Summer in the Country courses at the University Farm start this week

The University Farm and the Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program will offer five Summer in the Country courses that begin this week:

Blueberry University

Saturday, May 7, 1-4 p.m. (three hours)
Kutina Classroom, Main Lab Building
Instructor: Chris Bond, university horticulturalist
Fee: $35

A class entirely devoted to the care and culture of the blueberry. The class will look at blueberry types and varieties, a history of blueberries and their uses, site selection and preparing/incorporating blueberries into your existing landscape, and the care and culture of your blueberries (both organic and traditional methods will be examined). Diseases and pests of blueberries and their controls will be looked at as well as nutritional information about blueberries. The class will be a combination of instruction and hands-on activities.

Fibers at the Farm

Tuesdays, May 3–24 (four sessions), 1-4 p.m.
The Pink Pig
Instructor: Peggy Wertheim, surface design artist and educator
Fee: $80

Discover, create and explore the exciting techniques of batik and silk painting, inspired by the natural beauty of Squire Valleevue Farm. Students will learn resist application, waxing, color blending, dye theory, paint and salt techniques. Each student will create several pieces of silk wall art to frame and/or silk scarves. No experience necessary. Materials fee of $35, payable to the instructor at first class, includes all materials and equipment.

Birds and Breakfast

Fridays, May 6–June 10 (six sessions), 6:30–8:30 a.m.; breakfast 8:30–9 a.m.
Meet at Greenhouse parking lot
Instructor: Timothy O. Matson, curator of vertebrate zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Fee: $85

Explore the bluebird trail, watch busy bobolinks or be rewarded with a rare sighting of Henslow’s Sparrow. Come and learn to recognize the many species of birds on the basis of appearance, song and behavior in the meadows, woodlands, ravines and ponds of Squire Valleevue Farm. No prior birding experience is necessary. Binoculars and field guides are recommended. A continental breakfast will be available at the Pink Pig following each morning’s activities.

Historical Gardens of Wade and Squire Estate

Fridays, May 6–20 (three sessions), 10 a.m.–noon
Kutina Classroom, Main Lab Building
Instructor: Ana B. Locci, University Farms director
Fee: $60

The University Farm’s 400-acre property encompasses a variety of deciduous forests, ravines, waterfalls, meadows and historical gardens as a result of several generous gifts to the university by prominent Cleveland families’ country estates from 1907 to 1937.

The first and largest gift of 277 acres was given by Andrew and Eleanor Squire in 1937. Their property was a horticultural and landscaping gardening center where the Squires had the opportunity to study nature. Ethelwyn Harrison, Cleveland landscape architect, designed and maintained the gardens from 1910 to 1937. The second largest gift, of 104 acres, given by the Wade family, was part of Jeptha Wade II 455-acre country estate. The Wades retained prominent landscape architect Warren Manning, from the Boston area, to design walking paths, fruit and flower gardens, pergolas, bridges and water fountains, spread around the hilly topography along the Chagrin River.

During this three-week course, you will learn about the Squires’ and Wades’ historical gardens including Squires’ arboretum and pharmaceutical gardens and Wades’ Garden of Eden and grape arbor. Classes will include visits to several of these sites. Limited enrollment.

The Art of Poetry

Thursdays, May 5–June 16 (seven sessions), 1–3 p.m.
The Pink Pig
Instructor: Linda Tuthill, off-campus studies leader/teacher, published poet
Fee: $90

Poets find images that open our eyes to new ways of seeing. Come share your work with a supportive group. Newcomers welcome. Bring 15 to 18 copies of an original poem to the first class.

For Additional Information

Summer in the Country classes at the University Farm take advantage of the environment as a setting for learning about nature, cultivation and the environment.

Register online at or call 216.368.2090.