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Grow Your Own Produce: 
The Workshop Series

February 7th - November 6th, 2024

First Wednesday of the month 

Online through Zoom

6 pm - 8 pm

$250 for the full 10 class series

$130 for the 5 class series, or $30 per class

"Timing is Important"
            - Masanobu Fukuoka

Grow Your Own Produce is a 10 class monthly series taught by permaculture expert Marisha Auerbach. Each class features seasonally-relevant information about planning, growing, maintaining, and harvesting food from your own vegetable garden.  2024 will be the 11th year of the workshop series. 

Each month, the class is designed to help you maximize your yields and efforts in the garden by providing an overview of key activities to engage in at the right time each month from February through November. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month through Zoom. Before the class meeting, participants will receive a collection of handouts supporting the key topics for the month with a garden checklist for the month ahead. We will discuss different subjects that are pertinent to the garden that month using slides and the month’s handouts as reference. There will be ample time each class session for questions. After each class, participants receive a video of the class and pdf of the slides. 

Marisha Auerbach has spent many years observing and interacting in her garden and in the gardens of the greater Pacific Northwest bioregion. She has been growing most of her own produce year ‘round for over the past decade. To learn more about Marisha, please visit her bio page

Class Schedule for 2024:  




Wednesday, February 7:  Planning, Design, & Framework

Wednesday, March 6:  Indoor Seedstarting, Early Season Plantings, & Perennial Vegetables

Wednesday, April 3:  Cole Crops, Greens, & Soil Building

Wednesday, May 1:  Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators

Wednesday, June 5:  Maintenance & Harvest 

Wednesday, July 3:  Berries, Herbs, & Water Catchment 


Wednesday, August 7:  Seedsaving & the Winter Garden

Wednesday, September 4:  Putting Up the Harvest

Wednesday, October 9:  Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

Wednesday, November 6:  Nourishing Soups, Wildlife in the Garden, & Planning for the Coming Year

These classes are available as an entire series ($250), or as a 5 consecutive class package ($130),

Classes are $30 each.  

** For class packages, we maintain a no refund policy after the first class, except in the case of extreme circumstances.

To register for the series on Wednesday nights, click here.

Click here for an example of one of the handouts that is provided each month. 

For testimonials about this class from prior students, click here.


For more information, or to register, email Marisha or call (503) 454-6656. 



Planning, Design, & Framework 

     Wednesday, February 7th

This opening session will focus on garden planning and design. From the Macro perspective to the microclimate, we will discuss Permaculture design strategies that will help you design your landscape based on the aspect and conditions of your landscape.  Thoughtful planning will help you maximize your yields and diversity of crops throughout the season. Fruit trees, berry bushes, and other large landscaping elements will be discussed as the framework for your landscape. Participants are encouraged to have a base map of their site and some tracing paper for overlays or the ability to do so digitally. Please contact Marisha if you need support before class to have this available.  Handouts will discuss planning for a year round harvest, strategies for site analysis, and more.

Starting seeds

Indoor Seedstarting, Early Season Plantings, & Perennial Vegetables 

     Wednesday, March 6th


In March, it is time to begin planting seeds both outdoors and indoors. This session will focus on those early plantings, including many root crops, and the varieties that perform best for our climate. To aid in planning the garden, we will discuss crop rotation.  Our conversation begins about the importance of good compost and how to develop a composting plan that works for your household. More information on soil building will continue in April’s class. Perennial vegetables can be transplanted at this time. Since many perennial vegetables are new to gardeners, Marisha will share about growing and cooking some of her favorite types. Handouts will include Marisha's recommended vegetable varieties, information on starting seeds, charts about thresholds for various vegetables, and, as always, a "to do" list for the month.


Peas and Lettuce in March

Cole Crops, Greens, & Soil Building

     Wednesday, April 3rd

April is a key time for all of the Cole Crops, such as Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Collards, and Cabbage. It is also a time of planting greens. As many plants are being planted in the garden during this month and the months to come, we will highlight soil building strategies.  We will continue our discussion on composting while highlighting various methods that students can use to build their garden beds and enhance fertility onsite. Students will learn how to assess their soil and determine the best local materials to use to provide an optimal growing environment for their plants.  Handouts will include the "to do" list for the month, composting and soils information, and strategies for companion planting. 


 Warm Season Crops, Edible Flowers, & Attracting Pollinators

     Wednesday, May 1st

 In May, the weather typically gets warmer and many flowers begin to bloom. We will discuss reliable varieties of warm season crops to grow in your garden. Now is the time to talk about Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Melons, Squashes, Tomatillos, and Basil.  Our cool evenings in the summer require strategies to maximize microclimate and production for many warm season crops. Many of these plants require insects for pollination. You will learn about pollination, pollinator insects, and flowers that are useful for attracting these special critters. Many of these flowers have multifunctions. We will highlight edible flowers, their functions in landscapes, and recipes.  The month of May provides good conditions for our cultivated plants and for weeds. This class includes a discussion on common garden weeds, how they propagate, and strategies to prevent these plants in your garden. If you have a pesky weed in your landscape, please send a picture and email to Marisha prior to the class.  Handouts for May include the "to do" list for the month, information on edible flowers, plants for attracting pollinators, and tips for growing warm season vegetables.


