Successful Gardener Classes 2018

We are excited to welcome back Jeff Rieves, who has prepared an amazing line-up of classes for the New Year.  If you have never had the privilege of learning from such a seasoned agrarian, do yourself a favor and come out to one (or more) of these classes. You will leave encouraged, enthusiastic, and well prepared for your next venture into the wonderful world of backyard gardening!

Fresher food is healthier food. And you can’t get any fresher than food from your own back yard. Growing your own food is easy, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, and it can save you money.

Join Jeff Rieves, Horticulturist & former NC Cooperative Extension agent, for a season long session in the garden. Learn all about vegetable gardening, fruit plants, food garden design, and more! Wear your walking shoes as we will be touring the Renfrow Farm & Greenhouse during most classes.

WHERE: Meet at Renfrow Hardware, and the group will walk up to Renfrow Farms, weather permitting. Hardware address: 188 N Trade St  /  Farm address: 409 W Charles St

PARKING: Matthews Farmers Market parking lot (on Cotton Gin Alley behind Renfrow Hardware)

WHEN: Classes are held from 6:30pm-8:30pm on the Tuesday evenings listed below, unless otherwise noted.

COST: $20/person. 2 or more family members, $15 each.  Buy a “Class Pack” of all 10 classes for $150.00 (25% discount). Class Pack offer applies to one individual who will attend all 10 classes, and can not be shared with anyone other than a spouse if the primary individual is unable to attend. No refund available for missed classes.

To register, call The Successful Gardener at 919-538-5777 or email us at Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required.

2018 Class List

 January 30:  From the Windowsill to the Garden: Starting Plants from Seed. 

A favorite topic! Growing your own plants from seed is easy and can save you money. We’ll talk about seed selection, setting up your growing area, looking after your young plants and lots more! This class will be held entirely at Renfrow Hardware.

**February 24: A Cut Above: Pruning Fruit Trees Class **Saturday workshop, 10am-12pm

Pruning is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your trees. This class covers the basic types of cuts, why to make a pruning cut, and the right tools and how to maintain them. This is a SATURDAY WORKSHOP, so we’ll go down to the farm and do some pruning. Please dress for the weather!

March 6: The Four-Season Garden I: Spring & Summer

In the NC Piedmont, you can have something growing all year. And with a little protection, you can get an early start on lots of crops. We’ll look at ways to grow food earlier in the year and have more fresh food from your garden! Class will meet at Renfrow Hardware.

April 17: Soup & Salad Gardens

New class! One of the easiest ways to eat seasonally, is to create lots of soups and salads from the fresh vegetables you grow. But not every vegetable that you use in a particular recipe is available year round. We’ll look at garden plans, soup & salad recipes, and planting guides to learn how to lay out a tasty garden.

May 8: Organic Gardening Primer

A favorite topic! We’ve all heard the “o-word” but what does it mean? Learn how to grow more fresh food using flowers, herbs, & compost.

June 12: More Food From Less Space

New class! Space and time are two scarce commodities these days. In order to get the most from the smaller gardens of today, you need to understand the concepts of intensive, small space gardening. Let’s see what it takes to grow lots of good, fresh food from one or 2 small raised beds.

July 10: Summer Garden Challenges

New subject matter! Every summer is different in the garden. This year, we’ll look at the challenges that face us as gardeners in the changing climate.

August 7: The Four-Season Garden II: Fall & Winter

In the NC Piedmont, you can have something growing all year. And with a little protection, you can keep lots of crops growing into cold weather. We’ll look at ways to grow food later in the year and have more fresh food from your garden. We’ll look at some of those ways down at the farm, so we’ll be in the sun & heat. Please dress for the weather.

September 11: Home Composting

New class! Compost is a great addition to any garden. It solves so many garden problems simply by adding organic matter to the soil. It’s easy to make, doesn’t need a fancy bin, and keeps food scraps out of the landfill. We’ll look at a simple compost system that will let you create lots of great garden soil.

October 9: Edible Landscapes

New class! We tend to look at our food crops through a single purpose lens. How much food will this plant yield? But many of our fruits and vegetables look great in the garden! Come learn how to add these plants to our landscapes. Our souls will be fed by beautiful gardens while we feed our bodies with their delicious food.

Jeff’s Bio: 

Jeff Rieves works as an independent educator, consultant, and writer, working to rebuild the Local Food culture. He consults with individuals and businesses, helping home gardeners, small farms and food businesses. Jeff blogs about growing good food, practicing Yoga, and Living an Intentional Life at

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