courses

Complete Urban Farmer

Grow a productive garden in any space. Produce organic veg, fruit, herbs, eggs and honey on your very own urban farm.

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Drawing on permaculture and organic growing principles, over 14 weeks you’ll learn to establish your own diverse farm on any sized plot.

Sessions kicking off in 2024:

Thursdays, 25th July to 24th October
Fridays, 6th September to 12th December

What will you find in a Complete Urban Farmer Course at CERES?

Fresh, organic vegetables growing in an edible garden

Grow organic veg

It doesn’t get fresher. Grow your own nutrient dense vegetables and herbs.

Grow fruit

Learn how to care for and prune fruit trees.

A pair of hands os holding a rich, fertile, worm-loving handful of soil

Understand Soil

Create fertile soils with compost, worm farms and more.

Learn to look after chooks

KEEPING BEES & CHOOKS

Rewarding(and cute) additions to your urban farm.

Two packets of seeds spill out over a table

Seed Saving

 Propagate plants from seed, and save and store them for next season.

Community growing

Explore community gardens, community supported agriculture(CSA) and crop swaps.

A copy of 'The Urban Farmer' by Justin Caverley and CERES

Your own copy of the book

A book inspired by this very course! Keep this handy guide forever.

A group of people are sitting in CERES urban farm in a class

Inspiring Classroom

Attend class at CERES famous park and urban farm in Brunswick.

You’ll be mentored by

Justin Calverley has been teaching our Complete Urban Farmer course for 10 years. When he is not taking groups of budding green thumbs through all manner of garden know-how, he runs his own Horticultural Consultation Design and Education business, Sensory Gardens. Justin‘s approach is to encourage interaction and understanding of the natural world’s systems via a mix of theory and practical sessions which see his students gain hands-on skills and knowledge. 

The Complete Urban Farmer course also explores industry skills which has seen some students be inspired to make Horticulture their life-long career. Justin is a regular broadcaster on 3RRR’s “Breakfasters” and ABC “Evenings”. He is also the author of “The Urban Farmer”, available at CERES Nursery.

Donna Livermore is an educator, biologist, permaculture & gardening teacher and community activator. She is passionate about living a life of good health, sustainable abundance and with a strong connection to the environment and local community. Donna has an ongoing commitment to school education through her work in sustainability and biodiversity education.

With chickens, worms and a productive food garden in the front yard of her suburban block, Donna is reimagining what it means to live a good life in the city and shares this with others in her local community and through her Instagram page A Good Life in the City and Town.

Ashton Edgley‘s love of plants and insects drove his interest in beekeeping. His passion grew into a way of life and Ashton now spends his time caring for more than sixty hives – both his own and those of others. Ashton shares his love of honeybees in schools and universities by teaching others how to properly care for bees and explaining their importance in our food systems.

How It'll work

The Complete Urban Farmer course runs for 14 weeks. It’s an economical way to cover a lot of learning.

Week 1 – Introduction to permaculture principles
Week 2 – Organic fruit production
Week 3 – Soils and their preparation
Week 4 – Growing Nutrient Dense Food
Week 5 – Beekeeping
Week 6 – Composting, worm farming and fertilisers
Week 7 – Organic vegetable production, harvesting and storage
Week 8 – Propagation
Week 9 – Seed collection and storage
Week 10 – Pest disease and weed management
Week 11 – Growing bushfoods and berries
Week 12 – Chooks
Week 13 – DIY – Backyard constructions
Week 14 – Community gardens, community-supported agriculture (CSA) and swaps

*Weekly topic order subject to change

+ Comfortable enclosed shoes/boots
+ Gardening gloves
+ Appropriate weather gear eg sunhat, casual clothes
+ Pen and paper
+ Lunch
+ Enthusiasm to learn and get your hands dirty

This course is for you if

course pricing options

CERES Member

For those with a valid 2024 Membership at CERES
$ 950
  • Payment plans available

Full fare

Will apply to most
$ 1,150
  • Payment plans available
Popular

concession

For those holding a valid concession card
$ 950
  • Payment plans available

ACFE Subsidised places

This course is an ACFE Approved Pre-accredited Course where the cost is subsidised for eligible participants, who have faced barriers to education and employment. 

ACFE full fare SUbSIDISED

For those eligible
$ 150
  • Payment plans available

ACFE concession SUbSIDISED

For those eligible for ACFE funding & holding a valid concession card
$ 117
  • Payment plans available

Frequently asked questions

What/who is CERES?

CERES is an example of permaculture design on an incredible scale. 40 years ago the 10-acre site was a rubbish tip amongst factories with nothing but rusty cars in the soil. Today it is home to urban farms, a biodiverse wetland, social enterprises practicing permaculture principles and so much more. 

It is unique for a permaculture demonstration site in that no one person or group ‘owns’ CERES; it continues to be community-run and not-for-profit to this day. Learn more about us here.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes, all CERES Workshops and courses have a payment plan option, allowing you to pay over time. Contact adultlearning@ceres.org.au to book your place on a payment plan.

If something changes, can I get a refund?

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