Maintenance & Harvest

     Wednesday, June 5th

June completes our planting of the summer vegetable garden and then it is time to focus on maximizing the harvest. For the urban gardener, this may mean optimizing a small space to produce as much food as possible. We will discuss strategies for optimizing yield of your vegetable crops throughout the growing season, including the best types of trellises for plants that like to grow up.  June is often a time when we need to water the garden more frequently. Strategies for watering the garden are included in this class. Pests and diseases start to show up in the month of June. This class includes a discussion on organic and natural ways to help prevent and discourage these problems. If you have a pest or disease issue, please email a picture so we can help you find a solution!  Handouts for the month include information on water efficiency, common pests & diseases, winter gardening, the "to do" list for the month, and more.


Berries, Herbs, & Water Catchment 

     Wednesday, July 3rd

This workshop will focus on different types of fruiting crops that we can grow in our gardens as well as tips on what to do this month in the garden. Recipes and tips to store the bountiful harvest of berries will be included in this class. Many herbs are beneficial companion plants and available to harvest now. Marisha will share about some of her favorite herbs to grow with recipes. It is time to start planning and planting for fall, winter, and spring harvest. Cool season gardening will be included with the discussion on what to do this month. We will also talk about water catchment and how to determine what type of system would work best for your household. Handouts will include a "to do" list for the month, herbs for tea, winter gardening, information on growing berries, and more.


Seedsaving & the Winter Garden

     Wednesday, August 7th

In August, it is time to begin saving seeds. The weather has been dry and many plants are ripening their seed. This workshop will cover the basics of saving seed so you are ready to save some seeds from your garden this year.  Since August is a key month to get many starts in the ground for harvest in the cool seasons, we will have a section of the class on winter gardening. This class will highlight what is happening in the garden in August, how to save and store seeds, and what plants need to go in the ground for fall, winter, and spring harvests. Handouts will include information on saving seeds, winter gardening, and the "to do" list for the month. 

Saving seeds in community

Putting Up The Harvest

     Wednesday, September 4th

The abundance from the garden and orchard is coming in.  It is time to put it up for storage and winter meals.  In this class, we will discuss the options for storing food for the winter including:  canning, dehydration, fermentation, & freezing.  A key component of this class will be focused on how to assess what your family will eat in the winter and the space that you have available for storage.   We will cover the last of the plantings for the year as the last of the winter crops should be in the garden by the Autumnal Equinox.  As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in September, how to preserve your harvest, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on canning and food preservation, and other pertinent information.

Grapes and Tomatillos for preservation

Garlic, Cover Crops, & Compost

     Wednesday, October 9th

October is a time for returning inward and thinking about nourishing the soil for the future garden. This class will highlight soil building methods including mulches, composting, leaf mold and more. We will discuss types of cover crops for building soil tilth and fixing nitrogen. Mushrooms can be inoculated in the garden in October.  Garlic goes in the ground this month for summer harvest. We will talk about the different types of garlic and best varieties for our region. As our weather turns colder in October, gardeners may want to provide some shelter for their plants. We will discuss strategies for sheltering plants from the cold. This class highlights what is happening in the garden in October, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month. Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on soil building methods, how to grow garlic, an overview of cover crops, and other pertinent information.


Nourishing Soups, Wildlife in the Garden, & Planning for the Coming Year

     Wednesday, November 6th

In November, the weather has become cold and the garden has been put to bed.  The birds, insects, and other critters need habitat to keep them around. During this class, we will discuss ways to encourage these allies to spend the winter in your garden.  By having active food webs, like these,  in the garden, we invite collaboration and enhance fertility cycles on site.  As this is our final class for 2022, this class will provide relevant information to help you begin planning for the 2023 garden season.  We will also highlight nourishing soup recipes from local herbs, veggies, and stocks. As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in November, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on wildlife, soup recipes, and other pertinent information.

The garden in November
Comments from past participants of the Grow Your Own Produce Workshop Series...

"This series helped my garden to flourish in a way it hasn't before. My depth of understanding of individual plants and my backyard ecosystem grew as a result of the wealth of experience and knowledge Marisha shared. Thank you!" ~ Meredith Tufts, Eugene, OR, 2021

"I truly love learning from Marisha. She offers a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding
 making" the most of an urban space for growing food and supporting nature and the Earth while doing so. I loved this class so much!" ~ Amber Votel, Portland, OR, 2021

"This class has been everything I had hoped and more. I feel like so many gaps in my gardening knowledge have been filled and I have so many resources from this class to aid in my garden planning, improving my soil health, setting up a better compost system....and the list goes on. The monthly to do lists were especially helpful to this newbie gardener and I feel like I have a great step-by-step plan from them to ensure I am doing what I need to do for my garden to thrive. So thankful for this class!!"  
    ~ Jen Hazen, Beavercreek, OR, 2021

"Marisha is a wonderful teacher who is able to convey deep, ecological knowledge while also teaching you how to maximize your food production. She can shape a simple question from a student about a plant into a participatory learning journey that deepens your knowledge about the plant's relationship to wildlife, water, sun, moon, seasons and soil - and to you, the gardener."
~ Dawn Smallman, Gaston, OR, 2021

