Class Information

Sessions and presentations are designed with topics that chronologically follow the natural rhythms of the growing season, and are fun and engaging as well as educational.

Let's Get Dirty! clients: Employee wellness programs/series for Aclaris Therapeutics, the Chester County Government, Chester County and Brandywine Hospitals, The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Resources, Independence Blue Cross, Aqua America, the Coatesville Veterans Administration Medical Center, Valley Forge Historical Park, the National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Weston Solutions. Sessions are available for businesses, municipal governments, and public and private groups. Depending on the group, schedule a session at your venue or at Deborah's own gardening facilities, located in rural Chester County.

Let's Get Dirty! session topics can include:

  • Gardening organically - good for business and the environment
  • Organic...Local...Natural...Huh? Figuring out the terms
  • Soil: a living thing - what's in it, and how to make it fabulous
  • What to plant and when - cool and warm weather crops
  • Heirloom vs. hybrid - don't miss this match
  • Why and how to start seeds indoors and transplanting your babies outside
  • Mulch baby mulch! - why and what types
  • Container Gardening for small spaces and urban growers - because size doesn't matter when it comes to fresh growing
  • Keep your Friends close and your Enemies outta there! - insects, fertilizers, and garden friends
  • Raised beds - to know 'em is to love 'em
  • Companion planting - a seating chart for veggies
  • Composting - there's Black Gold in them thar leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps
  • The scoop on GMOs - all about Genetically Modified Organisms and foods
  • Fall and winter gardening, and so much more...

The complete program is comprised of up to nine seminars (usually monthly) with enough information to get anyone excited to get outside, get dirty, and get growing! Custom designed series can be created according to needs and interests. The basic series can be updated each year with specific, more advanced topic concentrations, OR repeated for new attendees. For employee wellness programs, a six-session series gives a terrific working knowledge to get people started and thriving on healthy habits of organic growing. To keep the engagement going, the series can be extended from March or April to December.

For some example pre-built classes, check this page.

Need a Gardening Coach for getting started or keeping on track?

Please contact Deborah to discuss your needs.


Sessions and workshops for employee wellness programs, schools, and organizations:

  • A 60-minute presentation offers a very basic overview with plenty of time for questions (popular with libraries, senior centers, and private groups)
  • Sessions of two to three hours (at one time, bi-monthly, or monthly) explore more details about several topics
  • A Wellness Program Series, comprised of 4 to 9 hour-long sessions, really digs into the material and is excellent for long-term attendee engagement and follow-up

Fee for a 60-minute session (plus time allowed afterwards for questions):

  • Corporate/business venues: $250
  • Adjusted rates for non-profit organizations and groups
  • 5% discount for a series of four or more sessions

Please contact Deb Kates for an appraisal or for more information:
Phone: (610)-384-2535

  • Deborah Kates

  • 120 Reservoir Road
  • Coatesville, PA 19320
  • (610)-384-2535

A basket of organic plenty from Deb's garden.
A basket of organic plenty from Deb's garden.

Participant Feedback

"Great class! A lifetime of knowledge over a short time period. The presenter is experienced from hands-on application and research and knows all the dirty truths about gardening! Well worth it!"
- Barbara St. Germaine, Chester County municipal employee

"Deborah's programs are always very popular with the public. They are entertaining as well as informative. She is knowledgeable and witty, and I'm not sure which people like best – the content or her personality. I think it's close!"
- Pam Marquette, Program Coordinator for the Chester County Library and District Center

Read more at Testimonials...