There is something for everyone at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Below is a list of our scheduled events classes, and exhibits. For details on any individual listing, just click on the event for more information. If you still have questions, feel free to call the garden at 413.298.3926. See you at the Garden!
This course meets on Thursdays, September 28 – October 19, 5:30 – 8:30 pm.
Developments in ecology and environmental science over the last 30 years have revolutionized the way we think of using perennials in gardens and landscapes all over Europe and North America. Whether it’s called “The Dutch Wave”, “The New Perennial Movement”, or “The New American Garden”, innovative gardeners and designers have reinvigorated the use and appreciation of herbaceous plantings worldwide. This class will provide an overview of the major concepts of this movement as well as hands-on experience of practical evaluation and design with herbaceous plants and grasses. We will spend time in the garden taking an in-depth look at plants, lecture time examining concepts and examples, and a design project will be assigned.
Instructor – Robert Anderson, B.F.A.
This class meets on Friday, October 13, 4 – 6 pm & Saturday, October 14 10 am – 4 pm
The Friday lecture will cover many of the forest, meadow, and wetland habitats found in Berkshire County, discussing their physical and ecological features–topography, geology, soils, and moisture–as well as their characteristic plant associations, including both common and rare plants. The Saturday field trip will take us to a variety of forested, open, and wetland habitats, and we will take a close look at the flora and features of each of them. We will also discuss impacts of invasive species, and possible changes to natural communities in response to climate change. We will travel by passenger van. Please dress for weather and bring a bagged lunch.
Instructor-Ted Elliman, M.S.
Lecture/offsite field study to Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA (co-enrolled with Horticulture Certificate Program)
Learn how to extend the season’s harvest to enjoy your own garden greens throughout the late fall and early spring months. Consider growing under cover in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame or high/low poly tunnels, and learn techniques needed to achieve a true four-season harvest. Investigate a variety of structures and learn the pros and cons of each. Crop selection, soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Following the lecture, Pete will lead a field study to Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA, and will explain season-extension structures and the various growing techniques.
Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over 10 years they have grown local produce for Berkshire County families. Their vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and they produce amazing top-quality, delicious produce. Both Peter and his wife Jen are committed to raising awareness about the importance of the local food supply, along with teaching technical information on how to do so. They have lectured on growing food for both NOFA and other regional organizations.
Learn how to extend the season’s harvest to enjoy your own garden greens throughout the late fall and early spring months. Consider growing under cover in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame, or high/low poly tunnels, and learn techniques needed to achieve a true four-season harvest. Investigate a variety of structures and learn the pros and cons of each. Crop selection, no-till soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation, and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Spend the afternoon at Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA, where Pete will lead an in-depth tour of the farm’s season-extension structures and will explain the various growing techniques.
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
Rendering (H, D, NP)
This class meets on Thursdays, October 26 – December 21 (no class 11/23).
Rendering is a drawing skill necessary for communicating garden designs to clients. This course is the next step for gardening designers following drafting. Structured as a studio class, students will learn the softer side of drawing for design using the B range pencils. Practice illustrative rendering such as sections, elevations and plan obliques. This course will enable designers to better communicate their designs to clients. Non-professional gardeners and artists are encouraged to join this class.
Instructor – David Dew Bruner, A.S.L.A.
Sunday, October 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Are you interested in learning to use a chainsaw but feel intimidated to do so? This workshop is designed for the novice to beginner chainsaw operator who wishes to gain greater confidence with this powerful tool. Topics will include personal protective equipment, anatomy of a chainsaw, reactive forces, basic chainsaw maintenance and additional tools for use with a chainsaw. Techniques learned include holding and starting a saw, hazard ID, escape options, log analysis (binds), planning cuts, overall plan and bucking and limbing. Attendees will cut logs on the ground and/or elevated on saw horses. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the safety features of a chainsaw and be able to operate a chainsaw based on safety fundamentals. No experience is necessary. If you have your own equipment (chainsaw or personal protective equipment) please bring with you. Note equipment will be provided. Dress and prepare for weather including long sleeves, pants, and boots. Bring a bagged lunch.
Instructor-Melissa LeVangie, Certified Arborist (MCA, ISA, NH) CTSP
This all day program will focus on managing the landscape sustainably. BBG is bringing together James Hitchmouth, professor of landscape design at the University of Sheffield, UK, author of Sowing Beauty, Designing Flowering Meadows from Seed, horticulturist Jessica Walliser, author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, mycologist Trad Cotter and organic landcare specialist Michael Nadeau. This event will give attendees a new, environmentally sensitive, vision for approaching the connection between their home and the surrounding landscape.
Classes meet on Thursdays, January 11 – February 8, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Designed for those starting or caring for a vegetable garden, this course will include discussion of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seeding and planting, pest management and specific plant cultivation, all in the context of the different vegetable groups. Each week, students will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important food groups, including: Fabaceae (peas/beans/other legumes), greens (lettuce/mustards/arugula/mache and more), herbs (perennial and annual), perennial vegetables (asparagus/ rhubarb/horseradish), Chenopodiaceae (beet/chard family), Brassicaceae (cabbage/cauliflower/kale/brussels sprout family), Cucurbitaceae (squash/pumpkin/cucumber/melon family), Poeaceae (corn family), Allioideae (onion/garlic/leek/shallot family), Solanaceae (tomato/eggplant/pepper/potato/sweet potato family) and Apiaceae (carrots/parsnips).
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses
This course is a must for those working or planning to work professionally in the field of horticulture. Participants will learn how to write a simple business plan, understand a team approach using subcontractors to a business advantage and ways to organize a business, from sole proprietor to incorporation (S-Corp, Inc., LLC). This course will cover dealing with employees, insurance, and tax write-offs. Learn the industry standards for markups on materials and labor, what the going rate is to charge clients, and how to cost estimate projects. Students will complete a cost estimate for a residential project—start to finish. The focus will be on staying small, lean, and smart and, finally, how to make a profit.
Instructor – Craig Okerstrom-Lang, ASLA, is a landscape architect located in Berkshire County. His vast business experiences ranges from public to private projects. He teaches a variety of programs for the botanical garden including graphic, design and business practices.
This course meets on Mondays, February 12 – March 5, 5:30 – 8:30 pm.
This training program is intended to provide entry-level construction workers information about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint as well as how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job-related hazards on a construction site. The training covers a variety of construction safety and health hazards that a worker may encounter at a construction site. Training should emphasize hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention, not OSHA standards. This program is provided by an OSHA-authorized outreach trainer. Students who successfully complete the 10-hour class will receive an OSHA 10-Construction wallet card.
Instructor – David Travers, B.S.