The first of Moab Community Garden’s fall season garden workshop series will be held on August 14 with local gardener Jon Olchewski. Olchewski will lead workshop attendees through a talk on how to extend the growing season, what crops can be sown for the fall, and how to overwinter your garden. The free workshop is open to everyone.
Moab Community Gardens, nicknamed MoCom Gardens, is a community garden that provides plots for local gardeners of every skill level. This year is the first year MoCom has offered free gardening workshops—MoCom is a project of the Resiliency Hub, which received funding from the City of Moab 2021 Grant Program to support the garden project and to host the workshops.
The fall sowing and season extension workshop will be held at the East Bench Community Garden (2927 East Bench Rd, Moab) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 14. Light snacks will be provided by Moonflower Community Co-op.
MoCom gardeners always have the option to keep their plots into the next year, and in past years, about half choose to overwinter their gardens, according to MoCom Gardens manager Becky Mann.
Fall gardening can be daunting for beginner gardeners or for gardeners new to the area. Gardeners need to know when to plant fall seeds so the plants can finish growing before winter sets in. A lot of beginners will harvest their early fall produce—such as onions, garlic, and carrots—and then not know what to do with the empty plot for the rest of the year, Mann said.
Rather than Googling garden advice or how-to’s, Mann hopes the fall season workshop will provide beginners, or anyone who wants to learn new gardening skills, with the opportunity to talk with local farm and garden experts. Finding online garden advice that actually applies to Moab’s desert climate and plant hardiness zone can be tricky.
Jon Olchewski, who will be running the workshop, grew up in Moab and has been gardening for his entire life. His father has been an organic gardener in Moab since 1971, when he started growing food for the family. Olchewski has over 10 years of extensive overwinter gardening experience with his own garden. He’s watched the Moab gardening community grow from a few people to almost a thousand, he said, and one of his favorite aspects of the community is the knowledge-sharing.
During the workshop, Olchewski will share techniques for fall sowing and overwintering a garden, as well as his personal approaches to and philosophies on gardening.
“With gardening in general, the two main things that people fall to the wayside on is the hard work part of it … and the diligence,” Olchewski said, when asked about what advice he would give to gardeners looking to overwinter. Winter gardening can be just as demanding as the other seasons—but it’s important because it “bridges the loop,” between growing seasons, Olchewski said.
But one of the most important things any gardener can do for their plants is experiment.
“What I like the most about doing the workshops is just connecting the community with the expert garden knowledge that’s already out there,” Mann said. “It’s so great when we can have people see each other face to face.”
What: Fall Sowing and Season Extension Workshop
When: Saturday, August 14 at 9 a.m.
Where: East Bench Community Garden (2927 East Bench Rd, Moab)
More information can be found on the Moab Community Gardens Facebook page or by email at email@example.com.