How to Grow Your Own Produce: 

The Workshop Series

February 5th - November 4th, 2020

1 Wednesday per month

People's Food Coop, 3029 SE 21st Ave, Portland, OR

7 pm - 9 pm

$185 for the full 10 class series

$100 for the 5 class series, or $25 per class

"Timing is Important"
            - Masanobu Fukuoka

All classes will be presented as zoom calls during the pandemic.  Please stay home and enjoy your garden & get ready for the best garden year ever! 

This workshop series is designed to help you maximize your yields and endeavors in the garden by providing an overview of key activities to engage in at the right time each month from February through November.

Facilitator Marisha Auerbach has spent many years observing and interacting in her garden and in the greater bioregion. She has been growing most of her own produce year round for the past decade. Each month, she will provide you with a checklist for the month ahead. We will discuss different subjects that are pertinent to the garden each month with supported handouts.

2020's schedule of Classes: 

Wednesday, February 5:  Planning, Design, & Framework

Wednesday, March 4:  Indoor Seedstarting, Early Season Plantings, & Perennial Vegetables

        This class has filled on March 4.  We are offering it again on Wednesday, March 11th

Wednesday, April 1:  Cole Crops, Greens, & Soil Building - on Zoom

        This class has filled on April 1.  We are offering it again on Wednesday, April 15th

Wednesday, May 6:  Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators

Wednesday, May 20:  2nd Session:  Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators



Wednesday, June 3:  Maintenance & Harvest

Wednesday, June 17:  2nd Session:  Maintenance & Harvest

Wednesday, July 1:  Berries, Herbs, & Water Catchment

Wednesday, July 15:  2nd Session:  Berries, Herbs, and Water Catchment

Wednesday, August 5:  Seedsaving & the Winter Garden

Wednesday, September 2:  Putting Up the Harvest

Wednesday, October 7:  Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

Wednesday, October 21:  2nd Session:  Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

Wednesday, November 4:  Nourishing Soups, Wildlife in the Garden, & Planning for the Coming Year


These classes are available as an entire series ($185), or as a 5 consecutive class package ($100),

Classes are $25 each. 

20% off discount for People's Food Coop members

** For class packages, I maintain a no refund policy after the first class, except in the case of extreme circumstances.

To register for the series, click here.

Click here for an example of one of the handouts that is provided each month. 

For testimonials about this class from prior students, click here.


For more information, or to register, email Marisha or call (503) 454-6656. 


Wednesday, February 5th - Planning, Design, & Framework

This opening session will focus on garden planning and design. From the Macro perspective to the microclimate, we will discuss Permaculture design strategies that will help you design your landscape based on the aspect and conditions of your landscape.  Thoughtful planning will help you maximize your yields and diversity of crops throughout the season. Fruit trees, berry bushes, and other large landscaping elements will be discussed as the framework for your landscape. Each participant is encouraged to come with a base map of their site. Please contact Marisha if you need support before class to have this available.


Wednesday, March 4th - Indoor Seedstarting, Early Season Plantings, & Perennial Vegetables

In March, it is time to begin planting seeds both outdoors and indoors. This session will focus on those early plantings, including many root crops, and the varieties that perform best for our climate. To aid in planning the garden, we will discuss crop rotation.  Our conversation begins about the importance of good compost and how to develop a composting plan that works for your household. More information on soil building will continue in April’s class. Perennial vegetables can be transplanted at this time. Since many perennial vegetables are new to gardeners, Marisha will share about growing and cooking some of her favorite types. 



The class on March 4th has filled.  We are offering this class a second time on Wednesday, March 11.

Wednesday, April 1st - Cole Crops, Greens, & Soil Building

April is a key time for all of the Cole Crops, such as Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Collards, and Cabbage. It is also a time of planting greens. As many plants are being planted in the garden during this month and the months to come, we will highlight soil building strategies.  We will continue our discussion on composting while highlighting various methods that students can use local materials to build their garden beds and enhance fertility onsite. Students will learn how to assess their soil and determine the best local materials to use to provide a optimal growing environment for their plants.