"Marisha’s enthusiasm for growing food is infectious and an inspiration!"
~ Christy Nieto, Bellingham, WA, 2021

"Marisha Auerbach has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to share her Permaculture/ecological gardening experience with others. I have learned more from her classes than any other permaculture online classes I have taken. I would recommend her classes to anyone is interested in gardening in a more ecologically friendly and productive way." ~ Gabrielle Chadowitz, Eugene, OR, 2021

"Marisha was super responsive to any questions that arose, and always offered a number of different helpful ideas when I was struggling to meet my garden goals." 
~ Sue Preneta, Portland, OR, 2021

"This class was everything I needed this first year in my gardening journey. I will definitely take it every year! It’s an ocean of information, and lots of problem solving. I loved the online format because it fitted my schedule perfectly. I loved Marisha! Her teaching is easy to follow and very eye opening while her passion for gardening and plants is contagious! 😊" ~ Alina Brack, Pleasanton,California, 2021

"I'm really grateful for this series. It transformed my relationship with my garden. It has brought it 'nearer' to me; made my garden 'my size'. It has helped me feel more confident about what to do when during the unfolding of the year; to notice what is happening and so come to find a way to meet whatever is happening."  
                                                                                           ~ Elysa Foxman, 2019
"I highly recommend Marisha Auerbach's Grow Your Own Food series to learn how to grow fresh, nutrient-dense foods and decrease your carbon footprint! She is a wealth of knowledge! "      
~ Deidre Schuetz, 2019

"Marisha Auerbach's extensive knowledge and ability to share her experience in using permaculture to sustainably grow food in the city motivated me to grow a bountiful garden of edible plants. The monthly classes helped me maintain my focus and inspired me. During the March class, she asked us how many people were planning to grow peas? Only a few people raised their hands. She told all of us the many good reasons we should be growing peas, so I planted some! Inspired."         ~Ana Helena, 2019

"I learned tons from and had a lot of fun participating in the Grow Your Own Produce Workshop Series. Marisha is a wealth of knowledge and shares in a way that is inspiring and confidence boosting for the participants. I had more fun in my garden this year than I ever have and had a lot of success with growing various vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Marisha teaches a lot of tangible information while making it approachable and flexible for all. I didn't feel like there were strict rules to follow and was excited to take what I learned from the series and apply them in ways that felt fun and applicable for me. I highly recommend this series and working with Marisha in any way that you are able!"          
~ Margaret Goyette, 2019

"Marisha has an incredible wealth of knowledge in permaculture. She lives, eats, and breathes her trade. In addition she is a clear teacher when she shares her knowledge. She started as a non-gardener so she knows about what it takes to really learn everything from ground zero."   ~ Catherine Rose, 2018
"I am so grateful to have begun this work . I feel like I've begun to work 'with' my garden instead of 'managing' some external object. We are cultivating a relationship together. Thank you so much!"  ~ Elysa Foxman, 2018

"What impressed me most about Marisha's classes was the information was presented in both a class and field-trip format that gave us a full experience of what to expect when we planted various perennials and trees. Also Marisha has a global method of teaching that seems to fit the full spectrum of the skill and knowledge of the gardening students--from beginner to master gardeners. We all had a great time." ~ Teetle Clawson, 2018
"Marisha is a passionate, knowledgeable teacher who cares about our community and the ability of people in it to be able to nurture their families through home grown foods. Her emphasis on plants suited to our region and use of sustainable growing techniques through permaculture is a timely topic for gardeners across Portland and beyond."     ~ Andrea Herrst, 2017

"I signed up for the series. I loved how I received a list of what needs to be done for the month. I learned a lot from this class. Marisha is a very approachable teacher and has a vast knowledge of permaculture gardening and techniques. I would take it again and highly recommend the series."     ~ BeCe Kidder, 2017

"I'm new to permaculture and these classes were the perfect introduction. Each class gave me exactly what I needed for that part of the season to prepare my yard for maximum growth and yield. An excellent crash course in the science and art of permaculture! "     ~ Andrew Williamson

"In 2013 I participated in the Grow Your Own Produce workshop series with permaculture instructor Marisha Auerbach. I joined the workshop series to expand my knowledge about gardening and obtain first-hand guidance in regards to the design, creation, maintenance, and harvesting of backyard vegetable garden. As an amateur gardener delving into his first vegetable gardening experience I had a lot to learn (and unlearn).

The classes were well organized, and I felt comfortable asking questions both during and outside of workshop. Marisha is incredibly knowledgeable about growing food in the Pacific Northwest.  Marisha is passionate and curious about growing food, as is evident by her thriving home garden, and  her enthusiasm for mindful cultivation of fresh, healthy and local food was inspiring to me.

My garden in 2013 was relatively successful! I stewarded a bumper crop of snap peas, and was successful in growing chard, kale, shallots, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and cardoon.  My personal goals of not killing everything I planted and wanting to plant a garden next year were achieved!
"    ~ Christopher Kochiss

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