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Grow the Best Garden: 5-Part Workshop Series (Online)

February 9 @ 6:30 pm June 8 @ 9:00 pm

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Join us for a series that explores a wide variety of incredibly important gardening topics, from planning and planting, to harvest and seed saving!

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, this series will be certain to offer you tips and tricks, strategies and tools for growing your best garden ever.

This series features five 2.5 hour long online talks, once per month for five months. We’ll have at least 2 hours of instruction, with time for questions and answers.

Note: If you live in Victoria and would prefer an in-person option, the same series is happening in-person, accessed here.

Series Outline:

Grow the Best Garden #1: Plan and Prepare Your Garden – Thursday Feb 9 (6:30PM-9:00PM Pacific Time)

It’s the time of year when gardeners get excited about plotting and planning what they will be planting in their garden. Here on Southern Vancouver Island, good planning makes it possible to harvest produce from our gardens during every month of the year. In this workshop we will cover:

• Why garden in the first place?

• Get to know your garden site, sun, soil, temperature

• Time and money budgeting

• Choosing what to grow, when to plant it, and when to transition to other crops for year-round growing

• Draw a garden plan!

Grow the Best Garden #2: Seeding Techniques and Garden Care – Thursday March 9 (6:30PM-9:00PM Pacific Time)

There are so many ways to grow plants, and in this workshop, we’ll learn about the most common seeding techniques, and then get into garden care during the different seasons of the year. We’ll cover:

• Seeding long season crops indoors, soils to use, what your seedlings will need & how to care for your babies

• Seed germination testing

• Direct seeding

• Transplanting seedlings

• Thinning, weeding, watering, fertilizing, mulching, companion planting, basics of pests and disease management, other common seasonal garden care practices

Come away from this talk with the core principles of seeding techniques and a whole lot of insight into garden care throughout the seasons.

Grow the Best Garden #3: Build Incredible Soil – Thursday April 13 (6:30PM-9:00PM Pacific Time)

In this workshop we’ll explore the basis of all life on earth: Healthy Soil! We’ll explore what soil is made of and the vast importance of soil microbes. We’ll answer these questions and many more:

• What is soil made of and why does soil chemistry matter for growing healthy gardens?

• What is the function of beneficial soil microbes?

• What are some gardening methods that can help my garden thrive with beneficial soil microbes and healthy soil chemistry?

• How can I compost like an expert, mulch like a superstar and build soil organic matter every day of the year?

Come learn why soil is so important for plant growth and how to build incredible soil.

Grow the Best Garden #4: Extending Your Harvest & Saving Seeds – Thursday May 4 (6:30PM-9:00PM Pacific Time)

In this workshop we’ll explore timelines for seeding to ensure an extended harvest – be the one at a potluck in January with a backyard salad on offer! We’ll explore ways and ways to extend your harvest longer into the fall and winter. Then we’ll launch into the importance and practice of seed saving. We’ll explore topics such as:

• Cloches, cold frames, and greenhouses for season extension

• Seeding for winter crops – timing is everything

• Seed saving basics, so you can plant home grown seed next year!

Grow the Best Garden #5: Harvest & Preserve Your Bounty – Thursday June 8 (6:30PM-9:00PM Pacific Time)

The most fun part of gardening is the delicious harvest and squirreling some away for winter enjoyment! In this workshop we’ll talk optimal harvest windows for different crops and cover the basics of food preservation. Preserving food is not only a delicious way to taste summer in the dark rainy days of winter, but it is also an act of sustainability and creates more security in the food system.

In addition to harvesting techniques and guidelines, we’ll cover the basics of the following food preservation methods:

• Dehydrating

• Freezing

• Cold cellar storage

• Hot water bath canning

• Fermenting

• Take away a sauerkraut recipe to make your own from home


Instructor Bio: Kayla Siefried (she/her) is a settler in Lekwungen Territory and grew up in Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. Kayla is the steward of the Compost Education Centre demonstration gardens and the curator and main educator of the Adult Education Program. She can be found growing seedlings for plant sales, working with volunteers to keep gardens healthy, flipping hot compost, arranging expert instructors to teach workshops, or out in the community teaching about soil health, organic gardening, and Do-It-Yourself tasks that increase our climate resilience.

Kayla holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and she continued on with practical hands-on permaculture training, gardening and farming internships in various places on Turtle Island and beyond. Kayla is passionate about sharing her knowledge with people young and old through formal and informal education. She’s facilitated youth programs for sustainability all across Canada, Guatemala, and Cambodia, and has a zest for travel and adventure.

Kayla sees the act of growing food and stewarding the soil as one that can heal on many levels. A keen sustainability activist, Kayla finds meaning in advocating for and living an environmentally sustainable life that involves bicycles, healthy food systems, and a good amount of outdoor dancing!


This workshop will be hosted live online via Zoom, integrated with Eventbrite. You will get a link to the Zoom meeting upon registering for the event.

We will use the same meeting ID and passcode for each of the 5 meetings in the series. Closed captioning will be available.


You must pre-register for this event.

Customers can request a refund within 30 days of ticket purchase. After 30 days refunds and workshop exchanges are not permitted due to administrative staffing capacity. Please be in touch if you are no longer able to attend but hold a ticket so we can make your space available to someone else.

You can also register for the event by calling our office at 250 386 9676 or via email by contacting office@compost.bc.ca

If you identify as BIPOC or are someone who experiences significant financial barriers to being involved in our programming, please get in touch about a reduced ticket cost. The Compost Education Centre is continually in the process of examining the ways in which our program accessibility can be improved for all members of our community. This ticket gesture is by no means a fulsome examination of the systems of oppression that exist for people inside and outside of our community. We welcome your ideas and feedback.

If you are a member and would like to redeem your workshop discounts for this series, please email office@compost.bc.ca.


The Compost Education Centre is located on unceeded and occupied Indigenous territories, specifically the land of the Lekwungen people— specifically the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. These nations are two of many, made up of individuals who have lived within the porous boundaries of what is considered Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwakwa’wakw Territory (Vancouver Island) since time immemorial. At the CEC we seek to respect, honour and continually grow our own understandings of Indigenous rights and history, and to fulfill our responsibilities as settlers, who live and work directly with the land and its complex, vital ecologies and our diverse, evolving communities.

Compost Education Centre memberships get you free workshops, discounts at garden centres around town and more great perks! Sign up or learn more on our website.



February 9 @ 6:30 pm
June 8 @ 9:00 pm


Compost Education Centre
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