Seed your head

Some of us prefer to learn by doing. We’re inclined to take a chance and plant a new seed variety, or fool around with computer software for a while before cracking the manual. Others do everything by the book. Still others learn best from a talented teacher, seeking out classes (either formal or informal) to jump-start their dreams. Some folks reach for a shovel first; others reach out to a shovel expert.

But for those who dig classes, WNC is arguably as good as it gets. From the Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener program (available in every WNC county except Yancey) to the renowned Organic Growers School to college classes and numerous garden clubs, the region offers abundant opportunities for structured learning.

Throughout the season, Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service offers a range of classes in horticulture and related crafts. Among them is “Home Landscaping: Basics for Beginners,” a series of Tuesday-evening lectures at Pack Memorial Library (6:30-8 p.m.). Upcoming subjects include: “Six Steps to Landscape Design” (July 27) and “Landscape Design: the Artistic Aspects” (Aug 3). On July 31, the Arboretum and the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service will co-sponsor a daylong symposium titled “Focus on Flowers: Living Treasures,” featuring a diversity of lectures and workshops.

The North Carolina Ginseng & Goldenseal Company offers Sunday classes at Eagle Feather Farm in Marshal. The sixth in this year’s series, “Biodynamic Gardening & Composting,” will be offered on Sunday July 4, with instruction by Martin Webster (an expert in small-farm composting) and Lloyd Nelson (who serves on the board of the Josephine Porter Institute). On Sunday July 18, permaculture teacher/designer Chuck Marsh will present “Permaculture: Designing Regeneration Landscapes.” And Xpress contributor Patryk Battle, the head gardener at Mountain Air Organic Garden, will share his wisdom in “Beneficial Insects and Cover Crops,” the eighth class in the series, on Aug. 1.

Forty miles southeast as the crow flies, Red Moon Herbs continues a series of classes at Earthaven EcoVillage under the tutelage of Xpress contributor Corinna Wood. There’ll be two more presentations of “Wild Plants for Food and Medicine” (July 31 and Sept. 25). In between these daylong classes, Wood will offer a weekend course, “Wild Plants for Wild Women” Aug. 28-29 (10 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday). The weekend course is for women only, and overnight camping or lodging is available. Material covered will include how to use abundant local herbs to support optimum health in every cycle of a woman’s life: menstruation, pregnancy and breast-feeding, and menopause.

So don’t just stand there staring at the weeds and scratching your head — get eddicated! <@endbullet>

First class…

For details, contact:

* Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service (828) 255-5522

* North Carolina Arboretum (828) 665-2492,

* North Carolina Ginseng & Goldenseal Company (828) 649-3536,

* Red Moon Herbs (888) 929-0777 or (828) 669-1310,

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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