Ethical Eating

The Garden of Eatin: Free Vegetable Gardening Classes at the Yellow Green Market

You probably already know, but it's Slow Foods week, a celebration of all things locally grown. While we love the idea of eating at farm-to-table restaurants and buying from local producers, you couldn't get much closer than your own backyard.

No, we mean literally.

Karin Fields -- a.k.a. the Edible Gardening Gal -- wants to teach you how to grow your own food. This Saturday, she will be hosting two free classes at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market's new Garden of Eatin. Details after the jump.

See also:

- The Edible Gardening Gal Talks Suspicious Neighbors and Rookie Mistakes

- So You Want to Be a Farmer - Why?

Starting this Saturday at 1 p.m. -- and at the same time on April 27 -- Fields will be conducting a "How to Grow Your Own Vegetables in the Tropics" class. In each hour-long class, Fields will be teaching students about garden location, soil, where to get seeds, and more. Based on her soon to be released handbook, the course will run through an A-to-Z explanation of everything that grows in South Florida.

Fields not only grows herself and teaches students, but she also installs backyard gardens in individual's homes. Starting off as a self-taught grower and gardener twenty years ago, there were few resources on the subject. In order to grow in the field, Fields' touched based with a couple of women working on developing gardens, one in South Africa and another in California. As her first job, she flew out to California to help her new found friend install a garden in Tori Spellings home. Not a shabby way to start, in the 90210.

After growing in Florida for over 15 years, Fields has a pretty thorough handle on the inns and outs of South Florida farming. According to her, the hot, humid climate and the opposite growing season of Florida discourage people from growing successfully down here."People come down here from up north and have to unlearn what they have taken so long to learn," she said.

Fields' main goal is to let people know that it is actually not difficult to grow food yourself. According to her, "It almost comes naturally and logically. We've been taken away from this [growing] for so long, it seems confusing. We just need the right information."

Although Fields has operated a gardening booth at the Yellow Green Market for around three years now -- mainly selling grow bags and doling out advise to hopeful growers -- the market has recently expanded her area to accommodate classes. The new Garden of Eatin provides stadium seating to accommodate individuals looking to learn about gardening. While there are set class dates for April, Fields is not sure whether classes will continue on through the summer or just start back in the fall. "It depends how many people show up," she said, "Not many people want to sit outside in the Florida summer, but we will definitely start back up before growing season, probably in August."

For more information, check her website at

The Yellow Green Market is located at 1940 N. 30th Road, Hollywood.