Wednesday, May 6th - Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators

 In May, the weather typically gets warmer and many flowers begin to bloom. We will discuss reliable varieties of warm season crops to grow in your garden. Now is the time to talk about Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Melons, Squashes, Tomatillos, and Basil.  Our cool evenings in the summer requires strategies to maximize microclimate and production for many warm season crops. Many of these plants require insects for pollination. You will learn about pollination, pollinator insects, and flowers that are useful for attracting these special critters. Many of these flowers have multifunctions. We will highlight edible flowers, their functions in landscapes, and recipes.  The month of May provides good conditions for our cultivated plants and for weeds. This class includes a discussion on common weeds in Oregon gardens, how they propagate, and strategies to prevent these plants in your garden. If you have a pesky weed in your landscape, please send a picture and email to Marisha prior to the class.


Wednesday, May 20th - SECOND SESSION

         Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators

** This is the second session of the May workshop of the Grow Your Own Produce Series. Upon registration, participants will receive a video of the slide presentation from the first class in May, a pdf of the slides and all handouts. During the scheduled workshop time, we will have a live Q & A session about the content of the workshop and optimal activities in the garden during the month of May.

Wednesday, June 3rd  - Maintenance & Harvest

June completes our planting of the summer vegetable garden and then it is time to focus on maximizing the harvest. For the urban gardener, this may mean optimizing a small space to produce as much food as possible. We will discuss strategies for optimizing yield of your vegetable crops throughout the growing season, including the best types of trellises for plants that like to grow up.  June is often a time when we need to water the garden more frequently. Strategies for watering the garden are included in this class. Pests and diseases start to show up in the month of June. This class includes a discussion on organic and natural ways to help prevent and discourage these problems. If you have a pest or disease issue, please email a picture so we can help you find a solution!


Wednesday, June 17th - SECOND SESSION:   Maintenance & Harvest

Wednesday, July 1st-  Berries, Herbs, and Water Catchment

This workshop will focus on different types of fruiting crops that we can grow in our gardens as well as tips on what to do this month in the garden. Recipes and tips to store the bountiful harvest of berries will be included in this class. Many herbs are beneficial companion plants and available to harvest now. Marisha will share about some of her favorite herbs to grow with recipes. It is time to start planning and planting for fall, winter, and spring harvest. Cool season gardening will be included with the discussion on what to do this month. We will also talk about water catchment and how to determine what type of system would work best for your household. Handouts will include a to do list for the month, herbs for tea, and other pertinent information.


Wednesday, July 15th - SECOND SESSION:   Berries, Herbs, and Water Catchment

Wednesday, August 5th - Seedsaving and the Winter Garden

In August, it is time to begin saving seeds. The weather has been dry and many plants are ripening their seed. This workshop will cover the basics of saving seed so you are ready to save some seeds from your garden this year.  Since August is a key month to get many starts in the ground for harvest in the cool seasons, we will have a section of the class on winter gardening. This class will highlight what is happening in the garden in August, how to save and store seeds, and what plants need to go in the ground for fall, winter, and spring harvests. 

Wednesday, September 2nd - Putting Up The Harvest

The abundance from the garden and orchard is coming in.  It is time to put it up for storage and winter meals.  In this class, we will discuss the options for storing food for the winter including:  canning, dehydration, fermentation, & freezing.  A key component of this class will be focused on how to assess what your family will eat in the winter and the space that you have available for storage.   We will cover the last of the plantings for the year as the last of the winter crops should be in the garden by the Autumnal Equinox.  As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in September, how to preserve your harvest, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on canning and food preservation, and other pertinent information.


Wednesday, October 7th -  Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

October is a time for returning inward and thinking about nourishing the soil for the future garden. This class will highlight soil building methods including mulches, composting, leaf mold and more. We will discuss types of cover crops for building soil tilth and fixing nitrogen. Mushrooms can be inoculated in the garden in October.  Garlic goes in the ground this month for summer harvest. We will talk about the different types of garlic and best varieties for our region. As our weather turns colder in October, gardeners may want to provide some shelter for their plants. We will discuss strategies for sheltering plants from the cold. This class highlights what is happening in the garden in October, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month. Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on soil building methods, and other pertinent information.


Wednesday, October 21:  SECOND SESSION: Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

Wednesday, November 4th- Nourishing Soups, Wildlife in the Garden, & Planning for the Coming Year


In November, the weather has become cold and the garden has been put to bed.  The birds, insects, and other critters need habitat to keep them around. During this class, we will discuss ways to encourage these allies to spend the winter in your garden.  By having active food webs, like these,  in the garden, we invite collaboration and enhance fertility cycles on site.  As this is our final class for 2020, this class will provide relevant information to help you begin planning for the 2021 garden season.  We will also highlight nourishing soup recipes from local herbs, veggies, and stocks. As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in November, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on wildlife, soup recipes, and other pertinent information.

