Putting the Garden to Bed: The Pollinator Friendly Way

Monday, October 14

Cost: FREE, but registration requested

Ages: All are welcome. Children under age 14 should be accompanied by an adult

Instructor: Uconn Master Gardeners Nathalie Fonteyne & Alice Ely

Put your garden to bed for the winter with Wakeman's Master Gardening Gurus!

Nathalie Fonteyne, UConn Master Gardener, UConn Master Composter, member of the Westport Garden Club and the Connecticut Herb Society (and Wakeman Town Farm perennials whisperer) will join together with Alice Ely, Wakeman Town Farm's own Master Gardener and garden coach, to share tips on what to cut down and what to leave, how to properly recycle and compost the last greens as the garden prepares for its long winter nap.

Learn how you can ensure a healthy and beautiful garden buzzing with life come springtime.

photo courtesy of The Hickories

photo courtesy of The Hickories

Seed Saving 101 for Pollinator Health

Monday, October 21

Cost: FREE,but registration requested

Instructor: Sefra Alexandra and Dina Brewster

We all have been learning the importance of pollinator plants - but who knows what an eco-type specific native plant is and how you can save its seeds? Join local ethnobotanist Sefra Alexandra, The Seed Huntress & Executive Director of CT NOFA, Dina Brewster of The Hickories for an evening of hands-on seed saving instruction for pollinator health.

Together we will discuss a new exciting seed initiative for a bioregional pollinator pathway, while covering the basics of saving seeds: wet & dry processing, threshing, winnowing & fermentation!

Learn how these techniques apply to both the wild lands and your gardens, so we can safeguard this abundance and caretake true heirlooms for our families, community and the local communities of pollinators!

Let's fortify our ecological resilience with seeds saved from our own hands.

Sponsored by Wakeman Town Farm and CT NOFA Special funding for this workshop is made possible through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant


Organic Veggie Gardening: Essential Fall & Winter Prep

Monday, November 4

Cost: FREE, but registration requested

Instructor: Nick Mancini

Nick Mancini, UConn master gardener, author of The Complete Organic Garden, and currently the guiding light at the Grace Farms community garden, will share his accumulated wisdom from decades of growing both fruits and vegetables organically. In this Pollinator Pathway Series talk, Nick will explain the fall and winter ‘must dos’ to have a successful organic veggie garden next summer.

“Spring is too late to start preparing for an organic garden,” Nick says.

Nick has taught organic gardening for UConn master gardeners, at Norwalk Community College, Fairfield and Westport Continuing Education, and has lectured to the CT Northeast Organic Farmers Association, garden clubs, and libraries throughout the region.


Thanksgiving pumpkin Centerpiece workshop

Saturday, November 16

Instructor: Kathy Oberman

$65.00 per person Includes materials and take-home arrangement

Join us in the Barn at the Farm to make an incredible living centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table using specialty pumpkins and succulent plants. WTF's own Kathy Oberman will teach you how to transform a pumpkin into a magical centerpiece that is easy to make and even easier to maintain no glass slipper necessary! This class will include supplies; however, if you have a beautiful pumpkin that you would like to use please bring it along. Also feel free to scavenge your yard or craft bin for dried flowers, seed pods, pine cones or any succulents you may have at home. Please come dressed to use spray paint and glue and layers to keep you warm!

Kathy Oberman is a longtime Westport resident, WTF committee member and a house instructor. She is a graduate of both The New School's Master in Culinary Arts & CIA Food Styling programs as well as TV producer, food stylist, caterer/chef and has worked for Paul Newman and Martha Stewart. She is a member of the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Westport Garden Club and the Herb Society of ‘must dos’ to have a successful organic veggie garden next summer.


All about Home Gardening with Sal Gilbertie, the Original Organic Gardener

Monday, October 7

Cost: FREE, but registration requested

Instructor: Sal Gilbertie

Learn Sal's tips and tricks for growing a happy and organic garden!

Come hear from the man who turned the home-grown herb industry on its ear, providing global flavors for home gardeners for 60+ years, and recently introduced Petite Edibles.

Sal will cover the the main differences in organics vs conventional chemical gardening and USDA Certified vs “organic” growing. He’ll also provide information on healthy soil blends, organic insect controls, weed and disease controls, plus how to fertilize for healthy, safe growing & living.

Learn his trips and tricks for growing a happy garden and why organic gardening is so important.


Insect Photography Workshop

Saturday, August 17

Cost: FREE

Instructor: David Cappaert and Dr. Kimberley Stoner

Calling all Camera Bugs who also love BUGS!

Come learn from an expert how to take fascinating insect photos with your favorite camera or camera phone – and participate in a citizen scientist project documenting pollinators at the Farm!

This 4-hour workshop is intended for the amateur photographer – adult or student 14 and up -- who’s also passionate about pollinators and plants. Participants will learn skills for capturing the best shots of insects ‘on the wing’ and then, help track the Farm’s diversity of pollinators, for a citizen science endeavor in conjunction with

David Cappaert is an entomologist, educator, and photographer with an uncommon affinity for ants and bees, and he will join bee expert Dr. Kimberly Stoner, entomologist, CT Agricultural Experiment Station, for this hands-on workshop. In the a.m. we’ll learn techniques and tips, break for BYO lunch, and in the afternoon we’ll head out to the gardens to document the Farm’s pollinators with our new skills. For adults & teens only.

The class is FREE, but registration is required. Rain date August 18.


Capturing What Matters

A Photography Workshop for Parents with Photographer Anna-Liisa Nixon

July 11

Cost: $75 pp

Instructor: Photographer Anna-Lissa Nixon

You've got a big fancy camera, but chances are, youre not using it as well as you could be, and your pictures arent quite what you had hoped for. Get out of auto mode and into awesome picture mode! In this workshop, you'll learn the technical and artistic basics of using your DSLR in a relaxed setting with plenty of hands-on instruction and practice. Bring your camera, your camera manual, and fully charged batteries.

Anna-Liisa Nixon is a Westport native, former criminal defense attorney, and mother of three who has been photographing families professionally since 2014. She specializes in documentary family photography and loves capturing the real, silly, weird, and tender moments of childhood.

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Maple Sugar & Tapping Trees

Sunday March 3

Cost: $10 for Tapping Kit, but otherwise FREE Ages 8 and up

Instructor: Carl McNair and Julie Beitman

There are few things sweeter than home-made maple syrup from your own backyard! Join us at the farm with local tree-tapping experts Carl McNair and Julie Beitman to learn how to tap your own trees for maple sap, as well as how to prepare the sap into delicious maple syrup. All participants can go home with their own maple-tapping kit ($10.00) and be on their way to mouth-watering homemade syrup.

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Winter Sowing

Monday February 11

Cost: Free, but please register. Ages 8 and up

Instructor: UConn Master Gardener, Alice Ely

Want to get a jump on spring – and attract Monarch butterflies to your garden this summer? In this FREE CLASS you'll make your own “mini-greenhouse” in a bottle to start milkweed seedlings and take it home to leave outside until spring, when you’ll reap a dozen or more milkweed seedlings to start in your garden. “If you grow it, they will come!” Instructions and supplies provided. For adults (and grade school-aged kids and above, if accompanied by parent/guardian.)


Resolve to COmpost

Monday February 25

Cost: Free, but please register. Ages 8 and up

Instructor: UConn Master Composter, Alice Ely

Back by popular demand! Turn over a new leaf in 2019 and help the planet by turning over some compost! Learn how you can save water, reduce pollution and save your garden, too, when you start making ‘black gold’ at home. It’s easier than you think! Taught by UConn master composters.


Navigating Food Labels: GMOs, Organics, and “natural”

Saturday January 19

Cost: Free, but please register. All Ages

Instructor: Farm Director, Corey Thomas

Join Farm Director Corey Thomas in creating a road map to help navigate our way through the food labels throughout the grocery store. What does it really mean if something is GMO, or organic, certified organic, all natural, local, no hormones added, etc. The list goes on and on! But it doesn’t have to be as confusing as it seems. Join us for some hot cocoa and discussion in Tim’s Kitchen to break down what all of the labels really mean for our planet, our food, and our families. All Ages Welcome!


