures with weather barriers that allow for fresh vegetables when most gardens have been put to bed for the season.

Date: Tuesday, 9/23, 6-7:30 pm

Registration deadline: 9/22, Code 96502-A

Min/max: 5/10

Cost: $8 in-city / $10 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, 1100 W. Allen St., Ste. A

Instructor: Stephanie Solomon, Grow Organic Educator and Director of Education and Outreach at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

Growing and Using Herbs

Herbs don't have to be restricted to a formal herb garden. They provide excellent easy-care choices for the edible landscape and reward the grower with flavorful additions to culinary creations. Learn how to grow, harvest, store, and use herbs for seasonings, tisanes, and herbal preparations such as herbal oils, vinegars, and tinctures.

Date: Saturday, 9/27, 2-4 pm

Registration deadline: 9/25, Code 96505-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $10 in-city / $12 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons, Advanced Master Gardener

Introduction to Permaculture Patterns

This short workshop will introduce common patterns from nature, the elegance of the patterns' ability to do work, and how we can mimic nature to bring harmony into our homes, gardens, and communities. Class members will learn how to use natural patterns to design elements in the home and garden such as pathways, garden beds, and outdoor "rooms". Along the way, we find a deeper appreciation for the patterns of the natural world and a beautiful way to incorporate in our own lives.

Date: Thursday, 10/9, 6:30-8:30 pm

Registration deadline: 10/7, Code 96506-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $14 in-city / $16 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Rhonda Baird, Permaculture Designer and Teacher

Prepare to Keep Bees

Are you interested in beekeeping, but feel overwhelmed at where to begin? In order to start a healthy and productive hive in the spring, much advance planning must be done. The instructors will walk you through the necessary preparation steps and offer guidance and mentorship through the IU Campus Beekeeping Program. Beekeeping is an accessible hobby for everyone and fall is the perfect time to start! Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.

Date: Saturday, 10/18, 12-2 pm

Registration deadline: 10/16, Code 96507-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $10 in-city / $12 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: George Hegeman & Ellie Symes, Beekeeping Educators

Forest Garden Design

This course will focus on the development of the home forest garden, which incorporates fruit trees and other perennials with herbs, flowers, and annual veggies to create diverse, beautiful systems that give you fruit and friends. This course will cover basic permaculture design tips and strategies that help you design and improve your garden. We will look at choosing species, management, pest control, and harvest. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.

Date: Thursdays, 10/23 & 10/30, 6:30-8:30 pm

Registration deadline: 10/21, Code 96509-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $24 in-city / $29 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Rhonda Baird, Permaculture Designer and Teacher



Bloomington Community Orchard Classes

Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, Bloomington Community Orchard and Free University of Monroe County. Participants are notified if use of rain date is necessary.



Fall Fruit Tree Planting Workshop

Fall is a great time to plant fruit trees. Planting correctly is essential in order to assure their health and productivity. Learn how to plant correctly in this hands-on workshop. Participants learn best practices for digging the planting hole, inspecting and correcting problems with roots, staking, filling the hole, watering, mulching, installing trunk protection, and performing necessary remedial pruning. Please wear work clothes and shows, and bring gloves if you have them. Rain date is 10/18.

Date: Saturday, 10/11, 2-4pm

Registration deadline: 10/9,  Code 96503-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $10 in-city / $12 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Bloomington Community Orchard

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons, Advanced Master Gardener

Sex in the Orchard

Planting for optimal pollination of fruit trees assures a good harvest. Learn how pollinizer requirements vary by species and cultivar, where to plant pollinizers, how to make alternative arrangements for pollen sources, and how to attract and nurture pollinating insects. This class provides easy strategies for managing the pollination requirements of an existing backyard orchard as well as for planning and planting a new one.

Date: Saturday, 11/1, 2-4pm

Registration deadline: 10/30, Code 96508-A

Min/max: 8/20

Cost: $10 in-city / $12 non-city

Ages: all ages

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons, Advanced Master Gardener