Since 2009 Very Edible Gardens (VEG) has worked with over 20 Melbourne councils, as well as libraries, festivals and community groups to deliver hundreds of workshops, presentations and community gardening blitzes. We reckon we bring real knowledge, humour and passion to our work.

See below for:

Contact us to enquire about availability and pricing.

Course offerings

We have developed teaching styles and strategies to help fast-track people on to the road of good health and sustainability through fun workshops which mix theory with hands-on practice delivered with good humour and genuine passion. See the upcoming courses calendar for a full list of course dates.

Quotes from past courses we have facilitated:

“Fantastic, potentially life changing”

“Lovely people, great communicators, infectious passion for gardening and another way of living.”

“Energetic, informative and empowering. And entertaining.”

“I expected enthusiasm and knowledge but didn’t really expect such good teaching styles.”

Shorter courses

These usually run for two hours but we can do shorter versions.

nettle plants

Edible Weeds Walks
Duration: 2 hours
Many if not most common urban weed species of Melbourne are edible and can provide valuable and nutritious fresh food. Learn to enjoy dandelion, sow thistle, mallow, amaranth, wild onions, wild celery, stinging nettle and many more (with seasonal variation). Many weeds are used by health practitioners for their curative properties. Learn too about some of the ecological uses of weeds as soil improvers, soil indicators and compost additives.  (See also Adam’s weed hunting book The Weed Forager’s Handbook).

Happy chickens roaming freely in an urban garden

The Power of Chook
Duration: 2 hours
Home chicken husbandry is making a global resurgence as people see the benefit of cheaper eggs, greater soil fertility and yes, even the companionship which comes from the having these vivacious ladies around the garden. But what if we can harness the power of chook to get them making compost, fertilising the garden, and doing pest and weed control? All while improving the quality of their lives? This workshop explains how while also covering the basics of chook care.


Meet Your Garden Life (and Organic Pest Control)
Duration: 2 hours
Come join us on a micro-safari! Meet some of the many marvellous creatures that already inhabit your garden: from mysterious soil microbes, to the herbivorous pest critters, and the ferocious tiny predators that prey on them. We’ll watch a visual feast of these little beasties while learning how to send an open invitation to the natural pest control species. Learn how to garden without sprays or disappointment and turn your backyard into a rich and balanced ecosystem.

“I am familiar with organic pest control options and today’s session explained why controls work and when to use them. I was blown away by the knowledge I’ve taken away about actual ‘pests’ in my garden. Especially parasitic wasps – who knew they were a positive contributor!! For me, this session provided excellent knowledge passed on in a way that was informative and entertaining. My knowledge of predators and herbivores has definitely increased and will enable me to incorporate this knowledge in my planting and design – thank you.”

a shovel of poor soil

Know Thy Soil: Practical Soils Workshop for Gardeners
Duration: 2 hours

Would you just like to get to know your garden soil more intimately?  In this workshop you will learn the basics of what constitutes soil, and how to improve it.  You can bring some of your own garden soil along as we pull out the microscopes, pH kit and use our fingers to help you investigate your soil for structure, pH and biology.  We also cover dealing with contaminated soils, and general strategies for good soil including mineral and organic fertilisers, compost and worms.

man digging a trench

Drought Proofing Your Garden
Duration: 2 hours
Whether it’s a La Niña year this year or not, drought is set to be more the rule not the exception in the future. Yet, in the city we can still grow much of our own food through water efficient planning and gardening. Topics covered in this session include garden design for shelter from hot sun and winds, tank solutions, how to water at the right times, irrigation systems, working with slopes, greywater systems, water-hardy plants, and some innovative water saving solutions such as wicking beds. Covers the basics of everything you need to know to grow abundant healthy food while minimising water use.

Greywater for food gardeners
Duration: 1.5 hours
Water going down the drain is water wasted. But the right greywater system can not only save this water but make make your life easier. You’ll water the garden every time you shower or wash clothes without even thinking about it! This session covers health and safety, and harvesting and distribution techniques for greywater, especially those relatively simple and trouble free options.

Keep Your Cool with Trees & Vines
Duration: 1.5 hours
A little garden design can help you save the big bucks on house cooling and even assist with heating in winter, while turning your backyard into a shady cool oasis. We think about sun, shade, wind and how to fight the urban 00heat island effect.

