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OSU Extension and Oregon Tilth Launch New Program

OSU Extension and Oregon Tilth have joined forces to launch the New Organic Gardening Certificate Program. This program is similar in scope and size to the famous OSU Master Gardener Program, but with an organic focus.

The Oregon State University Extension Service and Oregon Tilth will launch a nine-week course in organic gardening in the Portland area in October, marking the training's debut in the state.
The two organizations developed the curriculum with help from Portland State University; East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Staff from Extension and Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit that certifies organic farmers and offers gardening education, will teach most of the classes.

Through classroom and hands-on instruction, the organic gardening course will teach participants how to grow food, manage landscapes, control pests and cultivate healthy soil without synthesized chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Topics will include soil, compost, plant biology, plant propagation, garden design, vegetable gardens, ecological landscapes, ornamental plants, entomology and fruit and nut production. In one session, participants will visit landscaped areas in Portland known as "rain gardens" where plants and soil are used to absorb rainwater and keep it from flowing into sewers that lead to the Willamette River.

Students at OSU and PSU can sign up for the class through their universities' normal registration process. Others should call 503-360-4185 or e-mail The last day for the public to register is Sept. 15. OSU and PSU students should refer to their universities' registration calendars for their respective deadlines. Those interested in taking the course must fill out an application, which is available at

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