Sustainable Gardening

Improve your skills and get your hands dirty with our practical sustainable gardening course.

Seen from overhead, a gardener tends to their crops.

Interested in hands-on sustainable gardening? Enthused about growing your own organic fruit, herbs and vegetables to share with your family and friends?

If you want to know more about organic gardening but don’t know where to start then this course is for you. Join CERES Trainer, Justin Calverley as he introduces you to the basics of horticulture, permaculture and organic gardening. This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to confidently propagate seedlings, save seeds, grow vegetables and more!

Logo: Learn Local – Skills for study work and life

Course details

This eight-session (eight-week) course will run on the following dates in 2023:

Tuesdays 18 Apr – 13 Jun or

Tuesdays 17 Oct – 12 Dec

CERES Community Environment Park, corner of Roberts & Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Victoria.

– Concession available
– ACFE subsidised course placements are available. The cost for ACFE Eligible participants is $65.

Course length:
Eight sessions: 10am – 2pm

1. Intro to sustainable gardening and permaculture principles
2. Soils and their preparation
Composting, worm farming and fertilisers
Organic vegetable production
Growing bushfoods and berries
6. Seed saving and propagating
Organic fruit production
Water management and guild planting

** A certificate will be issued upon completion of at least 75% of the course

* This is an ACFE Approved Pre-accredited Course where the cost is subsidised for eligible participants.

ACFE Eligible participants are deemed eligible through an interview process with our career pathways officer. Find out more information about ACFE eligibility HERE.  The costs for these participants are $65.

If you are interested in an ACFE place please fill out the enquiry form on our Learning Pathways page and our pathways team will be in touch soon.

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.

Lizzie Bickmore grew up in a family that gardened and her first memories of gardening were creating fairy gardens, turning compost and eating home grown raspberries. Lizzie moved from Canberra to Melbourne in 1998 to study the Certificate IV in horticulture at Burnley college. Growing more environmentally conscious, Lizzie then went on to complete a bachelor of ‘Social Science-Environment’ and realised the great potential to bring gardening and people together to make the world better. Lizzie has spent much of the past 20 years working towards this through a variety of projects and organisations. Working in Landcare, Green Corps team leading, local neighbourhood greening projects, community gardens, family-based horticultural therapy programs, food swaps, Edible Eden Design, composting projects. Lizzie has also worked in a range of nursery settings, including, the Victorian Indigenous Nursery Co-operative (VINC), Fitzroy nursery and is currently at CERES Nursery from Tuesday to Friday.

What should I bring?

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

What should I wear?

  • Casual clothing (Warning: This might get messy)

CERES reserves the right to cancel workshops due to insufficient numbers.

If we cancel the workshop you will be entitled to a 100% refund, or you may choose to transfer to another date, subject to availability.

If you decide to withdraw 7 or more days prior to the workshop date CERES will retain a 10% administration fee.

If you decide to withdraw less than 7 days prior to the workshop date CERES will retain 100% of your workshop fee.

Should CERES have to cancel the course due to Government changes relating to the COVD-19 response, we will let you know as soon as possible. Affected participants will be sent a notification that includes details on how to re-book another date or workshop. While cancellations on our part remain refundable within the specified time period, we do hope you will consider bearing with us in these precarious and trying times, and consider the rescheduled date where possible.

More courses and garden workshops for you


The Herbal Apprentice

An in-depth learning experience exploring eco-systemic health through herbal practice | coming in 2024 | $950* | 8 weeks


Sustainable Gardening

Improve your skills and get your hands dirty with our practical sustainable gardening course | Apr, Oct | $650* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

The CERES Permaculture Design Course will equip you to design regenerative and productive landscapes, communities and households | Feb | $2200* | 100 hours