Community Learning Garden

The Royal Magnolia Community Learning Garden opened on August 20,2013 in the pouring rain.  That didn’t stop community leaders from supporting this initiative to provide access to fruit and vegetables to undeserved communities.  Through our partnership with Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church we have built 11 raised beds which will feed up to 62 people per week.  The ultimate goal is to eliminate food deserts; an area, typically a populous urban environment, in the industrialized world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain. Food deserts are also noted in rural areas and are most prevalent in low-socioeconomic minority communities.  Researchers link them to diet-related health problems in affected populations including Obesity and obesity related diseases.  Food deserts are sometimes associated with supermarket shortages and food security.

Weekly Saturday morning demonstrations and volunteer opportunities at the garden will serve to empower families and other organizations with knowledge of how to grow their own fruits and vegetables in an effort to relieve both hunger and obesity.  See below for class offerings.  To sign up please email  [email protected]

Edible Garden Series:  From Design to Harvest

Taught By:  Derek Hasha & Vernon Tassin

Learn garden design and planning tips, composting, soil testing and preparation, seed propagation, transplanting, watering, and how to nurture healthy edible crops. You can create a garden oasis of beautiful edibles in the front, side or back of the home. Master harvesting techniques and learn what compost crops to plant after harvest. Attendees will gain valuable knowledge to create gardens of nutritious and delicious organic food in your homes and communities. Learn about proper tools, supplies, books, and resources throughout the course. Attendees will receive a certificate upon completion.


Start Your Fall Organic Vegetable Garden

Taught By:  Derek Hasha & Vernon Tassin

It’s time to plan and plant your fall and winter veggie garden: spicy arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, peas, spinach and more! Have year-round vegetables using organic and sustainable techniques. We will cover sowing seeds, caring for seedlings, when to plant, how and when to harvest, and how to keep life in your soil using compost, mulch, bed prep, cover crops, rotation and hedge rows.


Safe, Effective, Pest and Disease control.

Taught By: Derek Hasha

Learn the safest ways to manage ants, snails, slugs and other pests and disease in your summer garden. Find out about lesser-known beneficial insects that are an integral part in keeping a balance in your yard. Integrated Pest Management is safer for kids, pets, and the environment.


Tomato Canning

Taught By:  Vernon & Tomica Tassin

Learn how to preserve/can tomato sauce and stock so you can enjoy delicious pasta with tomato sauce or a comforting soup during the winter. Class will take place at the garden site.  Take home 2-3 quarts of canned tomato stock for making soups and 1-3 pints of tomato sauce.


Seed Collection and Saving

Taught By:  Derek Hasha

Producing your own seeds for your garden can seem a little intimidating; however, it is much easier than you think and is such an important part of building resilient food systems. In this class, you will learn the basic principles involved in producing, collecting, and saving your own seeds. Using your own seeds is such an empowering feeling, so please come join us for some classroom and hands-on training!


Container Gardening

Taught By:  Robert Foster

You will learn what does well in pots, considerations for shapes and colors of pots, soil medium and how to keep it fertile, renewal techniques, etc. Special attention will be paid to organic methods, light requirements, and best varieties. Almost any food plant that grows in the ground will grow in a container; it is only a matter of selection.



Taught By:  Tiffany Davis

You will learn how to compost using worms.  You will also learn how to turn all your kitchen scraps into botanical gold for use in your garden


Harvest and Holiday Wreath Making

Taught By:  Tomica Tassin

Decorate your Thanksgiving table and your front door for the holidays! Choose from an abundance of garden herbs, flowers, and seedpods from the teacher’s own Woodside garden to create your own arrangements.


Planning Your Garden Menu

Taught By:  Registered Dietician

Learn how to get the most out of your home garden by taking a closer look at the foods that you like to eat, with an emphasis on leafy greens, root vegetables, and grains.   You will learn how to prepare a healthy meal using the vegetables you have grown.  Learn about, harvesting, recipes, and the nutritional value of your harvest.


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