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Introduction to Horticulture


Class participants looking at seedlings in a greenhouse

Next course starting 7 February 2022


Run from Edendale, a community farm and environment centre in Eltham, this very popular course will introduce you to a range of topics in the field of horticulture.  
This course is ideal for people who love gardening and the outdoors, are considering a career in horticulture and would like a 'taster', or who would like an introduction to aspects of working in the industry before choosing a specific course/study pathway. No prior experience is necessary. 


Dates: Mondays 7 February -4 April 2022
Time: 10am-2:30pm
Location: Edendale Farm

Course participants making plant cuttings for propagation

What to expect

Working as a team with fellow participants, an operational farm and production nursery, you will gain a broad overview and practical, hands-on experience in topics such as:

  • introduction to plant recognition
  • propagation
  • planting
  • soil properties
  • environmentally sustainable work practices
  • career pathways/further study in the horticulture industry.

You will spend time outdoors (getting your hands dirty!) under the leadership of an experienced trainer and horticulturalist, along with time in the classroom learning basic theory and exploring study pathways


This is an entry-level course, so it is designed for participants with no prior knowledge or experience in horticulture. 
The course involves participating independently in practical, hands-on activities both in- and outdoors.

Learning pathways

The Adult Community & Further Education Board subsidises places in this course to support people to return to study, the workforce or volunteer work.  People completing this course may go on to certificate/qualification courses in areas such as horticulture, permaculture, landscape design, and production nursery.

How to Enrol

Enrol online, or call in at one of our three Living & Learning Nillumbik centres.    
To enrol please download the enrolment form and email to


Funded: $50 enrolment fee
Concession: $20 enrolment fee
Fee-paying: $350

Government-subsidised fee
If you are a permanent Resident and/or Australian Citizen/New Zealand Citizen and not enrolled in mainstream secondary school you are eligible for a government subsidised fee. 

Concession fee
This fee is available to:

  • Commonwealth Health Care Card holders, and their dependant children and dependant spouses
  • Pensioner Concession Card holders, and their dependant children and dependant spouses
  • Veteran's Gold Card holders (but not their dependants).
  • Please note: if under 17 years of age and disengaged from school, participants will need to obtain an official Transition from School Form for us to sight.
    There are no pre-requisites for this course.
    People with a disability are encouraged to apply.

If you are eligible, please select the concession fee when enrolling and click "calculate discount".  You will also need to present your concession card at one of our centres prior to the start of the course in order to be eligible for a concession fee.  

For non-eligible individuals, the full fee will apply (see 'Fee Structure' below).

If you are a concession card holder you will need to present your concession card at one of our centres prior to the start of the course in order to be eligible for the concession fee.  

Withdrawals and refunds

Refer to our Fees, charges and refunds policy for information about withdrawals and refunds in our government-subsidised and Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses.  

What to bring

The Urban Farmer: How to create a productive garden in any space
By Justin Calverley and CERES
ISBN: 9780733334535
Cost ranges from: $30.95 to $39.99
Available from:
Angus & Robertson
Robinsons Bookshop
Paperback Bookshop
It is essential that participants wear suitable clothing for working in an outdoor environment:

  • Sturdy workboots
  • Long sleeved shirt (no t-shirts)
  • Long pants (no shorts)
  • A broad-brimmed hat

Please also bring:

  • a drink bottle
  • lunch
  • a snack/morning tea if desired
  • notepad and pen.

There is a small fridge in the classroom where you can store your lunch for the day

About the Tutor

Justin Calverley is a Horticultural expert with over twenty years’ experience.  His passion for the natural world began as a young inquisitive boy who never wanted to ‘come inside for dinner’ and has since developed into a rich and fulfilling career in horticultural design, construction and education.  Justin’s unique style, detailed knowledge and hands-on approach have become highly sought after on the presentation and public speaking circuit from Councils, Schools, training organisations and media. Justin’s consultation and design services are in high demand from novice to experienced home gardeners as well as private businesses such as nurseries. Justin specializes in Horticultural Education, facilitating Horticultural and Permaculture workshops and presentations across Melbourne and country Victoria.  Justin is a lead trainer in adult education at the award winning CERES Environmental Park, where for the past 10 years he has presented workshops on topics ranging from fruit and vegetable production to Bush foods, garden design to sustainable gardening, and more.

Justin Calverley

Justin is a founding member and broadcaster on Melbourne’s highly popular 3RRR’s horticultural show ‘Dirty Deeds’ which is now in its eighth year, and has appeared on various Television and Radio gardening programs including Channel 31’s ‘The Garden Tap’, “Vasilli’s Garden”, ABC’s ‘Can we help?’ and 3CR’s Gardening Show.

Justin's true passion is unquestionably edible gardens and he thrives on the opportunity to share his appreciation of nature, his knowledge of flora and fauna as well as his experiences in farming with those seeking to begin or to enhance their journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

For more information

To find out more about this course, click "Enquire" to send us an email.

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Contact us



  • Diamond Creek
  • 119 Cowin Street
  • Diamond Creek 3089

  • Eltham
  • 739 Main Road
  • Eltham 3095

  • Panton Hill
  • 18 Bishops Road
  • Panton Hill 3759

  • Nillumbik Shire Council trading as Living &
  • Learning Nillumbik, Registered Training
  • Organisation No. 3989, ABN 64 487 894 794

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