Online Gardening School

December 31 - December 31, 2020

Are you ready to grow some serious food?

black and white drawing of carrots

Have you always dreamed of growing a garden, but don’t know where to start? Have you felt intimidated by the idea of finding a mentor? Have you fantasized about tucking seeds into soil and reaping abundant harvests?

bare feet and lettuce plants

Now is the time to make your dream into a reality.

We’re here to help.

Enrollment is closed for 2020. Get on the waitlist and grow with us in 2021


Check out our video about the Online Gardening School.

This Online Gardening School will show you how to grow bountiful food, whether you’re gardening on your apartment balcony or you’ve got a quarter acre of sunny ground to work with, or if you’re somewhere in between. In this age of global disease and disconnect, growing a garden is a powerful act of positive change, both for yourself and for the larger community. 

Take your food security into your own hands.

woman in garden with eggplant

The Online Gardening School offers something for all experience levels.

Our content is accessible to the total newbie and will set a solid foundation for getting started in the garden. It’s also useful and practical for folks who have already grown a garden or helped out on a farm but want to learn more, and it will provide new ideas for the avid gardener who wants to dig deeper.

This program covers all things gardening, from a holistic, permaculture-inspired perspective.

Indeed, it will not only give you the foundations you need to get started, but also serve as your companion as you tend your own plot. We offer step-by-step instructions for each month (including a checklist to make sure you aren’t missing anything), plus we’ll hold regular live Q&A sessions to provide mentorship and personalized guidance. There are also a bunch of bonus classes to deepen your gardening prowess and your big-picture understanding of food systems. It’s up to you which classes you access, and when.

This gardening program is for anyone in the continental US.

We currently live in the mountains of Southern Appalachia, but we’ve both gardened all over the country and the world: from the Pacific Northwest, to Arizona, from New York State to Northern California and Florida. We’ve had students from all over the world participate in this class and get a lot out of it. Please note, if you live in the tropics or the desert, your conditions might be pretty different than ours. Feel free to reach out to us at to help determine if this program is a good fit.

There has never been a better time to start a garden than right now!

woman with basket in okra patch in garden

Knowing how to grow food is your birthright.

We live in a strange new world, where the majority of humans live in cities and where the vast majority of our food is grown in monocrops on large, industrial farms. Even big organic farms can take the shape of a factory, without holistic engagement with the agroecology and social systems that they exist within. Most of us grew up with little understanding of where our food comes from, let alone learning the magical knowledge of how to grow it ourselves.

beet crop in the garden

But no matter who you are, your ancestors had deeply rich relationships with their food, whether they tended gardens or tended the garden of wild nature. Now is the time to reclaim your birthright and replenish the knowledge that is at the core of living in harmony on planet earth.

Get gardening mentorship while learning through your own experience.

It may sound strange, but we’ve had many students who have helped out on farms, yet don’t have the confidence to plant gardens on their own. In fact, there’s something very different about actually planning and planting a garden from scratch, rather than being told exactly what to do and where.

two people bent over harvesting beans

The Online Gardening School gives you the skills and tools you need to be able to grow a garden for yourself, from the ground up, whether it’s 6’x6’ or 60’x60’. In other words, we give you guidance and support, but you’re in charge of making decisions and customizing your garden to fit your personal needs. We’ve learned about soils, seeds, weeds, and gardening techniques all over the world, but you’re the world’s leading expert on your garden. Together, we’ll create a synergy that leads to success, as well as a sense of empowerment and ownership over your work and accomplishments.

It is time to taste the fruits — and vegetables — of your labor.

mother with baby eating a giant tomato

Wherever you are, on any device, you can watch the videos and access the written materials for this course.

Natalie and Chloe on all devices for online gardening school

The core of the Online Gardening School is 12 foundational lessons.

These videos and handouts teach you what you need to know to break ground and start growing some serious food. You don’t have to complete them all before you get started, rather choose what feels most relevant to you and explore the lessons further as your garden grows. We’ll cover: 

using a hoe in the garden

  • What a Garden Needs 

  • Starting a Garden from Grass 

  • How to Plant a Seed and Get It to Grow 

  • Garden Planning

  • Basic and More Specialized Gardening Tools

  • Seed Selection and Considerations

  • Choosing Plant Starts

  • Fertility and Fertilizers

  • Weeds and Weeding

  • Water and Irrigation 

  • When You Can Start a Garden

  • Soils 101

Seasonal Garden Classes Every Month

woman harvesting winter squash

Monthly video classes

Each month, we’ll release a series of timely guides to walk you through the process of growing healthy, organic vegetables. Throughout the year, you’ll receive a set of video lessons and written content specifically tailored for each month. These include an overview of the garden at that time of year and profiles of several vegetables that are being planted, tended, or harvested that month, plus tips on infrastructure, troubleshooting, managing fertility, weeding, pest control, cooking from the garden, and more. Additionally, we’ll discuss edible weeds and cover crops in their own lessons. 

