Classes and Presentations

School of the Wild Garden Establishment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
School of the Wild Garden | directions

Would you like to connect kids to nature by helping establish raised beds in the newly designed School of the Wild Garden?


School of the Wild has been helping children develop a connection to the natural world since 1991.

Backyard Abundance has redesigned the School of the Wild Garden to help visitors learn to cultivate and harvest vegetables, herbs and native medicinal plants.

The garden was specifically designed to support the FOSS Curriculum so it could be used as a demonstration site that teachers could emulate for school campus gardens.

School of the Wild Perspective Design

Garden Establishment

Join us at the garden anytime between noon and 2 pm for fun in the great outdoors at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.

The garden is located at the Bluestem Shelter. Look for the sign as you drive into the area.

Together we will...

What to Bring

Please wear standard gardening attire: hat, gloves, jeans.

If available, please bring wheel barrows, pitchforks, spades, steel rakes labelled with your name.

Growing Hope Event Series

This event helps people learn how to cultivate food, habitat and healing in the garden.

Learn about a wide variety of other family-friendly Growing Hope events.

Sponsors and Partners

Thank you to these wonderful sponsors and partners. Please frequent their stores, services and websites.

University of IowaDNR REAPBeisser LumberHy-VeeNew Pioneer


Put Your Garden to Bed

Saturday, October 28, 2017
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Marvin Gardens | directions

Learn to prepare your vegetable garden for hibernation so that it will emerge healthy and ready for spring planting.

Fred Meyer, organic gardening expert from Backyard Abundance, will share top tips that will entice beneficial organisms to create healthy soil throughout winter, reduce weeding and watering chores, and decrease pest and disease problems.

The event is free and open to gardeners of any skill level.

Topics covered:
• Properly cutting back plants to maximize soil fertility
• Establishing permanent beds and pathways
• Using leaves and straw to protect beds over winter
• Seeding cover crops

Please bring your gardening gloves and attire for hands-on learning in the garden.

Sponsored by the Imagine Grinnell Foundation and the Poweshiek County Master Gardeners.


Gardening with Spirit

Wednesday, November 01, 2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Gaia's Peace Garden | directions

Connect with the spiritual side of nature through playful gatherings the first Wednesday of each month.

Most everyone has experienced a divine presence in nature. Deepen these spiritual experiences through hands-on gardening and in-depth discussions in our shared outdoor cathedral.

Together we will explore many topics and questions…

  • How can natural settings increase the benefits of prayer, journeying, ritual, and meditation?
  • What are effective responses to the Pope's Eco-Encyclical, an urgent call for personal actions that mitigate climate change?
  • What is the human role in nature?
  • How can we collaborate with unseen beings to become a beneficial, healing element in ecosystem health?
  • <Insert your big spiritual question here>

The gatherings are open to any spiritual practice, but an inquisitive mind and compassionate heart are required.


You have several payment options:

  • Free will: A free will donation is requested at each gathering. Suggested donation: $5 - $10.
  • One-time payment: Pay $35 for all sessions. Register here.
  • Members: All sessions are free to Backyard Abundance members.
  • Work trade: Contact us for details about donating time in exchange for sessions.


A short grounding ritual begins promptly at 6:30 pm. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early to get settled before the grounding begins.

The gatherings officially end at 8:00 pm, but the fluid and exploratory nature of each event may allow for people to stay well beyond this time for chatting and supplementary activities.


Unlike formal classes, our gatherings depend mostly on the collective wisdom of the group. Experienced participants will be available at every session, but they will encourage their knowledge to be augmented by everyone.

Apr 5: Seed Swap

Bring seeds that make your heart sing and spread their goodness to other gardens.

May 3: Vegetable Gardening

Lots of information exists about planting gardens according to the physical needs of plants, but what about a plant's spiritual needs? Together we will explore ways to understand where a vegetable or herb would like to be planted using its internal messages.

Jun 7: Fruit Tree Companion Planting

Everyone needs friends, including fruit trees. Ecological designer, Fred Meyer, will describe ways to give fruit trees allies that will improve yields and reduce pests.

Jul 5: Fairy Gardening

Learn creative ways to invite fairies, gnomes and other spiritual beings into your landscape.

Aug 2: Midwest Native Plants

Learn about common native plants, their benefits and how to establish them in your landscape.

Sep 6: Herbal Remedies

Bring your favorite herbal remedies to share with the group. Samples are welcome!

Oct 4: Plant Communication

Bring ideas for ways to form heartfelt, mutualistic relationships with our plant friends.

Nov 1: Monarch Gardening

You've planted plenty of milkweed so where are the monarchs? We will explore ways to prepare your spring garden for monarchs and other butterflies. Bring your favorite ideas for attracting our fluttering friends and establishing monarch gardens in your landscape.

Growing Hope Event Series

This event helps people learn how to cultivate food, habitat and healing in the garden.

Learn about a wide variety of other family-friendly Growing Hope events.