Finding Space to Teach Gardening

Are you interested in teaching gardening but not sure where to hold the classes? You might think you need to have a huge garden, a farm, or a formal classroom, but this isn’t true. There are many creative places you can teach!

A key component of why the Green Thumb Course is so successful is that it takes place in a garden.  Not a farm, and definitely not a classroom. Participants see what is happening in the garden and compare it to their own. They see the layout and how things work together. And most importantly, they can get their hands dirty and learn by doing things in the garden.

Teach in the Garden (1)


Don’t worry if you don’t have the biggest or best garden. This will actually be more approachable than a huge, beautiful garden. Your teaching garden should be big enough to grow a variety of crops so people can see how things grow and learn how to tend them.

It is ideal if the garden is at your house because that is the same scale that your students will be working from. It is also easier to take care of your garden when it is right outside your door. But not everyone has the space for a garden right now, so I’ve compiled this list of 8 other options! The advantage of holding your classes in the community is that you can tap into existing networks and it will be easier to fill your courses.

8 Great Places to Hold Garden Classes

  1. Many churches have extra outdoor space that can be turned into a garden. You can donate a portion or all of the vegetables to the needy. You can do an announcement after the service that classes are available and perhaps hold class right after or before church to encourage participation. There is also the advantage of having plenty of parking!
  2. Community/rec center. Many community centers have outdoor space and since they are already offering classes on things, it fits right in with their mission and function in a community.
  3. Non-profit. Look for a non-profit in your community whose mission might be compatible with teaching people how to garden. See if they have any space available or might know of some. If it is a membership based organization, you have a ready-made audience for your classes! You can give the organization a portion of your profits for their sponsorship.
  4. A Soup Kitchen. Teaching gardening at a soup kitchen could be a really interesting community partnership. You could grow vegetables that they need and can utilize when they are ultra-fresh. You might even offer a few spots in your classes to clients of the soup kitchen as part of a job training program.
  5. Community garden. Is there a community garden nearby where you can get a plot? Generally community gardens have a great gathering space. There is the added benefit of having other gardens to look at and compare.
  6. Friend or neighbor. Is there someone you know with a garden you can use? You could offer them a free spot in the course, and/or extra help in the garden.
  7. Another teacher. Some people teaching the Green Thumb Course have decided to team up together and co-teach the course so they can learn from each other. Hopefully the other teacher has a garden!
  8. Senior center. Many senior centers are looking for activities for their members. You might convince them to let you have some garden space if you offer the classes to the seniors first.

Depending on your climate, it may also be useful to have some indoor space to host classes when the weather is too cold or dark to be outside. Your dining room table or your living room is a comfortable and easy place to utilize. Other indoor spaces might be a garage, large greenhouse, high tunnel, or sunroom. A simple pop-up tent could provide shelter from the rain, but there is nothing wrong with rain jackets and umbrellas for an outdoor class!

So now you have a ton of ideas for spaces to utilize for teaching gardening. Each one brings its own challenges and possibilities. Look around until you find the right fit for you!

Learning Happens Everywhere

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