Community Gardens Development

Training Series

Community Gardens Development Training (CGDT) provides community residents with technical assistance, leadership training, horticulture education and start-up materials. This training ultimately helps to carry out the mission of the Civic Garden Center, extending the impact to a broad number of people in Cincinnati. This class is also a great resource for folks interested in becoming involved in an existing community garden or vegetable gardening at home. These classes are free of charge! Many classes are hands-on workshops. CGDT is sponsored in part by the Meshewa Farm Foundation. To apply to the program click here.  For a list of CGDT classes click here.



Hydroponics, Aeroponics, Aquaponics

Tuesday, January 30, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Instructor: Sue Trusty, University of Cincinnati, Horticulture Professor
Cost: Free (UC course, the public is invited to audit at no charge)

Who needs soil to sow a sustainable garden? You can cultivate plants in mid-air, float them in mineral-enriched water or add nutrients for an organic harvest by using your own fish for the fertilizer. All of these methods can be used indoors and year-round. Sue will introduce the basic techniques for homeowners or small-scale growers. After the lecture, Sue’s students will assemble some simple hydroponic systems for class use. To register call 513-221-0981.



Beekeeping 101 Series

3-part series: Tuesdays, February 13, 20, 27, 6:00-8:30 pm
Instructors: Randy Morgan, Emeritus Curator-Insectarium, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Phil Hucke, Certified Arborist, Ray Babcock, President- Southwestern Ohio Beekeepers Association –SWOBA *Together over 55 years of beekeeping experience!
Cost: $50 for series (must register for entire series)

The amazing honey bee is an agriculturally-important pollinator threatened by many human activities. Beekeeping, the art and science of managing honey bees, is a fascinating hobby, fun backyard business and extensive agro-industry. This introductory course is intended to encourage and support interested non-beekeepers. Novice beekeepers are also welcome! Experienced members of the Southwestern Ohio Beekeepers Association (SWOBA) will help you become a successful beekeeper. Sign up now to learn about and experience the joy of beekeeping! This program will answer your questions about: Getting started, use of and ordering equipment, costs, where to place your bees, how to get your bees, protective clothing, etc. To register click here.


Garden Basics: Get your garden growing

Thursday, February 22, 11:30- 1:00 pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers call 513-221-0981 to register)
Lunch: You’re invited to bring your lunch to eat while you learn!
As spring approaches, important work must be done in the garden to ensure its health and beauty throughout the growing season. Late winter and spring are also great times to plan and plant gardens. This class covers seasonally appropriate work such as pruning and working soil, as well as planting and seed sowing. To register click here.


Basic Organic Vegetable Gardening

Wednesday, March 7, 6:00-8:00pm
Cost :$15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Instructors:  Dave Koester, Boone County Extension Agent

This course will provide a great introduction to growing vegetables without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Topics will include what to plant when, seasonal considerations for maintenance, selecting varieties, intensive gardening, succession planting and companion planting techniques.  To register click here.


Lawn Mower Spring Tune Up

Saturday, March 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Robert Cox, CGC Volunteer & Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

There’s no better time than early spring to prepare your lawn mower for the growing season. In this class you will learn how to tune up your mower, ensuring it starts up immediately and performs to the best of its ability. Walk away with a check list to perform a DIY tune up at home. To register click here.


Soil Health

Wednesday, March 14, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Holly Utrata-Halcomb, Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

This class will provide an introduction to basic soil science and discuss the importance of conserving and cultivating a biologically active soil to grow healthy fruits, vegetables and perennials. The seasonal cycle of soil as well as composting, green manure and cover crops will be reviewed as part of a strategy to build fertile soil. Soil testing kits will be available. The cost of the soil test for Hamilton County residents is $5 per test, for gardeners living outside of Hamilton County the fee is $12 per test.  To register click here.


The Sacred Energy of Food

Saturday, March 17th, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Trinidad Mac-Auliffe, Owner/Chef of Raw Intervention Kitchen
Cost: $50 per person, must register by March 15th to reserve your spot

This class will demystify the raw food diet, teaching the principles of raw food preparation and methodology. Learn about life force food and the sacred energy that our natural food sources provide in the form of medicine, sustainability, and healing of mind, body, and spirit. You’ll learn how to prevent diseases by understanding acid and alkaline ratios, micro and macro nutrients, and nutritional density and value. Hands-on demonstrations will show you how to sprout, blend, juice, dehydrate, marinate, and ferment food. You won’t be left with an empty stomach, as you’ll be served a satisfying and healthy meal of sprouted quinoa pizza, market salad with basil dressing, and raw cacao truffles. To register click here.


Seed Starting and Thriving Garden Practices

Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Greg Potter, CGC Community Garden Coordinator
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

Seed Starting:  Learn the process of starting plants from seed indoors and out
Thriving Garden Practices: Learn about crop rotation, beneficial insects, weeding, mulching and more.  To register click here.


