OL 301 Assignment One Homework Instructions
Online Learning: OL 301
Learn How to Grow a Family Vegetable Garden
Center for Sustainable Development

How You Can Grow a Vegetable Garden: Fresh, nutritious vegetables for your family.

This week’s resources on the Student Resource Page:
OL 301 Assignment 1 Homework Instructions
Small-space vegetable gardens
Edible Gardening in Small Spaces – Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac
The Edible Balcony – Growing Fresh Produce in Small Spaces
Fast, Fresh Garden Edibles – Quick Crops for Small Spaces

A real classic, this book has details on double digging raised beds on page 64:
How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine. John Jeavons

Another real Classic, this book also has chapters on soil amendments and double digging:
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible – Edward C. Smith

What’s the real goal of this 8 Week Course?
For you to develop a small vegetable garden in 8 weeks.

I highly advise that you start keeping a course notebook. Print out and save the weekly assignments and downloadable resources in the notebook. You should just save the books to your hard drive. This notebook will be invaluable for you when you start your next garden in the next growing season.

Assignment 1. Choosing a space for your vegetable garden. Where: A terrace, a small garden plot, a community garden plot?

This Week’s Goal: To choose a spot for your vegetable garden.
Welcome to ‘Learn How to Grow a Family Vegetable Garden.’ This first week will be one of the easiest weeks in the course. It will just involve doing a little thinking about where you would like to start a small garden.

Start Small. When I began growing fruits and vegetables, I started small with maybe only one or two beds. That was a good idea because there was a lot to learn. I actually started in the first year with a small 3′ x 10′ (1M x 3M) planting bed.

Also if you start small, you have a much wider variety of places that you can put your vegetable garden.  And you can also do what I did—start in a convenient location and then as your vegetable garden grows (and you learn more) you can move to larger, more permanent location.

Another benefit of starting small is that you can get going right away. You don’t need to spend a lot of time looking for the perfect site for your vegetables.

Finally, starting small allows you to see if this is an achievable project for you to grow vegetables—without making too much of a financial or time investment. What if you discover that you really don’t have the time or the patience to do this? What if you discover that there are challenges that you hadn’t anticipated?

Step 1: Space. Survey your empire. Perhaps you’re living in a small duplex with a postage stamp sized back garden. Evaluate if that’s a good place to get started. Does it get sun? Is there water?

Perhaps you live in an apartment—but have a small terrace. Does it get sun? Is there room for a few planters?

Are there other creative areas where you live where you could have a few planting beds? Maybe the local neighborhood has a community garden that encourages people to grow vegetables. Ask around!

Homework for Assignment 1. So your assignment for week one is to write me and tell me:
1. Where is a good space where you live (or near where you live) that you feel will work successfully for a small vegetable garden. Take a photo of the space with your cell phone and paste it into your homework.

2. Time to start your notebook! Print out this homework sheet and jot down a few things that maybe you had trouble doing and that you will need to remember when you start again next season.

I look forward to seeing your ideas for Assignment 1 and I look forward to seeing you next week in Assignment 2.


Copyright © Tim Magee