2024 Nourishing Gardens Beginner Training

CEI is pleased to offer our Nourishing Gardens Beginner gardening course. In this training, you will gain knowledge and experience in planning, building, planting, and maintaining a food garden, and using your harvest  (see full schedule below).

The Nourishing Gardens program aims to transform lawns into ecologically beneficial food and pollinator garden spaces. As a Nourishing Gardens trainee, you will also have the opportunity to make a difference in your community.

Commitment: To get the most out of the program, Nourishing Gardens trainees should plan to participate in the full program as outlined below.
  • 5-week training program (see course schedule below); 
  • 1-2 hours of independent learning each week;
  • 2-hour in person learning session each Thursday, 6pm - 8pm;
  • Experiential learning sessions to apply the knowledge from the week to real-life installations each Saturday 9am - 12pm at an installation site within Howard County; and
  • Trainees must be at least sixteen years of age and able to provide their own transportation to installation sites within Howard County.

Course schedule:

Thursday, April 4, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.Orientation & Introduction to garden types
Saturday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.In-person experience
Thursday, April 11, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.Planning & Building a food garden
Saturday, April 13, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.In-person experience
Thursday, April 18, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.Planting a food garden
Saturday, April 20, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.In-person experience
Thursday, April 25, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Maintaining a food garden
Saturday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
In-person experience
Thursday, May 2, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Harvesting and preserving your produce
Saturday, May 4, TBD
In-person ending ceremony and garden tour

Other Program Details: 

The class will consist of weekly assignments using Canvas as well as in person lessons and hands-on experience Saturday mornings. Space is limited. Registration is required.


The Nourishing Gardens Beginner Gardening training has a registration fee of $125 and includes weekly instruction, online materials, and access to tools and supplies needed during on-site learning. The course book, Growing An Edible Landscape by Gary Pilarchik and Chiara D'Amore, will be provided at no additional cost if needed.

The Nourishing Gardens Intermediate Gardening training will immediately follow!

This course will be led by Loni Cohen, the Community Ecology Institute Nourishing Gardens Program Coordinator. Loni began gardening with her dad as a child and later worked on his landscaping crew to pay her way through graduate school. Loni earned a Master's Degree in Social Work, and spent years helping families to access the supports they needed to thrive in their environment. Loni feels passionate about creating an environment that fosters a mutually beneficial relationship where people and nature thrive together. Loni continues to enjoy sharing her passion for gardening with the community as the Nourishing Gardens Program Coordinator, a Master Gardener, and CA Weed Warrior.

If you have any questions about the program, please reach out to Loni Cohen, Nourishing Gardens Program Coordinator, at [email protected]

Nourishing Gardens beginner training

General Admission

Max Per Order:1

Join Our Mailing List

Terms and Privacy