mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

I have always wanted to grow my very own organic garden even in our little backyard, I guess it is only natural as I grew up having our own version of bahay kubo at home, sans the actual bahay kubo, that is! My Mama has a passion for gardening and planting, we have veggies and plants growing in every available space in the backyard. We have eggplant, okra, calamansi, sili, pandan, kamias, as well as fruit-bearing trees such as guava, mango, santol. We also have a riot of lovely flowering plants, like bougainvillea, santan, and hibiscus in different colors. I can also vividly remember the beautiful scent of sampaguita surrounding the yard, which used to greet me each morning.

It was unfortunate that I did not inherit my Mama’s green thumb and my feeble attempt at gardening in pots were rather unsuccessful, with most of the plants and herbs I got drying up and eventually dying.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

I almost gave up until I got an invite to join the Organic Urban Gardening 101 Workshop a few months back. Of course, I immediately said yes as I was eager to grow my very own organic garden at home.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

The workshop was held at the Cedarhills Garden Center in Quezon City and was facilitated by Gerald. It was a lovely place to learn about organic gardening, surrounded by lovely herbs and plants. They also have a designated function room where the workshop was held. There was no need to bring any tool or material for the workshop as everything we needed are provided for.

The workshop was facilitated by Gerald and I commend him for providing precise and detailed explanations, especially of the terms and procedures I know nothing about. He was also very gracious to answer each and every question the participants that day threw at him. He even went around the room to make sure everyone understood his instructions and were able to keep up with the hands-on activities.

We tackled different topics on gardening, including:

  • Seed Soaking
  • EM Technology {a bit technical, but Gerald was able to break down the jargons into layman’s terms so we can easily understand them}
  • Sprouting
  • Seed Planting
  • Different Plant Containers
  • Transplanting
  • Cutting
  • Potting Medium Preparation
  • Bed Planting
  • Composting {one of my favorite topics}
  • Fertilizer Application
  • Pest Management

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

After a brief introduction, we proceeded to the very first hands-on activity of the day, seed soaking. Easy enough, we are instructed to soak two different seed packets, broccoli and kangkong. The garden is complete with all the gardening tools which they have provided for each participant, they even have small metal mesh seed strainers making this first activity very elementary. We were also taught to mix our own Diluted EMAS {Effective Microorganisms Activated Solution} by combining a liter of unchlorinated water and a tablespoon of EMAS.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

After soaking our seeds, we are ready to plant! We separated the broccoli seed and sandwiched them between damped cheesecloth and stored them in a clear plastic container. Sprouting is ideal for leafy greens and can easily be used for cooking and for salads.

The next activity was seed planting and we planted the kangkong seeds we have soaked earlier in a seedling tray. We are instructed to water the soil with diluted EMAS before and after planting the seeds. The seeds are to be transferred to their separate pots as soon as two leaves sprouted from them.

We then proceeded to transplanting a couple of tiny plants from seedling trays into individual plots. These hands-on exercises are very ideal especially for hesitant and less-confident newbie gardeners like myself. Trying to plant and re-pot seedlings did boost my confidence knowing I can easily do this at home.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green
image is from the Cedarhills Facebook Page

After a  number of activities the group went for a quick break at their in-house cafe, Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar. I really loved the tuna sandwich and the iced tea. It was just too bad I was not able to take photos of them before finishing them off!

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

After the very healthy snack, we proceeded to continue the activities lined up for the second part of the workshop and tried our hand at cutting. Cutting is another technique of growing plants and as the name suggests, it is done by cutting a part of a fully-grown plant. For this activity we cut a portion of a mint plant and transferred it in another pot. We placed this pot in a plastic bag after watering it to seal in the moisture and were told to remove it once the plant rooted or after 2 weeks. You will know the plant has rooted if you notice new leaves forming.

Gerald briefly discussed potting medium preparation, noting that the key to successful gardening truly lies in the soil. To start growing plants and for them to flourish, one ought to start with a healthy, nutritious soil, where the plants can thrive and yield healthy produce. He also busted the gardening myth about green thumb, saying it is just an old wives’ tale and anyone, yes even you and I, can actually be successful in growing our very own organic garden at home.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green
image is from Cedarhills Garden Center Facebook Page

It was time for bed planting and everyone was provided a bed planter to transfer small lettuce plants and plant kangkong seeds into. We were also provided pebbles in different colors to decorate our planters. I know, I wasn’t too creative at decorating mine, but I do love it clean and simple. I just formed a straight line to separate the lettuce from the kangkong and formed circles in each seed and plant to protect them. One of the participants won the best bed planter design and went home with GC’s from Cedarhills Garden Center.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

Afterwards, we went outside to check out the rest of the garden center and see all their lovely blooms and plants. I particularly loved their ideas to recycle an old shelf, old tyres, and old water gallons as planters for these herbs and greens. They offer an assortment of plants here and I also spotted an entire section filled with lovely succulents. I went on to purchase one after the workshop.

mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green

After the quick tour, it was time for the awarding of the certificates for the participants. We also snapped some souvenir photos and braced ourselves for the generous take home kit. We are bringing home everything we did during the workshop, including our diluted EMAS, the poly pots of herbs, among others. Good thing I remembered to bring a huge ecobag so I won’t have to lug a big box around. Included in our take home kit is a Php100 Cedarhills Garden Center GC and I used it to purchase assorted seedlings that I can grow at home. The seedlings are on sale at a very cheap price of 3 for Php100, so I got 3 different herbs to take home. Yup, happy camper here!  :laugh:

Why you’d love to attend the Organic Urban Gardening 101 Workshop

This gardening workshop is a must for anyone who wants to learn the rudiments of organic urban gardening, who needs the boost to jump-start their gardening at home, or those who simply need the inspiration so they can begin with their urban garden project. It is also ideal for those who want to learn a new skill or try a new hobby this year.

I give this workshop :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: and here are a few reasons why I love it:

  • it provides a number of hands-on exercises so even noob gardeners will get a feel of how it is to actually plant and grow their own seeds
  • it gives me the boost and the inspiration I needed to continue on with my gardening at home
  • it is well worth it, with the many items included in the take home kit and the very adept facilitator
  • the helpful crew that are ready to assist with the smile at all times are truly commendable!
  • You even get to take home a cd of the entire presentation, so you can easily refer to it when you have queries or clarifications
  • The snack is superb!
mum's thoughts, green project, green ideas, workshops, organic gardening, Home and Garden, mum going green
image from the Cedarhills Garden Center Facebook Page

If you, or any member of your family, are planning to learn a new skill or try a new hobby this year, you might as well give the Organic Urban Gardening 101 a go, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

To avail of the Early Bird Rate, do sign up now for their 27 February workshop. Get a 15% Off on the Php1,995 fee if you register on or before 06 February, 2016.

To register for the workshop, or for more details about the Organic Urban Gardening 101 Workshop, you may check out the Cedarhills Garden Center Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/cedarhillsgardencenter. You may also inquire by calling 0907.ORGANIC or {02} 926.2707

For more photos of the workshop, you may check them out at the Mumwrites Facebook Page.

Written by

mumwrites

is a 30-something work-at-home mum who blogs in between home chores + child-minding. i love coffee, books + reading, collecting lovely postcards, + spending loads of time outdoors with my little man.