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.  For information on 2019 CGDT classes contact


The Art of Food Preservation – 5 part class series

Spring and summer bring a bounty of goodness from the garden.  Learn how to safely preserve nature’s harvest to enjoy year-round through this 5-part series on home food preservation.  Each class will include demonstrations – part will be hands on and all will be fun.  You will come away with a better understanding of home food preservation and the confidence that you can do it yourself.

Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)  To register the the entire series click here.

Part 1: Freezing and Drying

Wednesday, May 9, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Instructors: Lisa Craig, Hamilton Butler County Agent, Central State Extension & Carol Pelfrey, Home Food Preservationist
Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)
This class will discuss different methods for freezing and drying your fruits and vegetables.  We will demonstrate freezing fresh vegetables, drying fruits with a dehydrator, and drying herbs using the air dry method as well as proper storage. To register, click here.

Part 2: Fermentation and Pickling

Wednesday, June 13, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Instructors: Lisa Craig, Hamilton Butler County Agent, Central State Extension & Carol Pelfrey, Home Food Preservationist
Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)
You will see demonstrations on making kimchi and sauerkraut using fermentation.  We will also demonstrate how to make refrigerator dill pickles and sweet pickle chips. Samples of all will be available for your tasting pleasure. To register, click here.

Part 3: Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

Wednesday, June 27, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Instructors: Lisa Craig, Hamilton Butler County Agent, Central State Extension & Carol Pelfrey, Home Food Preservationist
Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)  Registration required by 6/25.
What’s the difference between jams, jellies, and preserves? We will discuss methods for making these sweet treats and demonstrate how to make strawberry freezer jam, hot pepper jelly, and peach preserves.  You will take home a jar of our freshly made goodies. To register, click here.

Part 4: Whole Milk and Its By-products

Wednesday, July 11, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Instructors: Lisa Craig, Hamilton Butler County Agent, Central State Extension & Carol Pelfrey, Home Food Preservationist
Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)  Registration required by 7/9.
Join us for information about making cheese, buttermilk, and ice cream. We will demonstrate how to make your own cottage cheese, and you will get to sample this delicious product.  Finally, learn by doing with a hands-on, “make your own butter” session.  This class will be both informative and fun. To register, click here.

Part 5: Water Bath Canning

Wednesday, August 8, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Instructors: Lisa Craig, Hamilton Butler County Agent, Central State Extension & Carol Pelfrey, Home Food Preservationist
Cost: $20 per class OR $75 for the entire series ($25 savings!)  Registration required by 8/6.
We will demonstrate the hot water bath method for high acid foods and pressure canning for low acid foods, meat, and fish. We’ll also demonstrate how to put your summer bounty to good use with a salsa making and canning demonstration. Join us to learn how to preserve your harvest while sampling foods we prepare along the way! To register, click here.



 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.


National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP)

August 20 – October 10, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) sets national certification standards for green infrastructure (GI) construction, inspection, and maintenance workers. Designed to meet international best practice standards, the certification advances the establishment of sustainable communities by promoting GI as an environmentally and economically beneficial stormwater management option, supporting the development of proficient green workforces, and establishing a career path for skilled GI workers. This program meets every Monday and Wednesday for 11 classes. After successful completion of this 35 hour training, the NGICP exam will be administered in Cincinnati in November 2018 to residents that complete the training.  For more information, please visit this website and brochure.  To register click here.



Saving Seeds

Saturday, September 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor:  Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC Volunteers)

Collecting seed from plants can be exciting, economical and is essential for preserving genetic diversity of plants. Through discussion and demonstration, find out how to collect and store seed from annuals, perennials and woody plants; learn the best references to use in determining collection techniques.  To register click here.




Soap Making Day Camp

Saturday, October 6, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm & 12:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: Carisa Hund-Bunten, Owner of 7th Street Gifts, Newport, KY
Cost:  $145 per participant, ages 18 and up, registration is required (fee includes cost of materials)
Notes: Ages 18+up, registration required, participants must wear jeans, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes. Bring lunch for between sessions.  Bring your own  water proof gloves and goggles.
This will be a hands-on workshop applying traditional cold process soap making.  Participants will be privy to tricks of the trade in a noncompetitive learning environment that ensures success.  Carisa’s experience applies practical application learned firsthand from crafting and selling handmade soap from her family’s brick and mortar storefront for over 18 years, conducting numerous workshops, as well as receiving formal training in soap making from the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Safety will be a primary concern while stressing the importance of exact measurements, ingredients, and temperatures while working with lye. Using a variety of recipes and ingredients, you will take home about 6 pounds of customized cold process soap. To register, click here.



Saturday, October 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Terrariums got their start around 1830 when Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, trying to incubate moths, found that his glass enclosed contraption had become an ideal home to ferns. The advent of the Wardian case, as it later became called, revolutionized the distribution of plants around the world. Travelers carried hothouse specimens back to temperate regions and now had a means to keep them healthy outside of their native ranges. In this class we will look at the evolution of the Wardian case, and its development into a modern decorative fixture in homes. Participants will understand the basics of how to create and maintain a terrarium.  To register, click here.



Shitake Madness: Growing Mushrooms on Logs

Saturday, November 3, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Instructor: Wes Duren, Co-owner of Marvin’s Organic Gardens
Cost: $30, or $50 for 2-part series (spring and fall)
This hands-on workshop focuses on the cultivation of shiitake and morel mushrooms on logs. Learn to select, harvest, inoculate and care for logs in order to grow abundant and lasting shiitake and morel mushrooms. Japanese Shitake farmers used to beat their logs as a form of shock to initiate mushrooms to grow! How far will you go to grow your shitake? Logs and spawn will be provided to take home. *Please bring a 1 x 1 cardboard box to get your system started.  To register, click here.



Greens Gatherings

Join us for a CGC annual event! Bring your pruners, wire-cutters and scissors and we’ll provide a bundle of fresh cut greens, some warm refreshments and holiday spirit. A limited quantity of extra greens, novelties and ribbon will be available for purchase. Cost: $30; registration is limited so reserve your spot early!  Choose from these three classes:

Bring Your Own Container

Friday, December 7, 1:00 – 3:00 pm 
Whether your container is an old family favorite, found item or recent purchase, we will help you channel your inner artist to visualize and realize a beautiful table decoration. With special attention being given to mechanics and structural elements, the sky is the limit for accents you would like to bring and include in your work. To register click here.

Table Arrangements

Saturday, December 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Enjoy the friendly pace and individual attention from Sue Trusty as you construct a holiday arrangement in your own container. To register, click here.

Wreaths and Swag

Saturday, December 8, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Your neighbors will be “green” with envy when they see your beautiful door decoration! We provide greens, seasonal berries, frames, mechanics and expert instruction from Sue Trusty. Feel free to bring any embellishments to suit your taste or décor. To register click here.