Our market gardening and urban farming classes catered for everyone from backyard growers keen to massively increase their yield to budding commercial growers.

These courses ran from 2013 to 2019 in venues across Australia, including Allsun Farm, Milkwood Farm, Pocket City Farm, Buena Vista Farm, Hepburn Primary School and Ceres Environment Park.

In that time, we ran over 30 courses and taught nearly 1,000 students, helping build their skills and professional capacity.

Past courses

Introduction to organic market gardening courses

Introduction to Organic Market Gardening Course

This course was for folks wanting to establish a viable, small-scale organic growing enterprise. Students learned how to start an organic market garden from scratch, with a combination of theory and on-farm knowledge.

Topics covered included strategies for garden design, tools and resources, propagating healthy seedlings, bed preparation, soil fertility, crop rotations, harvest and storage, irrigation strategies, and leveraging markets for produce.

Taught by Olivier Sofo, an established organic grower and teacher who has grown fantastic veggies in climates as diverse as Vancouver, Western Sydney and the Southern Highlands of NSW.

Market garden masterclass

Market Garden Masterclass

This masterclass dove straight into the nuts and bolts of how to run a thriving, diverse organic market garden, taught by long-term, established and successful market gardeners. Suitable for those with some prior growing knowledge, who were keen to make a livelihood from growing great vegetables.

This course involved both theory and hands-on components, with students getting a chance to understand how Allsun Farm works from top to bottom, in terms of crop rotations, marketing and integrated animal systems.

Taught by Joyce Wilkie and Michael Plane of Allsun Farm, who are passionate about growing vegetables, pastured poultry and creating and supporting fantastic small farms.

Biointensive Growing Course

Biointensive Growing Course

This course was suitable for serious backyard growers looking to take their patch to the next level, as well as homesteaders looking to grow large volumes of their own organic veg, and community+aid workers wanting solutions to maximise nutrient-dense food production with limited space and resources.

The course demonstrated biointensive growing at Pocket City Farms and covered topics such as deep soil preparation, composting, intensive planting, carbon farming, calorie farming, companion planting, open-pollinated seeds, biointensive history and philosophy, and much more.

Taught by Jodi Roebuck, established biointensive grower and Australasia’s foremost expert on the topic.

Urban farming masterclasses

Urban Farming Masterclass

These popular two-day masterclasses brought together Jean-Martin Fortier and Curtis Stone – two world-class small-scale growers producing outstanding food for their communities while making a profitable livelihood. Students learned the inner workings of small-plot growing and urban micro-farming – regenerating both land and your local food system.

Jean-Martin Fortier’s is known for his comprehensive and much-admired book The Market Gardener, and for his family’s ability to successfully create a six-figure income from under two acres of organic vegetables, farmed by hand in Quebec.

Curtis Stone, farmer and founder of Green City Acres in Canada, specialises in multiple site farming (backyards, front yards, spare lots) within one enterprise. The Green City Acres model proves that urban farming can create a profitable livelihood, if the enterprise is designed well.

Street Farming Masterclass

Street Farming Masterclass

Presented in partnership with Pocket City Farms, this masterclass explored making urban farms happen in your town or city – with Michael Ableman, co-founder of Sole Food Street Farms in Vancouver.

A day of practical strategies, design considerations, engagement strategies and the nuts-and-bolts of growing serious amounts of fresh food in our cities. All using low-tech infrastructure, good design, good knowledge, skills and people power.

Topics included greening and cooling the city, community revitalisation, skill-building, low-cost infrastructure solutions, funding models and financial structures, logistics for growing in/on inhospitable environments (like concrete), getting produce effectively to farmers markets and creating right livelihoods from growing city food.

Student reviews

“This course was everything I was looking for and more. Olivier is possibly the best teacher I’ve come across. He is knowledgeable, friendly and is able to communicate information in a straightforward manner. I had so many ‘light bulb moments’ during the course, not the least of which is finally understanding the reasoning behind no-till and its effect on soil biology. Olivier just explains things so well.”

Melissa Thomas
Intro to Organic Market Gardening course participant

“Attending this course was the best step I have taken towards reaching my dream of starting a market garden. Olivier’s presentation was highly informative and practical, as he gave us an incredible snapshot and often very humorous insight into the challenges, detailed planning, commitment and skills required to start such a venture.”

Sally Dizgalvis
Intro to Organic Market Gardening course participant

“This course was excellent. It provided in-depth information delivered at a very accessible pace. The presenter Jodi Roebuck was very generous with his knowledge, experience and imparting skills. I really enjoyed the focus on participating in practical tasks. This course has definitely provided me with new knowledge and a raft of ideas and techniques.”

Jeff Vivian
Biointensive Growing course participant

“I’ve been farming for 22 years now and over the last few years have come to realise that what we are doing isn’t working. The bio-intensive growing course showed there is another way to feed the world. It is extremely well thought out, very informative for all levels of knowledge. Jodi is a great speaker and delivered the material fantastically. The Milkwood crew really know their stuff.”

Glenn Molloy
Biointensive Growing course participant

How you can learn urban farming with us now

We have loads of market gardening articles freely available in our online archive of useful things.