Trav's compost

Beginners Guide to Compost and Worms
Duration: 2 hours
Learn the art and science of how to team with worms and microbes to turn waste into rich organic topsoil — the cornerstone of organic gardening and ultimately human health. The session includes all theory you’ll need to deal with most common problems, and then hands-on demonstrations on compost making, and how to set up and maintain a worm farm.

Growing Subtropical Food Plants in Melbourne
Duration: 1 hour
Did you know that with the right conditions you can grow all sorts of sub-tropical plants in Melbourne, like bananas, strawberry guavas, babacos and many many more. We’ll look at finding or creating the right microclimate and creating the conditions for them to thrive.

Longer courses

Cam with water levels

An Introduction to Urban Permaculture 
Duration: Two days
Permaculture is a broad design system for building sustainable human habitats, drawing inspiration from patterns in natural systems. Topics covered in this course include context and an introduction to permaculture ethics and design principles, illustrated with topics relevant to home food production and frugal resource use, such as garden design, water catchment and use, urban animals, companion planting, caring for soil. Includes case studies and design examples. Hands-on activities include marking out contours on slopes and making a good compost pile. The course material is broken up with illustrative games and group work. Participants receive a handout covering all the topics on the course and a certificate of completion. The course caters to backyard permaculture but also encourages people to look outside the home for opportunities and resources in the community, to visualise how we can create a healthier and happier urban environment. Also information about how to get involved in the Permablitz network.

VEG Intro to Organic Gardening
Duration: 2 or 6 hours
Everyone it seems wants to get started growing food, and most people want to do it chemical free. But where to get started? This course covers the basics of soil, waterwise gardening, companion planting and natural pest control, compost and worms, heritage food varieties, no-dig gardening, how to plant and propagate from seed, and how take those very first steps.


Permaculture Design Course
Duration: 14 days
This is not something we’ve run for councils, however we have had councils sponsor community leaders to attend. Check here for latest info.

A well-run Permaculture Design Certificate can be the most fun and intense learning experience you’ll ever have in your life!  It can change the very way you look at the world.  It can help you develop a framework for thriving in a changing earth. It can help you learn skills to heal damaged landscapes, while producing for your own needs. For us it was all of these things. And now, after years of designing and implementing permaculture systems as volunteers and professionally, we’ve developed a unique new structure to make this PDC even better. This is our flagship course but be warned – we unleash our unlimited passion and for many participants it is life changing – full details at

Appropriate Techonology Workshops

Appropriate Technology workshops

We’ve begun helping our amazing friends Tim Barker and Joel Meadows to run a series of hands-on appropriate technology workshops in things like natural building, rocket stoves (a incredible fuel efficient cooking technique that runs on twigs) and scything!  Find out more at


Contact us to enquire about availability and pricing.

Permaculture blitzes

Ok, courses are fine but nothing is rewarding or as educational as actually getting things done! VEG Director Adam Grubb and VEG founder Dan Palmer are co-founders of the global permablitz network.  Permablitz is a network for edible garden makeovers mostly run by volunteers, but VEG sometimes runs similar events professionally for councils (such as through the My Smart Garden project).  These are great ways to get people doing real, hands-on work while coming together as a community, building networks and sharing skills related to sustainable living.

“I attended the Whitehorse Permablitz a couple of weekends ago (I was one of the council staff members) and it was a really fantastic event to be a part of. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty in the afternoon. It was a real highlight of Sustainable Living Week. We also got feed back from residents that attended and it has all been very positive. I hope that I can attend another Permablitz in the future!”

~ Claire, City of Whitehorse

Part of the process for community areas is a facilitated design process, using the principles of permaculture. In the space of a 3 or 4 hours with a room full of people, we can tune into the wishes of the community, together survey the site through permaculture eyes, and make the first design decisions.

Check out the below video or some photos from an April 2014 event for the City of Whitehorse(Image above is courtesy City of Whitehorse)

Contact us to enquire about availability and pricing.

Community wicking bed builds

We also specialise in wicking beds (see our site which grow healthy vegetables with less water, making them great on nature strips, in malls, carparks and anywhere irrigation is hard to get to, or watering may be irregular.

Wicking beds workshop photo

Jeremy explaining the wicking concept in the Box Hill Mall

When we’re building wicking beds for councils, community gardens, schools or other community spaces, there’s nothing we like more than doing so with the community involved, sharing the knowledge along the way. It’s a win-win: for not much more cost than the bed install itself, we can share the whys, why-nots and how-to’s.

Wicking bed workshop planting

Any questions? Get in touch.

Compost photo by Steven Rhall & Green Business Incubator photo by David Holmgren