Organic Gardening 101
How to plant and maintain your own organic garden: This program touches on all aspects of organic gardening from lawn removal to plant care and harvest using organic methods.
Managing Insects and Disease in the Organic Garden
How to control insects and diseases in the garden and orchard using organic methods
Creating a Balcony or Patio Garden
This program will discuss materials and plants that are suited for growing on balconies and patios.
Karen Contreras is an urban farmer and owner of the company Urban Plantations. Urban Plantations specializes in the design, maintenance and installation of edible landscaping. Their primary business is planting vegetable gardens for people and teaching them how to grow their own food. They also manage two RSA (Restaurant Supported Agriculture) projects and are in the process of designing a third. They are entering their 4th year in business in San Diego and have just recently broken into the market in Los Angeles. Karen is a native Southern Californian who has been an avid gardener for over 30 years. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and harvested her first carrot at age three in her grandmother's garden. Her family farmed watermelons, cotton, almonds, raisins, grapes and walnuts in the central valley near Pixley. Her interest in plants inspired her to major biology and botany in college. After college, she moved to Oregon where she started a family and an organic farm. They grew about 90% of their food including dairy goats and poultry. She learned to "can," butcher chickens and make compost among other things. Most of her practical experience was passed on from her grandmother and other gardeners, but having a basic understanding of plant physiology is key to problem solving with organic farming. She continued her education by completing the Master Composter and Master Gardener Programs offered by the U of C system as well as various seminars in orchard care, tree pruning and plant propagation. Currently she writes gardening columns for different publications in San Diego, she's on the Curriculum Advisory Committee at San Diego City College for the Sustainable Urban Agriculture program and the Advisory Committee for Roots San Diego.