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Learn how to raise chickens at Community Education class at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College this fall. 

This fall, you can learn how to turn extra green space into a bountiful garden, discover the joy of birding in Napa County, make a worm compost bin, or begin small scale chicken farming for eggs through Community Education and non-credit classes being offered this fall at the St. Helena campus of Napa Valley College.

For questions or help registering, call 707-967-2901, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday- Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Farm to Table Gardening

  • with Noël Lopreore of Napa Valley Family Farmer, 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 30—Nov. 1, free, Culinary Gardens & Room 1.

This is an opportunity to take classes using the Upper Valley Campus garden, the educational hub for farm-to-table cuisine for Napa Valley Cooking School. Students will work together to maintain and expand the gardens. Through lecture and experiential learning, students will also explore the fundamentals of small-scale agriculture, ranging from conventional to organic gardening. No previous gardening or farming experience necessary. Wear shoes and clothing appropriate for gardening. Course Code #74273.

Register in person at first class meeting or by phone.

How to Raise Backyard Chickens for Eggs

  • with Noël Lopreore, 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 8, $85, Culinary Gardens & Room 1.

Have easy access to high-quality fresh eggs while enriching your garden soil and increasing the health of your whole yard? This fun, interactive, and highly informative class, led by Family Farmer’s Noel Lopreore, will teach you what you need to know to get quickly started raising your very own backyard chickens. Topics covered in this three-hour class include flock/chick sourcing; equipment/enclosures; basic chicken care and feeding; Napa County and individual city ordinances for raising chickens (and the rooster issue); handling/harvesting eggs, and best uses of chicken manure.Course Code: #74217

Worm Composting (Vermicomposting) Workshop, o

  • rganized by NVC, Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, and UC Master Gardeners of Napa County, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, free.

In this free, hands-on workshop, you will build and take home your own worm composting bin.

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Under the guidance of a UC Master Gardener you will also learn the environmental benefits and the dos and don’ts of productive vermicomposting, the practice of using worms to break down organic material such as food scraps. The resulting material is a mix of worm castings (worm manure) and decomposed food scraps, which is a beneficial soil amendment for your garden that is rich with microbes and nutrients. As a result of your participation in this class, your garden and lots of worms will be happy and our landfills less full. Pre-registration is appreciated. Register with EventBrite.

— Birding Napa County with Murray Berner, 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 25, $100.

In late September, many of the birds that winter in Napa are arriving from their northern breeding grounds, and birds that summer here continue to depart for the tropics. The county has easily accessible terrestrial and aquatic habitats where songbirds, waterfowl, raptors and shorebirds congregate. To see a diversity of species, the class will visit different habitats during each field trip: Lake Hennessy, Napa River Ecological Reserve, the American Canyon Wetlands or wherever the dynamics of the season dictate. The field trips will involve a walk of 0.5-2 miles round trip. Terrain is level over gravel roads or well-worn footpaths. Bring binoculars and your favorite field guide.

Berner is the co-author of the “Breeding Birds of Napa County.” Students should email the instructor before the first day of class for more information at Pre-registration is required. Course Code: #74149.

— Culinary Gardening 101 with Noël Lopreore, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 29, $20, Culinary Gardens & Room 1.

Whether you’re a cook, a gardener, or an inquisitive eater, this informative class lead by Lopreore will teach you how (and why) to start, upgrade, or revamp your own culinary garden, giving you access to fresh herbs and edible flowers year round. No space is too small or season too short to get a fall garden going after you take this lecture format class, covering topics such as garden location and design, container gardening, soil, plant choice, edible flowers, seedling propagation, seasonal planting schedule for Northern California, and water conservation strategies.

Lopreore has more than 15 years of culinary gardening experience keeping bees, raising hens for eggs, and growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Her past clients include chefs and farm-to-table establishment such as Bardessono’s Lucy in Yountville and Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch in St. Helena. Pre-registration is appreciated. Course Code: #74205.

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