Organic gardening workshop series features reduced rate for students

'Garden Cruz: Organic Matters' workshops take place on three Saturdays in March

Christof Bernau, who manages raised-bed gardening at the UC Santa Cruz Farm, leads a discussion on organic growing techniques.
Sky DeMuro and Orin Martin practice double digging, key to soil preparation.

Learn the art and craft of organic, French-intensive food and flower gardening in the three-Saturday Garden Cruz: Organic Matters workshop series, March 5, 12 and 19 at UC Santa Cruz. Sign up for the series, or choose the “à la carte” option. The workshops will take place at the Alan Chadwick Garden and UCSC Farm from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Christof Bernau, Sky DeMuro and Orin Martin, who manage the organic gardens at UCSC, team up to teach this lecture and hands-on workshop series designed to provide a “toolkit” of the knowledge and skills you need to create a thriving organic garden and optimize water use in your garden and landscape. This course is ideal for home gardeners looking to improve gardening skills, community members and students involved in campus and community gardens, and teachers working with school gardens.

Please note that support to cover registration fees is available to UCSC students involved in campus garden projects through Measure 43; contact Tim Galarneau at for details.

Each day’s workshop includes demonstration and hands-on practice with a focus on planning, preparing, and planting raised beds, sowing and pricking out/growing out vegetables and flowers, managing environmental conditions of young seedlings, irrigating seeds and seedlings, and selecting and making sowing mixes. You’ll practice sowing seeds and take home vegetables and flowers you’ve sown and transplanted. Get ideas for your own garden on tours of the Alan Chadwick Garden and UCSC Farm Garden.

Workshop 1, March 5: Soils, Cover Crops, Compost, and Cultivation (bed preparation)

Workshop 2, March 12: Greenhouse Skills, Starting Plants from Seeds, and producing your own vigorous seedlings to transplant in the garden 

Workshop 3, March 19: Seeding and Transplanting into Garden Beds (crop spacing, intercropping, crop planning), Irrigation—with an emphasis on water-conserving techniques 

Cost for all three workshops: $300 (general), $250 (Friends of the Farm & Garden members), $175 (Farm & Garden Docents and garden educators), $150 (students and limited income)

Cost for individual workshops: $125 (general), $100 (Friends), $75 (docents/educators), $60 (students and limited income) 

For details and to register, see Class size is limited and pre-registration is required by March 1. 

If you’re interested in registering for individual workshops, please call 831.459-3240 or email for details.

Garden Cruz instructors

Christof Bernau has managed the raised-bed gardens and greenhouses at the UCSC Farm for 17 years. He teaches apprentices, UCSC students, and community members and workshops across the country. He has particular expertise in greenhouse management and propagation of a wide array of food and ornamentals. 

Sky DeMuro is a graduate of the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture and co-managed the Everett Family Farm in Soquel. She helps manage the Alan Chadwick Garden and instructs apprentices, UCSC students, and community members

Orin Martin has managed the Alan Chadwick Garden for more than 35 years and is a renowned teacher and gardener. He’s also written extensively on organic gardening techniques. 

Garden Cruz is sponsored by the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden and the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems.