Organic Agriculture

Mondays from 5:30 - 8:30 -- April 7th - May 26th, and Saturday May 3rd

Instructed by John Creasy

Students will learn about the history, philosophy and practices of organic agriculture with a focus on urban application and permaculture. Through lectures and hands-on practice, this intensive course will immerse students in the basic skills and knowledge needed to design, plan, and implement a small scale organic farm. Practical topics will range from composting methods, soil preparation and preservation, bed preparation, companion planting, crop rotation, planting, pest and disease control, seed saving, and season extension. Books by experts such as Eliot Coleman and Toby Hemenway will serve as useful farming and permaculture guides while students will read and discuss other foundational works by Sir Albert Howard, Bill Mollison and Wendell Berry to gain a greater understanding of the theories and goals of the organic agriculture movement.

About the Class

The course will offer students the chance to work on a functioning organic farm that sells to local restaurants such as Salt of the Earth, Notion, Commonplace Coffee, and others.

This course will run for 8 weeks on Mondays with one all-day workday and one all-day Saturday field trip. Classes will run from 5:30 - 8:30 pm. The class is to be held at Garfield Farm, Wicklow St, Pittsburgh, PA, in the Saxifrage School Campus neighborhood.

Field trip attendance is expected for all students. This year's trip will likely be to Lamppost Farms to take part in a chicken processing day and to help feed animals, move grazing-fencing, etc. Date for this field trip is to be announced.

About the Instructor

John Creasy works as the Director of Garfield Community Farm. He loves using permaculture design, and learning to engage the community. Find him @johncreasy and @garfieldfarm


Our class will be hosted at Garfield Farm, home to Pittsburgh's first Bioshelter.

Registration Details:

$450 Total: $300 tuition, $100 admin, and $50 materials. Class registration is limited to 12 people. The class will be held from 5:30 - 8:30 on Mondays. Our instructor will also hold open "office" hours at the farm 1 or 2 other days during the week. Purchase your half-tuition ticket now and we'll bill for the rest later. Want to pay by check? Please write Tim at for details.

The Saxifrage School is an informal, non-accredited educational organization offering students a valuable learning experience; students will not receive any sort of credit for completing courses. Please read our refund policy.