Living Soil workshops offered in Snowflake

SNOWFLAKE – Gardening guru Kim Howell-Costion will be sharing techniques to deal with the soil and climate challenges of growing a garden in our high-desert region in four noncredit “A Living Soil” workshops at Northland Pioneer College’s Snowflake/Taylor – Silver Creek Campus, 1611 S. Main St., starting Friday, August 10.Kim has always felt drawn to the land and has honed her passion for gardening through knowledge gained from years of extensive travel and networking with numerous experts. She now focuses on two particular aspects of gardening: soil restoration and improvement and techniques for extending garden production. But meeting these two challenges comes down to the same end: “We specialize in how to produce a whole lot of food in a little area,” says Kim.

Classes can be taken individually at a cost of $68 each. Each AGR 099x class meets for four Friday sessions, from Noon to 4 p.m., in the Learning Center, room 133. At least one session will be at Howell-Costion’s garden, 10 miles east of Snowflake. In A Living Soil I, learn how to create a lush garden in the high desert your first year. Topics will include the importance of humus, soil structure, micro-macro fauna/flora, what harms/nurtures life in soil, soil challenges, and unique garden designs. Howell-Costion will also explore French intensive, no-till, lasagna, and biodynamic gardening methods. The class meets August 10 through 31Living Soil II focuses on ways to nurture the life in the soil. Diverse methods of making compost, using finished compost, benefits and uses of mulching for vegetables and landscaping, methods for raising earthworms and the value and uses of worm castings. The class meets on September 7 through 28.

The benefits and uses of cover crops, including their planning/selection and management are covered in Living Soil III. Also covered are the importance of crop rotation, evaluating needs and drawing up a rotation plan, companion planting as a tool to create microclimates, and attractive and efficient landscaping. The class meets October 5 through 26. Taking a natural approach to gardening is stressed in the Living Soil IV session. You’ll learn how to feed your garden natural soil amendments, explore homemade remedies/inoculants, and how to attract beneficial garden insects. Learn the importance of a balanced soil system, macro-micro nutrients, rock minerals, seaweed derivatives, humates, natural soil amendments and fertilizers, liquid nutrients and foliar feeding, homemade remedies for garden solution and the use of inoculants. The class meets on November 2 through 30, with no class on the 23rd when the college is closed for Thanksgiving.

Sign up for any of the Living Soils workshops at least four days before the class starts to ensure it is not canceled due to insufficient enrollment. You can now register and pay for noncredit classes online at Need help registering? NPC campus offices have computers available to use for registering for classes.

NPC’s Community and Corporate Learning Division provides personal interest and specialized corporate training throughout NPC’s service area. For more information about noncredit, personal interest classes, contact Katharine Olsen, community learning specialist, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6244, or email For corporate training, contact Royce Kincanon, corporate learning coordinator, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6239, or email