Comments from past participants of the Grow Your Own Produce Workshop Series...

"I'm really grateful for this series. It transformed my relationship with my garden. It has brought it 'nearer' to me; made my garden 'my size'. It has helped me feel more confident about what to do when during the unfolding of the year; to notice what is happening and so come to find a way to meet whatever is happening."  

                                                                                           ~ Elysa Foxman, 2019


"I highly recommend Marisha Auerbach's Grow Your Own Food series to learn how to grow fresh, nutrient-dense foods and decrease your carbon footprint! She is a wealth of knowledge! "       ~ Deidre Schuetz, 2019

"Marisha Auerbach's extensive knowledge and ability to share her experience in using permaculture to sustainably grow food in the city motivated me to grow a bountiful garden of edible plants. The monthly classes helped me maintain my focus and inspired me. During the March class, she asked us how many people were planning to grow peas? Only a few people raised their hands. She told all of us the many good reasons we should be growing peas, so I planted some! Inspired."         ~Ana Helena, 2019

"I learned tons from and had a lot of fun participating in the Grow Your Own Produce Workshop Series. Marisha is a wealth of knowledge and shares in a way that is inspiring and confidence boosting for the participants. I had more fun in my garden this year than I ever have and had a lot of success with growing various vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Marisha teaches a lot of tangible information while making it approachable and flexible for all. I didn't feel like there were strict rules to follow and was excited to take what I learned from the series and apply them in ways that felt fun and applicable for me. I highly recommend this series and working with Marisha in any way that you are able!"          ~ Margaret Goyette, 2019

"Marisha has an incredible wealth of knowledge in permaculture. She lives, eats, and breathes her trade. In addition she is a clear teacher when she shares her knowledge. She started as a non-gardener so she knows about what it takes to really learn everything from ground zero."   ~ Catherine Rose, 2018


"I am so grateful to have begun this work . I feel like I've begun to work 'with' my garden instead of 'managing' some external object. We are cultivating a relationship together. Thank you so much!"  ~ Elysa Foxman, 2018

"What impressed me most about Marisha's classes was the information was presented in both a class and field-trip format that gave us a full experience of what to expect when we planted various perennials and trees. Also Marisha has a global method of teaching that seems to fit the full spectrum of the skill and knowledge of the gardening students--from beginner to master gardeners. We all had a great time." ~ Teetle Clawson, 2018


"Marisha is a passionate, knowledgeable teacher who cares about our community and the ability of people in it to be able to nurture their families through home grown foods. Her emphasis on plants suited to our region and use of sustainable growing techniques through permaculture is a timely topic for gardeners across Portland and beyond."     ~ Andrea Herrst, 2017

"I signed up for the series. I loved how I received a list of what needs to be done for the month. I learned a lot from this class. Marisha is a very approachable teacher and has a vast knowledge of permaculture gardening and techniques. I would take it again and highly recommend the series."     ~ BeCe Kidder, 2017


"I'm new to permaculture and these classes were the perfect introduction. Each class gave me exactly what I needed for that part of the season to prepare my yard for maximum growth and yield. An excellent crash course in the science and art of permaculture! "     ~ Andrew Williamson


"In 2013 I participated in the Grow Your Own Produce workshop series with permaculture instructor Marisha Auerbach. I joined the workshop series to expand my knowledge about gardening and obtain first-hand guidance in regards to the design, creation, maintenance, and harvesting of backyard vegetable garden. As an amateur gardener delving into his first vegetable gardening experience I had a lot to learn (and unlearn).

The classes were well organized, and I felt comfortable asking questions both during and outside of workshop. Marisha is incredibly knowledgeable about growing food in the Pacific Northwest.  Marisha is passionate and curious about growing food, as is evident by her thriving home garden, and  her enthusiasm for mindful cultivation of fresh, healthy and local food was inspiring to me.

My garden in 2013 was relatively successful! I stewarded a bumper crop of snap peas, and was successful in growing chard, kale, shallots, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and cardoon.  My personal goals of not killing everything I planted and wanting to plant a garden next year were achieved!
~ Christopher Kochiss