GardenShare is full!


Our one credit, pass/fail class designed to help “non-gardeners” gain experience and learn from other students is now full.  Watch for it next semester and register for STOCKSCH 298G early!  This is student run class which meets on Mondays from 2:30pm-3:45pm and requires additional time in the garden at the top of Eastman Hill.

To register on SPIRE, look for STOCKSCH 298G – GardenShare Practicum (75664)


The first class was loads of fun (according to the participants).  If you want to stay connected and/or volunteer, join the Facebook group here:

Student Facilitators:

Mission Statement: GardenShare is a student-run community garden where students of all academic interests and background can come together to learn how to grow healthy food. Through community and self-directed learning students at UMass are able to engage with a variety of food production methods and learning opportunities. By learning in a community setting we strive to create an inclusive space where everyone’s input is valued.

Course Description: The GardenShare class is a one credit, pass/fail class offered at UMass in the fall semester. Throughout the semester we will work in the garden growing fall crops and preparing the garden for winter. We will also hear and participate in a variety of workshops and workdays which will cover topics from soil fertility and gardening techniques to building raised beds, raising bees and mowing with scythes. Within a classroom we will discuss gardening techniques and theories such as permaculture and host guest speakers and workshops to further everyone’s knowledge about gardening and food production. Our garden is located on Tilson Farm Road, off of East Pleasant St, behind the North Fire Station and UMass Police Department.

Class Requirements and Grading expectations: Garden share is a 1 credit pass/fail course. Each student is allotted one unexcused absence throughout the semester. If you are going to miss class please email Ezra or another facilitator. You don’t need a crazy excuse but it is very helpful for us to know ahead of time.

twogardenersEach student is asked to complete 10 work hours outside of class throughout the semester. There are a variety of fun things you can do to fulfill this including working at the garden, volunteering at a local farm, helping facilitators sell vegetables at the UMass Student Farmers’ Market, preparing food for a class potluck, or attending a sustainable/local/agricultural related workshop or event. We will keep track of work-hours throughout the semester.

Each student will be asked to research a topic related to agriculture and organic gardening and give a brief presentation at the end of the semester. Students may be asked to work in pairs and presentations will not be longer than 3-5 minutes.

Grading will be based on the the above requirements, attendance, and class participation.

Goal: To give students an opportunity to explore gardening and learn in a hands-on, social environment.

Objective: Students will leave this class able to start their own small garden.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1

Sep. 12

Welcome, Intro to Class, Discussion about gardening.

  • Opening breath
  • Get a sense of group’s gardening knowledge and experience
  • Garden Tour
  • Closing Discussion
Week 2

Sep. 19

Workshop: Review of Tools and Techniques

  • Breath
  • We will discuss a variety of tools and techniques for a more abundant garden! We will try to cover planting, cultivating, harvesting and storage and see where to conversation takes us.
  • Closing Discussion
Week 3

Sep. 26

Workday: Seeding Fall Crops

  • Breath
  • As a class we will seed 2-4 beds with fall crops such as carrots, beets, kale and salad greens.
  • Closing Discussion
Week 4

Oct. 3

Workshop: Mowing With Scythes

  • Breath
  • Brief workshop with professional scythe mower Emmet Van. Will cover safety, proper form and technique, blade care, etc.
  • Scything practice in groups
  • Closing Discussion
Week 5

Oct. 10

Workshop: Building Raised Beds in the Greenhouse + Drip Irrigation

  • Breath
  • We will work with Garden Share members Brandon Curtin and Ori Ben-Shir to build raised beds in our greenhouse and lay drip irrigation. We will also transplant and seed more fall crops!
  • Closing Discussion
Week 6

Oct. 17

Workday: Introduction to No-Till Farming

  • Breath
  • Brief discussion of the principals of no-till
  • We will spend 30-40 minutes turning, cover cropping raised beds and mulching paths in the garden
  • Closing Discussion
Week 7

Oct. 24

Workshop: Introduction to Beekeeping

  • Breath
  • Garden Share member Ori will speak about raising and caring for bees and the importance of pollinators in an agricultural system
  • Extra time will be spent around the garden
  • Closing discussion
Week 8

Oct. 31

Workday: Garlic Planting

  • Breath
  • Discussion of garlic reproduction and planting process
  • 30-40 minutes of garlic planting
  • Closing Discussion
Week 9

Nov. 7

Lecture: Processes and Mechanisms in Agriculture

  • Breath
  • For this class we will discuss and answer questions around how plants grow and thrive. We will cover plant growth and nutrient use, nutrient uptake, water, soil composition and common crop diseases.
  • Closing discussion
Week 11

Nov. 14

Workshop: Running a Market Garden

  • Breath
  • Garden Share member Zach Ziegler will discuss his experience running a market garden and selling vegetables.
  • Class will be provided with planting charts and can begin planning their own garden for the spring.
  • Closing Discussion
Week 12

Nov. 21

Workshop: Making Sourkrout/Kimchi

  • Breath
  • Brief discussion of process and mechanisms at play
  • Everyone will make their own batch of sourkrout or kimchi with cabbages grown in the garden
  • Closing discussion
Week 13

Nov. 28

Final Class: Closing ceremonies

  • Breath
  • Snacks/potluck
  • Thank you to everyone for participating!
  • Plus delta to assess how we can better run this class in the future

*workdays are weather permitting and can be supplemented with indoor classroom teach-ins

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