This page provides a sample of some of the workshops and presentations I have given in the past. Since I started teaching I have had much less time for external presentations, but fact is, just about anything you see on any of my sites can be put into a presentation for your group. Whether you want know how to create a garden from scratch, step-by-step; learn more than you ever thought possible about eggplants (or carrots or cardoons, or caryopteris); understand the hidden impacts of agricultural biotechnology on our food supply; or just enjoy a tour through some of specatacular gardens I have been privileged to visit over the years, it can be done!
I am also available for panels and roundtable discussions on relevant topics, and my strength in that kind of forum is my ability to synthesize a broad range of topics extemporaneously to draw the maximum audience value out of a free ranging discussion. For one example, check the transcript of a panel at the second Convocation of the Invisible, sponsored by Shelburne Farms and Chelsea Green Publishing. For a second example, see Retaking the Genetic Commons, my keynote presentation to the 2004 winter meeting of NOFA-NY, where I was asked to summarize and contextualize the Public Seed Initiative related events of the conference on its last day.
Selected Past Presentations
One of my favorite venues here in the Mid-Atlantc is the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Last time I attended, I gave two talks:
Lecture: Adventures in the Seed Trade
Where does the seed you plant come from? How do the breeders (and dreamers) find new and old plants for the garden? Part travelogue, part behind-the-scenes, this picture-rich talk takes you around the world to places you might not otherwise see (or even know about) and introduces you to people you might not otherwise get a chance to meet.
Workshop: Seed to Table in Six Weeks
This immensely practical workshop the process of taking a lawn and turning it into a productive garden in the course of one season. This garden was featured on the cover of The American Gardener and in Martha Stewart Living during its first season and when you see the pictures you'll understand why. Step by step photographs leave very little to the imagination and you'll be able to ask for any details you need to do the same in your own yard.
Seed to Table in Six Weeks
Tuesday Evenings -- 7-8 PM
A series of lectures in Shepherdstown, WV in 2011 showing you how to go from bare ground to bountiful harvests in only six sessions. Based on an article done for the magazine of the American Horticultural Society that tracked the transformation of my backyard in Topton, PA from grass to a garden in one season. The garden was also featured in Martha Stewart Living during its first year.
March 24, 2011 -- Step by Step Organic Gardening Hagerstown, MD
This one hour presentation will presentation showed how to establish a productive and beautiful garden, starting absolutely from scratch. In October 2004, I turned over the sod and started a 1500 Sq Ft kitchen garden near Allentown, PA (while working full time). By May 2005 I was harvesting my first crops, and in September 2005 a camera crew from Martha Stewart Living was there shooting a feature on salad greens. The following March (2006) I was still harvesting vegetables, and we (my garden and I) were featured on the cover of The American Gardener (the magazine of the American Horticultural Society)...the first time they'd had a person on the cover in eleven years, and the first time ever for a vegetable garden. Step by Step...start to finish!
February 8, 2011 -- Capitol Hill Garden Club, Washington, DC
Organic Vegetable Gardening in a Small Urban Setting
This talk focused on how to get the most out of the least! Using a whole roster of easy to implement but time tested tips and tricks, I will show DC gardeners a way to get something for the kitchen nearly every month of the year. If you have a small garden, this is the talk for you.
Annually in March -- UDC Master Gardeners Seminar Washington, DC
This is a two part, two hour seminar on organic vegetable gardening that I do each spring as part of the DC Master Gardeners program put on by Sandy Farber, who is the USDA Extension Agent for Washington, DC. The theme is how to grow the most food possible in the smallest space over the longest time. So I made the two parts be Space and Time. I have uploaded JPEGs of the talks for those students who weren't able to make it to the talk.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation April -- Lawn Care and Water Quality
Fertilizer and pesticide runoff are significant contributors to the ongoing degradation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Homeowners contribute to this problem more than most realize. This presentation covers the basic of organic lawn care, why it is a good idea, and how it works. While this set of slides is oriented toward consumers, I can also do a presentation for professionals in the field, including the specifics of the developing organic market.
Adventures In The Seed Trade
I'm proud to say I was chosen to give the keynote presentation to the 2008 West Virginia Spring Garden Festival in Charleston my first spring back in state. This talk is a bit of a travelogue as well as an introduction to the behind the scenes elements of seed production around the world. always a crowd pleaser, the verbal presentation is important to its overall impact but here at least are the slides.
Organic Turf Management Project on the National Mall
This is a self contained presentation concerning the National Mall Project that I put together for our booth at the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council Meeting in November 2007. It offers an overview of the project and includes photography of the site.
Organic 101 -- Portland, ME Flower Show
One of the most frequent requests I receive is for a talk on the basics of organic gardening. One example is the presentation I did at the Portland (ME) Flower Show in 2007.
Urban Agriculture - Coming Full Circle -- Delaware Center For Horticulture
In October 2006 I was asked to give the keynote presentation to the winter meeting of the Delaware Center for Horticulture in Wilmington, on the topic of Urban Agriculture.
The Future Of Organic Seed -- NOFA New Jersey Winter Conference
An often overlooked element of the National Organic Program is the requirement that organic seed be used wherever available. In January 2006 I was asked to speak on the practicalities and prospects for the organic seed industry at the annual meeting of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New Jersey.
Farm Select -- CSREES Presentation -- Washington, DC
One element of the project I did at the Rodale Institute was to "train the trainers" such that Cooperative Extension personnel would be able to coach farmers in the use of the conventional vs. organic model that we created. This presentation was an introduction to the model for the regional supervisory Extension personnel in DC in 2005.
Farm Select - Eco-Farm Conference 2005 Asilomar, CA
This presentaiton differed from the Extension presentation in that it was prepared for farmers themselves. I gave this presentation at a number of different conferences including the Winter Meeting of the California organic farmers at Asilomar in January 2005.
Contact me for available dates and current costs for a presentation to your group!