Clarkson shops host free organic gardening workshops

Ocean Keys Shopping Centre manager Andrea Smith at the organic community garden.
Ocean Keys Shopping Centre manager Andrea Smith at the organic community garden.

CLARKSON shoppers can learn more about organic gardening at free workshops this year.

Ocean Keys Shopping Centre is hosting free Green Thumb workshops until November, which Gaia’s Organic Gardens director Carla Weir will run.

The 30-minute sessions, which start 11am on specific Saturdays, will cover a variety of topics and are open to all ages.

“Growing things at home organically is a fantastic way to care for the environment because it removes the need to use harmful chemicals or pesticides,” Miss Weir said.

“We teach people how to use all-natural remedies from around the home that are safe, cheaper and build up the eco system, so the garden can better take care of itself.

“Kitchen scraps that would otherwise go to landfill and release high levels of methane are ideal free food for your garden.

“Perth has some very poor soil, so getting this right is the basis for any healthy garden and composting can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of a household.”

An avid gardener since she was a girl and qualified in horticulture, conservation and experienced in permaculture, Miss Weir said the workshops would address some of the myths and mis-information about organic gardening.

“Online searches for gardening techniques often yield results that can be confusing and don’t apply to Perth’s climate,” she said.

“We are on hand to show how easy organic gardening can be and to give people simple and easy steps to grow their own gardens based on our localised knowledge.

“There are some simple steps people can take regarding pest control, what to plant and how to adequately do so to ensure a healthier ecology.”

The first workshop will cover harvesting techniques on Saturday, May 18, with another on June 8 about companion planting.

People can get easy gardening tips on June, learn what to plant on August 3, and find out about organic pest control on August 17.

The September 7 workshop will look at how to build up soil and people can learn about growing food from scratch on September 21.

On October 19, people can learn about seasonal planting, then get tips on fertilising and caring for the garden on November 2.

The last workshop, on November 16 will look at what mulch is best for the garden.

Shopping centre manager Andrea Smith said Gaia’s Organic Gardens had established an organic community garden in-centre to inspire green thumbs.

“Visitors can keep an eye out for regular harvests and even grab some fresh produce to spice up their meals,” Mrs Smith said.

“Customers can get their hands in the soil and reconnect with nature while discovering more about the workshops and how to register.”

Book a workshop place at the information desk or by calling 9407 2411.

For more information, visit www.oceankeys.net.au.