"To build experience, knowledge and community to expand dynamic local food systems"
a brief
overview
education/events
community
for farmers & interns
education
order plants
nursery
map/hours
contact
news
blog
check it out
view cart
Community Workshops
Home Seasonal Hours
& Map
Workshops Growing Information Catalog Request Order Plants Seasonal Fruit
& Produce
Festivals & Events Gift Certificate Customer Service Blog Donate Newsletter Sign-Up Site Map

 

Community Learning Opportunities 2014

Free Workshops

At Cloud Mountain we are passionate about learning. We offer the community a variety of free workshops and paid courses designed to teach everything from beginning food gardening on up to advanced fruit tree care. Workshops are held outside in our demonstration gardens and fields; please come prepared for the weather. No registration required for free workshops.  Donations to support the education programs are always welcome!

Fee Classes and Courses

These classes and courses are more in-depth and hand-on learning opportunities. Registration is required!  Space is limited.  Click on the link to register!

 Feb. 15, 10:30-Noon 

Learn to Grow Fruit Trees

If you're thinking about planting fruit trees, but don't know where to start, this is the workshop for you. We'll discuss the easiest varieties to grow, how to decide which rootstock to plant, where and how to plant, and what initial pruning and training are needed. You leave knowing how to establish your trees and give them the best start for the critical first 3 years.
No registration required. Be prepared to be outside. Repeats March 15.


Begins Feb. 15, 1:30-3:30

Advanced Vegetable Gardening – 5 Part Series

New this year is a five part workshop series that takes you beyond beginning vegetable gardening. You will learn to plan and manage your garden for year round eating. In this hands-on series we will cover advanced topics relating to soil fertility and crop rotation to ensure a productive garden. In most sessions, you will start seeds for your own garden. We provide
participants with seeds, flats and soil. You are also welcome to bring seeds from home if you have varieties you want to try.
Registration required, space is limited. $100 for the five part series.

 
Part 1- February 15,1:30-3:30
In this first session, we'll begin by planning the season and learning to map your beds for crop rotation. We'll discuss soil fertility and varieties of vegetables we've found productive and successful. We'll also start seeds of alliums and early greens so you can plant as soon as the weather allows.

 Part 2- April 5,1:30-3:30
April is one of the busiest months in the maritime garden. This month we'll have 2 sessions to seed greens and brassicas. We will discuss the ins and outs of growing root crops, which can also be planted this month. We'll also start our tomatoes and peppers for planting out in May, and discuss season extenders such as cloches and cold frames.

Part 3- April 19,1:30-3:30
Time to plan your summer garden and to start more greens and brassicas. We'll be starting seeds, and evaluating how our tomato and pepper seedlings are coming along. We'll also discuss the process of hardening off seedlings for planting in the open garden.

Part 4- May 10,1:30-3:30
In this session, we'll walk through the high tunnels at the farm and talk about tomato and pepper planting and support methods. We'll also talk about planting curcubits, beans and corn in the summer garden. Disease and pest management, soil fertility and water/irrigation will also be covered.

Part 5- June 21,1:30-3:30
By now you will have been eating from your garden for at least a month! In this last session, we’ll talk about what’s happening in our gardens at home and look ahead to plan our summer and fall plantings for winter harvest. We’ll even seed some of the late maturing brassicas. We'll continue our discussions of pest and disease issues, and irrigation issues through the summer and talk about cover cropping in the fall for fertility.


Feb. 22,10:30-Noon
Growing Apples and Pears
Apples and Pears are some of the favorite crops to grow and eat in the NW. In this general overview workshop we will discuss growing techniques and demonstrate tree pruning. Techniques covered range from pruning established dwarfs to renovating older trees you’ve inherited. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


Begins Feb.22, 1:30-3:30 OR March 1, 1:30-3:30
Advanced Apple and Pear Growing, Two Part Hands-On Course

Registration required, space is limited. $40 for both Part 1 & Part 2. Sign up for our Two Advanced Courses, Apples & Pears and Stone Fruits, and all 4 classes are $70.

Part 1: Feb. 22,1:30-3:30 OR March 1 1:30-3:30
This is a two-part hands-on course. In the first class, you'll be working in the orchards pruning established trees, with hands-on instruction. You'll practice applying pruning theory to trees
grown on different training systems, and on trees of different ages. Because this hands-on training requires a small class, two sections are scheduled, Feb 22 & March 1.  Be prepared to
be outside.