You could grow a tomato like THIS!

picking giant ripe tomatoes in the garden

Every month, we will present around a dozen videos, each focusing on a different vegetable and what is going on with it that month. You can choose which ones you want to grow and just follow those, or completely dork out on them all. Please don’t pressure yourself to grow them all (especially if you don’t like them or don’t have enough room), but we want your palette of vegetables to feel abundant. There is a long list of the veggies and herbs that we will visit. Some of our favorites that you will be able to grow with the help of this course (depending on your climate) are: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, cilantro, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, basil garlic, herbs, cucumbers, squash —plus so many more. For a more complete list, check out the FAQ below.

As a companion to the videos, you’ll receive the following written content:

  • Monthly Garden To-Do’s Checklist for 
    • Planting
    • Harvesting
    • Processing
    • Tending, fertility, and garden maintenance
  •  Recipe of the Month that Showcases the Bounty from your Garden

pulling weeds in the summer garden

Receive personalized mentorship from experienced gardeners.

In addition to the monthly video and written lessons, we’ll also offer live Q&A sessions. This gives you a place to troubleshoot whatever comes up and receive personalized mentorship as you grow as a gardener. 

Gardening teachers mulching onions

Along with the foundational classes and monthly resources, the Online Gardening School includes a rich library of references and bonuses.

We’ve been passionate about growing food and supporting local, sustainable food systems for a long time. In fact, we can totally nerd out on the subject! While we’re committed to offering practical, accessible instruction on the nitty-gritty of growing a garden, there’s also so much more to explore. Plus, there are lots of amazing resources out there that we just love, and we think you might too. That’s where the appendix and bonus material for the Online Gardening School come in. 

purple peas on vine


There is a lot of gardening information that’s best communicated through the written word, charts, and lists. We provide a bunch of this good stuff in PDF form, as an Online Gardening School Appendix. These can be viewed on your phone, tablet, or computer, or downloaded and printed out. Some of these resources are original (like our favorite varieties and books), and some come from our mentors and allies. 

gardening students with summer bounty

  • Soil Temperature Germination Chart
  • Seed Spacing Chart
  • Our Favorite Varieties for Homestead Use
  • Sources for Tools and Supplies
  • Our Favorite Books and Other Resources
  • Small Bioregional Seed Companies
  • Planting Dates for Various Bioregions

Deepen and broaden your relationship with your garden, and the larger food system, with our bonus classes.

examining red okra flower

In our experience, gardens and food systems are a point of intersection for so much of our lives. And there are so many different ways to do things! In this extensive library of bonus material, we share original and guest lessons on more “unconventional” or advanced techniques like season extension, raised beds, container gardening, hugelkultur, and more. Coupled with these deeper dives into the practical side of growing food, we expand the lens to look at the food system as a whole. Here, we offer discussions of health and nutrition, regenerative agriculture, social and racial issues in our food system, and more. 

We hope you feel excited, not overwhelmed, by all this bonus material. You’ll have plenty of time to look it over, digest it, and apply it as your gardening journey continues. 

In these times of uncertainty, doing peaceful, productive work with the natural world that increases your food security is truly a potent medicine.

growing lambsquarters in the garden

“Each day, my peace of mind is directly correlated with the time I spend in my garden.” – Natalie Bogwalker

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

woman working in permaculture garden

If you aren’t fully satisfied, we’ll give you a full refund for up to 2 weeks after you are granted access to the class.

Go at your own pacewoman harvesting beans from garden

With the Online Gardening School, you can move at your own pace, taking advantage of any available time you’ve got to work in the garden. This flexibility means you can tailor your learning experience to your unique lifestyle and schedule. Registration is open on a rolling basis.

Lifetime access

When you sign up for the Online Gardening School, you get lifetime access to the course materials. This means you’ll be able to revisit lessons over and over, year after year. Also, as we add new content to the program, it will be yours, free of charge.

Enter the journey of gardening with seasoned mentors.

Your guides into the journey of gardening bring enthusiasm and decades of experience to the table. Their own paths have been deeply influenced by their experiences in the garden — nurturing small seeds, excitedly watching them germinate, celebrating their strong green growth, marvelling at the flowers and pollinators, and graciously harvesting delicious fruits and roots to be prepared with love and skill in the kitchen and shared with friends, family, and neigbbors. Both instructors have formed their lives around growing food and celebrating the rhythms of the seasons through gardening, farming, raising animals, and practicing permaculture

Natalie started her first garden in the backyard and on the roof of a carport at a rental house in college.

