Project Description

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Complete Urban Farmer

A 14-week introduction to the world of urban farming – a perfect portal to your own patch!

This 14-session course will be offered again in 2022

from $107 – 880
14 weeks

Coming in 2022

Join experienced horticulturist and permaculturist, Justin Calverley and guest trainer, Donna Livermore as they introduce you to the world of urban farming. The Complete Urban Farmer course combines 14 sessions including an introduction to permaculture, chook care, beekeeping, propagating and seed saving, community gardens — the list goes on!! This program will give you the skills and knowledge to apply to your own urban patch or help you decide if a career in horticulture/permaculture is for you.

A copy of Justin’s Urban Farmer book is included in your course fee.

*Subject to Government restrictions, components of this course may be delivered either in person or online.

The Complete Urban Farmer course provides you with the opportunity to achieve up to four digital badges. These badges recognise the additional knowledge, skills and achievements that can be obtained on course completion.

Ceres is a genuinely inspiring setting, and I can’t think of a more suitable place to attend a sustainability focused course. One day per week for a short, unaccredited course was perfect for me, as I was easily able to fit it in around my schedule.

Joe, May 2021

Digital badges for this course:

our digital badges: Knowledge - Problem Solving, Knowledge - System Thinking, Action - Initiative, Earth Service - Grit & Perseverance

Want to learn more about our Digital Badges.


Classes run 9am – 3pm each week on the following days:

Full 2021 Dates (links to each via Book Now buttons)

19th August to 18th November – Thursdays

1st September to 1st December – Wednesdays

10th September to 17th December – Fridays

Course Topics and Proposed Week Schedule

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

* 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. Read about ACFE Information and Eligibility

Contact Karen Mengell on 9389 0127 or for more information and to book an interview.

Justin Calverley is a horticulturalist and permaculturist with over 20 years experience and will be the lead trainer for the Urban Farmer course. He has extensive knowledge and experience in permaculture, garden design, organic gardening and native bushfood plants. He specialises in edible gardens and is an expert in fruit tree cultivation and pruning. For over 10 years Justin has taught workshops at CERES in sustainable gardening and permaculture. Justin was a regular broadcaster on 3RRR’s ‘Dirty Deeds” and “Breakfasters”, is a presenter on Ch 31’s “ The Garden Tap” and author of The Urban Farmer.

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 on-going 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.

Benedict Hughes is a well-known registered Beekeeper. As The Practical Beekeeper he collects swarms, manages hives, extracts honey, teaches and loves bees.

Benedict is also a commercial migratory beekeeper who runs around 100 beehives across Victoria. He produces small-batch, raw local honey which is available through Farmers Markets and select retail outlets. His bees also provide

pollination services for Almonds and other horticulture crops.

Benedict is the resident Beekeeper at Ceres (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) and is approved by the City of Darebin to keep bees in Darebin Parklands and Bundoora Park.

Benedict regularly runs school incursions about bees and beekeeping, he also delivers adult educational courses at Melbourne Polytechnic and CERES in Brunswick as well as at Edendale Community Environment Farm in Eltham.

Benedict is also the founding President of The Australian Pollinator Alliance, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting the health of bees and all pollinators, critical to our food and natural environment, through education, research and conservation.

You can find him on Facebook and Instagram as @Practical_Beekeeper.

What to 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 to wear

Casual (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.