Coming soon to the Fernwood Community Centre in Victoria, BC is the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Society’s (Fernwood NRG) Food + Growing Workshop Series. This diverse selection of workshops will have participants exploring the Fernwood community garden sites and learning skills suitable for an urban gardener.

(Photo from Fernwood NRG)

The workshops are taught by Fernwood NRG’s community garden coordinator, Matthew Gravel. Gravel is the owner of the edible landscape and ecological design company called Plant Buoy: Life Preservation Plants. He’s taught many workshops for Fernwood NRG. “These are topics that are particularly interesting to me as well and what my background is in,” he says.

(Vanessa Prescott and Matt Gravel holding medicinal herbs comfrey and yarrow in front of the Fernwood Community Centre. Photo by Mila Czemerys.)

No experience necessary to attend these events! “I’m hoping people from all backgrounds and age ranges come to take the workshops, like we’ve seen in the past,” Gravel Says. “I’m not trying to reach any one specific demographic. Hopefully we can spark some interest in people and start growing more in the city.”

Workshop topics include Intro to Food Forestry & Ecological Design, Container Gardening, Plant Propagation, Planning Your Veggie Garden, Intro to Permaculture, and How to Grow and Use Medicinal Plants. You can register for each of the events individually. Gravel admits he’s most excited for the medicinal plants workshop. “I get to co-teach with my pal and herbalist Vannessa Prescott and it’s 3 hours of nerding out on plants and making medicine,” he says. “We pretty much spend the whole time in the garden exploring where I’m most comfortable.”

(Photo from Fernwood NRG)

After you pick your course, expect to “be outdoors, doing hands on work and exploring plants and natural systems,” Gravel says. “Hopefully we can start getting people to look at the world around them a little differently and with more excitement and potential for growth and regeneration.”

Fernwood NRG has been working as a non-profit organization since 1979 to provide child care, recreational activities and programming to the community. You can learn more about their programming and the Fernwood Community Centre at

To sign up for any of the workshops visit or call 250-381-1552 x 100