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Urban Horticulture and Landscape Management Program in Aurora, CO

The Urban Horticulture and Landscape program at Pickens Technical College gives students a broad introduction to the world of horticulture, as well as a concrete pathway into a career with links to area businesses. The Horticulture program hosts 6 greenhouses, where we study everything from tropical plants to nursery propagation. In addition to work in our classroom and laboratory, our campus holds a living library of trees, shrubs and perennials for students to study.

Coursework includes instruction about the materials, operations and business practices in each of these areas. Persons wishing to enter the programs other than at the start of the fall semester must have instructor approval before enrolling. Our program begins in the fall, but as space permits, students may join in January. Please contact the professors for January entry.

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Instructor Mike Fedison

YEARS TEACHING: 9

YEARS IN INDUSTRY: 15

INDUSTRY BACKGROUND:
Mike entered the world of horticulture in 2001 through his stomach, becoming interested in better quality food while teaching gardening at public schools in New York City. He spent several years as an apprentice on organic vegetable farms in the Northeast, and volunteered on farms in several countries, before being ready to begin managing farms on his own. The last farm he managed was called Farmer and the Fish, a farm to table restaurant located just north of New York City. There he grew over a hundred different varieties of vegetables year-round for the restaurant, farmers market, and subscription members.

After moving to Colorado in 2017, Mike started a small landscape design business, Farmer Mike’s Home Gardens, which specializes in native and perennial plantings.

TEACHING BACKGROUND:
Mike has taught gardening, horticulture, science, and agriculture to students ranging from kindergarten to college. His most exotic teaching job was at Palau Community College, in the western Pacific. Mike learned to grow bananas and taro in Palau. Additionally, he introduced Palau to a variety of cherry tomato that didn’t mind the tropical heat and humidity.

Mike enjoys working with his plants, and the beautiful greenhouse here at Pickens. Additionally, Mike enjoys teaching the Urban Horticulture and Landscape students and being a part of the Pickens faculty. The best thing about Pickens’ program is the ability to learn through your hands.

INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS AND/OR DEGREES:
BS Geology, George Washington University, 1999


Instructor Donna Nading

YEARS TEACHING: 3

YEARS IN INDUSTRY: 7

INDUSTRY BACKGROUND:
Donna is a self taught gardener, having come into horticulture through a Master Gardener Certification Program at Texas A&M. She earned a master gardener certification at that time. Donna then began teaching junior gardener classes to 4th and 5th grade students at a school club in Abilene, Texas.

Donna’s husband was in the military at this time and so her experience and knowledge has global roots. Eventually Donna ended up in Aurora, working in an environmental laboratory for 5 years. Donna then came to Pickens Tech. She now shares her knowledge of plants and how to grow them in different regions of the country with students at Pickens.

Donna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado.

TEACHING BACKGROUND:
In addition to teaching 4th and 5th graders, Donna worked as a substitute teacher for a couple of years in South Dakota.

INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS AND/OR DEGREES:
BA Chemistry, UNC, 1987

Meet the new generation of PTC Urban Horticulture and Landscape students. Read more.

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