Part 2: May 31,1:30-3:30
In our second class, we'll learn the process of scouting for pest and disease issues, and look at how our pruning earlier in the spring is affecting the early growth of the trees. We'll also look at fruit set, and have a hand-on thinning practicum. Both sections of Advanced Apple & Pear Growing, Part 1 will meet together for this class. Be prepared to be outside.


March 1,10:30-Noon  
Design and Plant an Edible Landscape
Integrating perennial edibles and ornamentals can make a stunning and productive landscape. Come explore what’s possible in the realm of edibles. Selection, design and cultural practices will all be covered. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 8,10:30-Noon  
Learn to Garden Sustainably
In this workshop, we will discuss ways to have a beautiful and productive food and/or ornamental garden while being sensitive to the environment. Topics will include plant selection, reducing water usage, reducing chemical usage and integrated pest management, weed control, and pest control. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 8,1:30-3:00
Organic Fruit Growing for Homeowners
You can grow tree fruits and berries using organic practices, even in our challenging climate.  Learn how to keep your trees and berry plants healthy and productive.  We’ll discuss the common pest and disease issues of our area, and how to deal with them effectively. Other topics will include soil and weed management and use of compost and mulches in fruit
growing. Be prepared to be outside.


March 15, 10:30-Noon
Repeat of Learn to Grow Fruit Trees
If you're thinking about planting fruit trees, but don't know where to start, this is the workshop for you. We'll discuss the easiest varieties to grow, how to decide which rootstock to plant, where and how to plant, and what initial pruning and training are needed. You leave knowing how to establish your trees and give them the best start for the critical first 3 years.
No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 15,1:30-3:00     
Repeat of Growing Apples and Pears
Apples and Pears are some of the favorite crops to grow and eat in the NW. In this general overview workshop we will discuss growing techniques and demonstrate tree pruning. Techniques covered range from pruning established dwarfs to renovating older trees you’ve inherited. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 22,10:00-11:30
Growing Small Fruits
Northwest gardeners can grow an incredible variety of fruits. This workshop will focus on the smaller fruiting plants: blueberries, raspberry and blackberries, strawberries, and kiwis. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


GrapesMarch 22, Noon-1:30
Grow Grapes for Wine and Eating
We will discuss growing grapes in cool climates for wine and eating. Cultural practices including soil requirements, pruning techniques, pest management and harvesting will be covered.  Workshop will take place in the vineyard. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 22, 2:00-4:00
Winter Propagation: Grafting and Hardwood Cuttings
Propagation of woody plants is more challenging than starting seeds, but fun and simple once you know what to do. In this two-hour workshop, we'll demonstrate how to propagation during the dormant season, through hardwood cuttings and grafting, including fruit trees.  Registration is required, $30 workshop fee.


March 29,10:30-Noon
Growing Stone Fruits: Cherries, Peaches, Apricots & Plums
Growing cherries, plums, peaches and apricots can be rewarding and challenging in our maritime climate. In this general overview we will discuss planting, growing techniques, and pruning of stone fruits. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


March 29,1:30-3:00
Learn the Artful Tradition of Espalier
If you’re considering creating a Belgian fence or growing cherries trained to a fan, this is for you. Construction considerations, training, which plants work and those that don’t - all will be covered. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


April 5,10:30-Noon
Beginning Vegetable Gardening
Vegetable gardening is more than planting seeds. In this general overview learn how to successfully grow a wide variety of produce throughout the year, including how to get started, planning your plantings, managing your soil and fertility inputs, and timing for succession harvests. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


April 12,10:30-12:30
Seed Starting Class
Starting your own vegetable transplants at home can save you money and expand the varieties you can plant.  In this workshop we'll discuss seed starting mediums, containers, sanitation, and fertility. This is a hands-on experience; you will go home with a flat of seeds ready to grow, and the skills to grow them successfully. Registration required, $30 course
fee.


Starts April 12, 1:30-3:30
Advanced Stone Fruit Growing, Two Part Hands-On CourseRainier

Registration required, space is limited. $40 for both Part 1 & Part 2.
Sign up for our Two Advanced Courses, Apples & Pears and Stone Fruits, and all 4 classes are $70.


