Los Angeles

Edible Landscaping and Perennial Food Gardening

With food and energy prices rising steadily and humanity straining Earth’s resources and systems, landscaping with edibles is more important than ever for personal, community, and global sustainability.

In this six-part course suitable for both landscape professionals and homeowners, Ecological Landscape Designer Darren Butler will cover the basics of designing, planning, and installing edible landscapes.

Topics are expected to include introduction to sustainable landscaping; landscape design principles; aesthetics of edible-landscape design; practicalities of edible-landscape design; site analysis; soil, testing soil, and preparations for planting; planning; watering methods; installing drip watering systems; planting and seeding methods; suitable species for Southern California; annuals in the edible landscape; innovative approaches to maximizing food production in perennial plantings; sources for materials, seeds, and plants; managing weeds and pests; maintaining the edible landscape and its fertility; and permaculture approaches to managing edible landscapes. Some hands-on work preparing a landscape, seeding, and installing plants is expected. The course will not include information on aspects of running a landscape-design business.

When: Course dates: Six Sundays 9:30 AM to 12:45 PM with short breaks only, Mar 2, 9, 16, 30, Apr 6, 13 (arrival encouraged by 9:00 AM). No class on Mar 23 (Easter).
Where: In Pasadena near North Allen and the 210 freeway. Details provided with class confirmation.
Cost: $220 for early registration through Feb 22; $245 thereafter or on the day of. There will be an additional $50 fee for certification. Space permitting, attendance will be allowed to single classes for $50 per class.
To register or for more information: Call or email Darren Butler (818.271.0963) or allnet [at] pobox [dot] com.

Darren Butler is a consulting arborist, ecological designer, and landscape specialist. He has appeared on several episodes of “Weekend Gardening” for a large international television audience as an expert horticulturist and landscaper, on NPR radio, and in local newspapers. He has taught Sustainable Landscape Design and Diagnosing Plant Problems for the University of California Master Gardener Program in Los Angeles, and holds many landscape- and plant-related certifications and licenses. He currently serves on a statewide advisory committee for all University of California Master Gardener programs, and is a speaker at the upcoming 2008 University of California Master Gardener Conference. He has been gardening since childhood, and developing expertise in Southern California gardening since 1996.

Enrollment, payment, and refund policy: Half tuition must be sent to reserve enrollment, with the remaining half due by the first day of class. If full tuition is not paid by the third class, attendance is expected to stop until payment is completed. Full refunds less $50 will be available until seven days before the first session. No refunds thereafter except for cancellation by the instructor. If tentative details change after enrollment has been paid, full refund is available until three days before the first class if cancellation is based upon the change(s).

Payment is by check, cash, or money order and should be sent to Darren Butler, PO Box 920434, Sylmar CA 91392-0434. Contact Darren directly if you prefer to pay with a credit card via the internet.

Courses not guaranteed to carry. Some courses fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, please do not delay.

A certificate in Edible Landscaping is available. Specific requirements for completion will include required reading, minimum attendance of four of the six sessions with makeup for missed sessions, a project, and additional fee of $50.

This course provides approximately 18 to 20 hours of continuing education. It is not affiliated with University of California or LA County Cooperative Extension.

Reading List (required for a certificate only) will be announced by mid-February.

Course difficulty: 3 to 4 out of 10. This course will be moderately challenging. Gardening experience, basic understanding of organic gardening methods, and basic knowledge of biology and ecology are recommended but not required. Attendees without organic gardening experience should expect difficulty.

Assistance is needed for video or audio recording of the sessions. Free tuition available in trade.