Introduction to horticulture


Class participants looking at seedlings in a greenhouse
Course dates

Saturdays 22 September - 24 November, 9.30am - 3pm
(no class 29 September)


Edendale Community Environment Farm
30 Gastons Road, Eltham 3095


$130 government-subsidised
$73 concession

Course fee includes textbook The Urban Farmer by Justin Calverley and CERES.

See below for more information about fees and eligibility for a government-subsidised place.  
You will need to complete and sign a 'pre-accredited course enrolment form' in order to be eligible for a government-subsidised place.  


How to enrol

Call us on 9433 3744 to enrol and pay over the phone, or call in at one of our three Living & Learning Nillumbik centres.  If you are enrolling over the phone, you will be asked to check and sign the enrolment form at the first class.  By completing an enrolment over the phone, you are acknowledging that you have read the important 'Victorian Government VET Student Privacy Notice' and 'Conditions of Enrolment' on the form.  Note: payment is required in order to secure your place.
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.  



Run in partnership with Edendale, a community farm and environment centre, 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. 

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What to expectCourse participants making plant cuttings for propagation
What to bring
Course structure
Class size
Learning pathways
Eligibility for government-subsidised fees and concession fees

Withdrawals and refunds
Fee structure
About the tutor
For more information

What to bring

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

What to expect

Working as a team with fellow participants at Edendale, 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.

Course structure

9 x 5 hour sessions (plus 1/2 hour lunch break); and approximately 1.5 hours per week self-paced learning.

Class size

Classes have no more than 14 participants.


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. 

Eligibility for government-subsidised fees and concession fees

Government-subsidised fee

If you are an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa), you are eligible for the government subsidised fee listed above. 

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).

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 a concession fee.  

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

Withdrawals and refunds

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

Fee structure

Tuition - $63 (government subsidised) / $6 (concession)
Amenities - $32
Materials - $35
Note: the fees listed above are for people eligible for a government-subsidised place.  If you are not an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa), the full fee of $426 will apply (includes tuition, amenities and materials).  

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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