Part 1 April 12, 1:30-3:30  

This is a two part hands-on course. In the first session, you'll be working in the orchards pruning established trees, with hands-on instruction. You'll practice applying pruning theory to trees of different ages. Stone fruits require special handling when pruning, and are pruned just as the fruit sets.

Part 2 June 7,1:30-3:30

In our second class, we'll learn the process of scouting for pest and disease issues, and look at how our pruning earlier in the spring is affecting the early growth of the trees.  We'll also look at fruit set, and have a hand-on thinning practicum.  Be prepared to be outside


April 26,1:00-3:30
Building Tunnels and Cold Frames
Come to Cloud Mountain and learn to build a home scale hoop house for growing tomatoes and peppers.  Materials will be pre-cut, so we'll just be learning how to put them together. You will go home with plans, a materials list and the experience of having built one yourself. When you register, or at the class you will also have the opportunity to purchase harder to find materials to build your own home hoop house.  Registration required.  $30 workshop fee.  Space is limited.


May 10,10:30-Noon
Using Tunnels and Hoop houses for Productive Gardening
You can grow great tomatoes and peppers in the Pacific Northwest! Use of high tunnels and hoop houses can bring you success in crops that often fail out in the open. We’ll discuss hoop house construction, planting, pruning and training, and management issues. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


June 7,  10:30-Noon  
Summer Care in the Vineyard
We will look at shoot positioning, summer pruning, bunch thinning, water management, and disease management. All of these issues are critical to the production of quality grapes for eating and wine. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


June 21,10:30-Noon
Plan Your Winter Vegetable Garden Now!
At the peak of summer is the best time to plan and plant a winter garden.  Here in the Northwest, it’s possible to grow and harvest vegetables almost year round. We’ll discuss the types of plants you can grow, special fertility and soil requirements for winter gardening, and the use of cloches and frost blankets to extend the harvest. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


August 10, 11:00-5:00
Summer Harvest Day
Late summer is the pinnacle of fruit and veggies in the garden.  Come tour Cloud Mountain's growing fields and taste the wonderful bounty that can be grown here.  Admission fee, registration not required.



September 13, 10:30-Noon   
Harvesting and Storing Fall Fruit
When is it ripe? How do I store it? These are two of the most commonly asked questions in the fall. At this workshop, we will discuss ways to determine if fruit is ready to be picked, proper picking, and best storage methods. We will also discuss fall and winter orchard chores to help keep your trees at their healthiest. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


September 20, Noon-1:30  
Trial Vineyards Open House
Come and tour our trial vineyards. Tom will be on hand to answer questions about the fifteen plus years of variety trials and growing methods in our vineyards. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.


September 20,1:30-3:00
Wine Trials Evaluation
This is a chance for new and experienced wine grape growers to have a look at many of the new varieties that are of interest in our climate. Fruit will be available for sampling. Numerous wines, both red and white, will be opened for discussion. Some made at Cloud Mountain and some by NW Wine Institute. All made from grapes grown at Cloud Mountain Farm Center. If you have fruit or wines you want to share, you are welcome to bring samples. Please let us know what you are bringing! Registration required, must be 21 or over to participate.  $10 workshop fee.


October 4, 10am-5pm  & October 5,11am-4pm
Annual Fall Fruit Festival
An annual event for the past two decades, we have close to 200 varieties of common and uncommon fruits, ciders, nuts, plus rare fruit jellies and sauces for you to taste and enjoy. The best part is that they are all fruits you can grow in NW Washington! It is quite a culinary education. Live music provides a pleasant background for this event. Julia’s Pumpkin Patch features U-pick and we-pick pumpkins and gourds for the festival and throughout the month of October. This is a fun-filled family event that many people attend - we hope you will join us! Admission fee, no registration required.


October 18, 1:00-3:30
Making Hard Cider
You’ve asked for it, here it is! In this 3 hour course, we’ll demonstrate the basic procedures for fermenting fresh cider into hard cider. We’ll look at equipment needs, we’ll discuss apple varieties and blends, yeasts and sanitation. And yes, we will taste some hard cider, too. Registration required, limited space, must be 21 or over to participate. $30 workshop fee.