Seed Bomb Crafting

Saturday November 10

Cost: Free, but please register. All Ages

Instructor: UConn Master Gardener Alice Ely.

Milkweed Seed Bombs: Kids and parents alike can dig right into making seed bombs. This earth-friendly, family friendly activity is designed to protect our threatened Monarch butterflies by helping spread milkweed plants. All Ages Welcome!


Animal Care in the Winter Months

Saturday November 3

Cost: Free, but please register. All Ages

Instructor: Wakeman Town Farm Steward, Corey Thomas

This FREE workshop will cover the basics of caring for your outdoor animals during the winter months, and how to provide the best care for your them in uncertain weather. We will cover poultry, rabbits, sheep, and goats. All Ages Welcome!


Crafting HyperTufa Pots

Saturday October 20

$15.00 per person Ages 14+

Instructor: Westport Garden Club's Ellen Greenberg

Hypertufa pots are perfect for cactus, alpine rock gardens, plant trays and bird baths. Attendees will learn to mix the hypertufa and then pack it into molds made from every day objects. Students will take their pots home to cure. The pots should be ready to use in a couple of weeks. Myriad forms of decoration will be discussed. Attendees will take home 1 or more pots that they have created. Come prepared to get a bit dirty.


Peony Division and Propagation

Saturday October 13

Cost: Free

Instructor: Westport Garden Club's Ellen Greenberg

In this class, learn how to suite, plant, prune and care for herbaceous, intersectional and tree peonies. This will be followed by a demonstration of how to divide and plant an herbaceous peony. We will also demonstrate how to graft a tree peony branch to an herbaceous peony root, the most common form of tree peony propagation. Adults


The Simple Way to Compost

Monday October 8

Cost: Free, but please register

Instructor: Uconn Master Composter, Alice Ely

Yes, even you can compost! Learn simple approaches that will make composting as easy as taking out the trash – and a whole lot better for the planet (and your garden!). Newbies and current composters welcome. Taught by UConn master composters.


Container Gardening

June 30


Instructor: Ellen Goldman

Herbs are aromatic plants that make culinary dishes savory and intrigue all of our senses. They have many benefits and have been valued throughout the world for centuries. Best of all, they are easily grown in containers. Join us at the farm to plant your own herbal container to take home and learn the basics of growing herbs. We will also explore vinegar and oil infusions as well as herbal teas.


Butterfly Gardening & Habitats

May 19


Instructor: Alice Ely

Learn how to help save the Monarchs, right in your backyard & leave with some milkweed seedlings to help you get started! Alice Ely, flower aficionado, master gardener, certified Monarch Habitat creator, and mother of Monarchs, wants to show you how to bring a bevy of butterflies to your garden.

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Photography for the Food Business

May 20


Instructor: Photographer Ashley Skatoff

Join professional photographer Ashley Skatoff for a discussion about the importance of photography in the food business. Appealing images are paramount when presenting food to consumers, as one food shot can entice or repel customers. Knowing what to expect from a professional photographer and how to best manage the process of hiring a photographer will help to ensure that the images you get are the very best reflection of the business into which you are pouring your time, money and heart. Skatoff will shed light on the importance of using evocative images, selecting photographers, creating a strong “mood” or brand with your imagery, creating a typical food studio setup, as well as what to expect from the shoot process, fees, and managing the image selection.


Maple Sugaring/Tree Tapping

Sunday, March 4

$40 per family (includes $20 materials fee for tapping kit)

Instructor: Westporters Carl McNair and Julie Beitman

Join us at Wakeman Town Farm for a fun and informative experience with maple sugaring enthusiasts Carl McNair and Julie Beitman. Carl and Julie will teach young and old alike about the joys of backyard maple sugaring and tree tapping. Participants will learn how to identify different maple trees, and what type of trees are best to tap. We will also cover when to tap and the collection, evaporation, and bottling process. The fee includes materials to tap your own tree, which we will practice during the course. Class is mainly outdoors; please wear boots or shoes that can get muddy/wet. Ages: 7 and up