EarthDance Spring Training for Gardeners Program Seeks Participants

For Andrea and Joe Randolph, EarthDance’s Spring Training for Gardeners 2023 program seeded even more than their plans for a productive home garden.

Andrea, a functional nutrition counselor who grew up in Ferguson eating vegetables from her mom’s garden, and Joe, a food-enthusiast-turned-plant-forward-chef, dug into the hands-on Spring Training for Gardeners course last year to find deeper connection with the soil, growing food, and each other.

Since Spring Training, they’ve tied the knot (congrats!) and are planting the seeds for their new business, Get Rooted Nutritional Clinic. Get Rooted will feature holistic nutrition counseling, meal planning and prep featuring plant-forward cuisine made with fresh, local produce, and their own line of herbal and food products.

Joe and Andrea credit EarthDance programs with connecting them to a growing root system of people, knowledge, experience, and inspiration that are helping them bring their dream work to life!

Spring Training for Gardeners is a 5-week combination online and hands-on course at the Ferguson-based teaching farm, designed for gardening beginners as well as experienced growers who want to plan and maintain their most successful gardens yet.

Andrea, also an aspiring herbalist, says that she and Joe chose to participate in Spring Training together as they got clearer on a shared vision for the life of their dreams, including working together to help people connect food to their own healing. And they wanted to grow food in their own home garden.

Joe said Spring Training and the EarthDance Summer Apprenticeship helped him understand more about what it takes to grow food at a farm scale. “As soon as I started Spring Training, I knew I wanted to do the Apprenticeship. I was trying to figure out my capacity for growing the food for the business.”

“Our goal is to get down to root causes of diseases and dysfunction,” Andrea said. “As functional nutrition counselors, we look at health from an integrative approach, combining a holistic approach with the best of what conventional medicine offers, and collaborating as needed with each person’s team of health care providers. We also look at [a person’s] mental health, environment, traumas, and more – we go over so many different things so we can find the root cause. And we often find that it is in the gut. We work collaboratively to make them better as a whole person.” Andrea will work with each person to help them find an integrative approach that includes a sustainable food plan, offering prepared food as an option.

“That’s where my part comes in,” Joe said. “I went back to culinary school for plant-based cooking. I want to make good food that is completely plant-based. We take an approach that is balanced and sustainable for each person. Maybe you love to eat meat – you can still eat that, but you can add more plant-based foods to have a more balanced meal that is still delicious.”

Joe is also working to connect with local farm co-ops to source the produce for Get Rooted. His EarthDance connections are helping. “[Farmer Educators] Jena [Hood] & Will [Delacey] are awesome, and they are helping to connect us with local food growers.”

“I liked the combination of remote and in-person classes with Spring Training,” Andrea said. “With the on-site classes, we were able to get our hands dirty and actually see a working farm. And, it was right up the street!”

“I loved the participation, there were people from all walks of life volunteering, and so many different levels of experience with gardening,” Joe said.

Joe says he gained even more than gardening skills; clarity around their vision and next steps, and connections with people who will help them realize their dreams. “Working with people and the land at EarthDance brings a feeling of community, of wanting to care for other people. I learned how much our lives as human beings are tied into nature. Just like seeds, we were planted and had to be nurtured to grow. We can and need to be doing this work in connection with nature.”

If you’d like to join this year’s Spring Training for Gardeners program, read on for details!

All classes, taught by EarthDance’s all-star team of Farmer Educators and Coaches will take place in March & April 2024, just in time to get your 2024 garden growing!

Opening Day of Spring Training for Gardeners is Wednesday, March 13, 2024. 

You can choose the Full-Course option, including online classes & in person workshops.

Or, choose a fully virtual learning experience, and join us for any of the live, online classes, which are Wednesdays from 6-7:30pm. Online classes include:

  • I Want to Grow Food. Where do I Start?
  • Top 10 Veggies for Home Gardening Success
  • The Down and Dirty: Secrets to Great Soil
  • Pests, Weeds, and Plant Disease – Oh My!
  • Maximizing Your Yield for Year-Round Deliciousness

In addition to the 5 week live online Spring Training, Full Course participants will join us at our 14-acre organic Farm School campus in Ferguson and additional community sites for hands-on education. 

The regular fee for the online-only course is just $99 for all 5 online classes (or $29 per class, a la carte). The regular fee for the full course including online classes and 3 hands-on, in-person workshops is $299. As EarthDance is committed to making their organic food and farm and garden education accessible to all, the courses are offered on a sliding scale basis, so if these fees are not affordable for you, you are welcome to pay what you can to participate!

Register now: https://earthdancefarms.org/farmers/spring-training/

And follow Get Rooted on Instagram & Facebook @getrootedmab !