Congratulations on joining the journey of growing food indoors! Teaching people about indoor gardening is a passion for me, and I’m delighted that you decided to try it out.
This course is designed for beginners as well as seasoned gardeners who are eager to grow food in their homes or garages or whatever space you have available. The only requirement is that the space is kept warm through the cold months, everything else is taken care of by the growing systems that I’ve put together for this course.
The purpose of Grow Food Indoors is to teach you how to grow food year-round. This course takes the perspective that in northern cities, like Edmonton, we need to address the issue of Food Security by adopting indoor alternatives to field-based agriculture. Already there are millions of sq. ft. of greenhouse space in Canada that provides fresh vegetables to Farmer’s Markets and local grocery stores and the trend is predicted to explode over the next few years.
It has never been easier for people to learn how hydroponic gardening can work for them.
In this course, you are going to learn two techniques for growing food in your home. Both techniques are soilless, which means that the plants grow in “media” and not soil. This has advantages and disadvantages, which I will cover later, but, for now, the biggest benefits are: considerably more yield, less mess, less overall maintenance, and fewer opportunities for pests and animals to eat your harvest.
Grow Food Indoors comes in two streams; the Workshop Stream (WS) and the Online Stream (OS). The WS is designed to be social where participants learn and grow together. In the WS, we meet regularly for 6 months, because that is roughly how long it takes to learn how to grow hydroponically. In the WS, I facilitate bi-weekly sessions where I cover all the topics from this course as well as bring in guest speakers.
However, due to many requests for an online-only version, I’m providing the content for this course without the workshop portion to reduce costs and to make the material available to a wider audience. I recommend the self-driven OS if you have experience with growing food or you are highly self-motivated and disciplined.
I strongly encourage people with no experience to approach indoor gardening as a social endeavour for a number of reasons. The first is that gardening is always a team effort. Successful gardeners need supplies and materials from stores, technical advice from experts, volunteers from friends and family, and other support networks to truly grow an abundant crop. From the start of your journey, build a network of family and friends that share your values and attitudes around growing food.
The second reason is that shared learning experiences are so much richer. When small groups of people commit to a unified goal, they often surprise themselves in regards to how well they can achieve their goal.
The third reason is that, collectively, a group of gardeners that use the same techniques and grow roughly the same crops can help each other solve problems. Over time, the group will eventually experience all the problems and challenges that emerge with hydroponic growing, and they will become a wealth of knowledge for future generations of growers.
Whichever path you take in the months ahead, I hope you take this opportunity to get really excited about growing food, and to start sharing that excitement with others.
Thank you for taking the next step in your journey towards Food Security.
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