Insects and Diseases of Edible Plants

Tuesday, March 27, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Instructor: Sue Trusty, University of Cincinnati, Horticulture Professor
Cost: Free (UC course, the public is invited to audit at no charge)

Learn about the major pests and diseases plaguing our vegetable and fruit plants, and what to do about them. Emphasis is on environmentally friendly methods and Integrated Pest Management. To register call 513-221-0981.


Gardening Healthy Traditions: Perspectives on Nutrition & Food Preparation

Wednesday, March 28, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: TBD
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

The class will provide an overview about the nutritional benefits of eating a healthy diet including fresh whole foods, fruits and vegetables. The topics of growing, cooking, preserving, and eating healthy food will also be covered. To register click here.


Spring Ephemerals

Saturday, March 31, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers call 513-221-0981 to register)

Springtime in the forests of Southwest Ohio greets us with brief and sudden flashes of flowers. These flowers are collectively known as “spring ephemerals” because of their short bloom time. Taking advantage of early spring light, before being shaded by the leafing out of the deciduous canopy, these small flowers carpet the forest floor with hues of white, yellow and blue. Additionally, many of these spring ephemerals provided an important early season food source for insects limbering up from a cold winter. This class will introduce the participant to some of these early bloomers and provide information on their life histories, and cultivation in your woodland garden. To register click here.



Gardening With Deer

Wednesday, April 4, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Michelle Andersen, Flourish Design &
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

In this educational look at gardening WITH deer, participants will learn the ins and outs of how to peacefully garden without repellants, and love the deer again. Get ready to learn more about the behavior of our region’s most beautiful garden pest and put that new understanding to work towards designing landscapes that deer won’t eat. Specific attention will be given to deer proof ornamental plant selections and strategies for keeping deer out of vegetable gardens. Michelle’s method has been so successful she has launched it into a venture of its own – To register click here.


Spring Backyard Composting

Tuesday, April 10, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor:  Kylie Johnson, CGC Green Learning Station Coordinator
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

Do you want to start a compost pile but have no idea how to even begin? Come learn the basics about composting to get you started. This class is an excellent introduction to why we compost, different styles of composting, and how to compost. To register click here.


Construction Techniques for the Gardener

Saturday, April 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Greg Potter, CGC Community Garden Coordinator & Robert Cox, CGC Volunteer
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Garden construction fundamentals – learn to build raised beds, paths, compost bins, cold frames and simple trellis forms. Alternative building materials for these features will also be addressed.  To register click here.


Field Study of Weeds and Invasive Plants

Thursday, May 17, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm (class); 12:00 – 1:00 pm (optional work session)
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers & students)
People say a weed is just a plant growing where you don’t want it, but there are in fact plants that can be considered a weed in any context, especially invasive and noxious species. This field study will involve identification of common lawn and garden weeds, as well as invasive plant species. Different techniques for removal and prevention will be demonstrated, followed by an optional work session to reclaim a portion of the grounds here at the Civic Garden Center alongside local horticulture students. To register click here.



Garden Basics: Keeping your garden looking great all summer

Tuesday, June 12, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm 
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC Volunteers)
The work you do in the garden all summer not only contributes to its beauty, but also can be pivotal in ensuring the health of your plants. This class covers such topics as watering and water conservation measures, pruning, feeding, common pest and disease issues, and other seasonally appropriate topics for flower, tree, and shrub gardens. Time permitting we’ll troubleshoot your individual growing issues. To register click here.

School Garden Development 101

Thursday, June 14, 9 am-3:30 pm
Instructor: Ellie Falk, School Garden Coordinator
Cost: Free for teachers

This training is for teachers, parents, and community members who wish to start a school garden. The training is a full day of learning the design process for a socially and ecologically diverse garden. We share ideas and examples from other schools, teach basic gardening and composting skills, and model gardening lessons you can use in the classroom. After participating in the training you are enrolled in our School Garden Network, giving your school access to free seeds, consultations from our staff, our monthly School Garden Calendar, and notifications of upcoming events in our School Garden Workshop Series. Join the 80+ youth gardening programs in Greater Cincinnati by partnering with the Civic Garden Center to help your students grow! To register call 513-221-0981.



 Master Composter Series

Prerequisite: Successful passage of pre-test (knowledge available during one of Civic Garden Center’s Basic Composting classes or Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District class)
Dates: August 1, 8, 15, 22, 9 am-3:30 pm
Cost: $40 per participant
Class size is limited. Registration is required.

Calling all garden gurus and environmental enthusiasts! Ready to get down and dirty? Enroll in our intensive Master Composter Training. You’ll learn the details of soil science, a variety of composting methods, and how to share your knowledge with our local community. 10 hours of classroom instruction will be complemented by 10 hours of field study, exposing participants to the vast wealth of composting resources in our area. Certificates will be awarded upon completion of 30 volunteer hours working in community gardens and education programs. Don’t miss your chance to join this unique opportunity. Spaces are limited and interested participants must submit proof of basic composting knowledge via a pre-test before they are considered for enrollment. To register click here.