Welcome To

Kitchen Garden School


Welcome to Kitchen Garden School at Cornell Farm! Whether you're a veggie lover, an herb enthusiast, or a fruit fanatic, growing a kitchen garden is a wonderful way to get the most out of your outdoor space. The following lessons consist of videos and written materials we've put together to help you be a successful Kitchen Gardener here in the Pacific Northwest, leading you from January planning through the October harvest.

Check out each lesson, and when you're ready to get started, be sure to stop by the Kitchen Garden Greenhouse at Cornell Farm! Our lead kitchen gardener, Cynthia DuVal, and the rest of our team would be happy to assist you.

Explore the Lessons

January: Planning Your Kitchen Garden

January is the perfect time of year to plan for the kitchen garden of your dreams, no matter how much space you're working with. In this month's lesson, Cynthia walks us through her thought process as she approaches planning and goal setting in the Kitchen Garden display beds here at the Farm.

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February: Getting Ready for the Growing Season

This month, we're building upon the foundation we laid in January and tackling a few to-do list items before the primary growing season arrives, from preparing the soil in our garden beds to starting a few seeds, taking care of any winter pruning, and even planting a handful of early crops.

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March: Succession Planting Principles & Practices

Get out your garden journal and get ready to delve into the principles and practices of succession planting. In March, Cynthia teaches us how to make efficient use of our garden space (and the growing season) to maximize our harvest so that we can further refine our plans for our kitchen gardens this year.

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April: Planting and Caring for Culinary & Medicinal Herbs

Take a deep dive into the wonderful world of herbs this month, from an exploration of their culinary and medicinal value to their role as companion plants in our vegetable gardens and beyond — plus a spotlight on rosemary with our very own Juan Posadas, a student of herbalism who distills his own essential oils.

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May: Growing Incredible Tomatoes Year-After-Year

As we wrap up our final succession plantings of cool weather veggies and greens, we're making room for cucumbers, melons, beans, squash, zucchini, peppers, and — everyone's favorite — tomatoes! Nothing beats the taste of a juicy, ripe tomato harvested from your very own garden, and Cynthia is here with tips to make sure this year's crop is the best you've ever grown.

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June: Time to Plant Summer Vegetables at Last!

This month, we officially welcome the start of summer, which means that — if you haven’t already — it’s time to plant your summer veg! As we harvest our remaining cool-weather crops, we're fully transitioning over to summer fruits and veggies, with an eye towards the principles of succession planting.

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July: Summer Watering Principles & Practices

In the heat of summer, keeping the our kitchen gardens (and ourselves!) hydrated is more critical than ever to maximizing our harvests. For this month's lesson, Cynthia is outlining her top tips for summer watering to help us out.

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August: Reaping the Rewards of Our Labor of Love

As the harvest comes rolling in this month, there's plenty to keep us busy in our kitchen gardens! In this lesson, we're following our lead kitchen gardener, Cynthia DuVal, through the display gardens at Cornell Farm as she harvests herbs, veggies, and fruits to create a beautiful — and delicious — harvest basket.

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September: Preserving Your Harvest

We're walking around the Farm with Cynthia as she talks about some of the many options for preserving the backyard bounty we're harvesting. And we're looking ahead to fall garden tasks to come, from harvesting our late succession plantings to cleaning up the garden, and tending to our strawberry patches at the end of the season.

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October: Looking Ahead

While we may be winding down for the year, that doesn't mean there isn't anything to be done in our gardens for the remainder of fall and winter. Our lead kitchen gardener, Cynthia DuVal, has tips for fall garden cleanup, soil amendment, and planting select crops — or cover crops — that will overwinter happily in our gardens.

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For Your Bookshelf

There are two resources we highly recommend to accompany us on our learning journey together:

We will be posting relevant readings from these two references with each lesson, so plan to make room in your library for both of them.