She had begrudgingly helped her mother in the garden as a child, but at 19, when she began to understand the cultural and political importance of food autonomy, that’s when she really dove in. Once she took the plunge herself, with all of her early-adulthood political intensity, she fell deeply in love with the process. Natalie found that gardening gave her a sense of peace, gave her body the physical challenges that it needed, and gave her mind a healthy outlet for analysis and improvement. She changed her studies to ecological agriculture and graduated from The Evergreen State College with a degree in the subject. She taught her first gardening class over 20 years ago at a free school in Olympia, Washington. Since then, Natalie has dedicated her life to learning, sharing, teaching, and organizing the teaching of earthskills, including gardening, permaculture, natural building, and carpentry. Natalie currently directs Wild Abundance, a school she founded in 2008 that teaches skills for self-sufficiency. Wild Abundance, located in the mountains of North Carolina, teaches both online and in-person classes.

Chloe has wanted to be a farmer since she was a wee child in the suburbs of Northern California.

She didn’t grow up with any kind of garden at her home, but two of her best friends lived more rurally and their families raised vegetables, flowers and fruits, milked goats, made cheese, and rode horses. Needless to say, Chloe spent as much time with them as possible. From the age of about 7, when Chloe took a stance against the cruelty of factory farms and became a vegetarian, activism has been a part of her passion for food and the earth. Throughout her life, she’s explored and engaged the intersections of food, environment, social justice, and community. From an environmental studies program in high school, to early graduation and a year spent WWOOFing all over New Zealand, to her major in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz that involved worth with direct-trade models and collaborative projects with farmer cooperatives in Central America and Mexico, she’s be driven to learn and understand how we as humans have gotten into such a dysfunctional relationship with growing and distributing food, and how we can shift that. Since 2013 she’s been co-managing a 23 acre homestead with her partner, who is also passionate about self-reliance, land-based innovation, experimentation, sharing with the collective, and delicious, nourishing food.

The bounty of the Earth is waiting for YOU!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Gardening School

I am an absolute newbie; will I be lost in the course?
No, you will be totally fine! We give a lot of information so that gardeners of all levels can benefit from the course, but it is designed to be very accessible to beginners. Just make sure to start with the foundational videos, access and enjoy the monthly videos, and only go to the bonus videos if you are feeling especially confident and adventurous.

Can I really learn gardening online?
Yes! We think that this course is actually better at getting you ready to garden on your own than working alongside an expert gardener. We have found that being in a helping role is a totally different thing than being in charge of all of the details. Using this course to start your own garden, you will be in charge — but you will have the teachings of Natalie and Chloe at your fingertips, whenever you hit a stumbling block. We think this is the best way to learn gardening — having a mentor, but being in charge of the big picture yourself!

Can I start the class at any time?
You can start the class at any time, April through September.

What will I take away from this course?
If you watch the foundational videos, and use the monthly videos and written materials, as you work a garden plot through the season, you will definitely learn how to grow some food! (Remember, the size of your plot is totally up to you… the course works for both a tiny garden and an expansive garden.)

I live in a city — is the class applicable?
Yes! This class is appropriate whether you have a bed in a community garden, an apartment patio garden, a big or small backyard, or a field in the country!

What is a sliding scale?
We are committed to providing high quality self-sufficiency education to people of all income levels. To make this happen, we have created a sliding scale. Please pay what you can afford. If you have a household income of over $80K/year, please pay on the upper end; if your income is limited, or heavily affected by COVID-19, then please pay on the low end. Please place yourself on the scale where you think is appropriate in order to support this vital education getting to as many people as possible.

What vegetables will I learn to grow?

You will learn to grow the following and more! Don’t feel any obligation to grow all of these, but the information will be there if you want it.

  • Tomatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Storage/Dry Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Hot and Sweet Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Winter Squashes, including Acorn, Butternut, Candy Roaster, Spaghetti Squash, and more
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Okra
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach (regular spinach as well as heat-tolerant New Zealand spinach)
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Cilantro 

Are there scholarships?
June 1, 2020 Update: We are not granting scholarships at this time, as we have reached our limit. As we receive more Harvest level purchases, we will open up more scholarships. If you are interested in a scholarship, please apply and we will grant more scholarships on a rolling basis as our funds allow.

Yes! In this time of global upheaval, we want to make this course accessible to everyone. If you are not able to pay even on the low end of the sliding scale, please apply for a scholarship. We give out three kinds of scholarships. One is based on financial need; One is for folks who want to use this knowledge to benefit a larger community or organization (especially underserved communities); and one is a reparations scholarship for African American and Native American students. The scholarship application can be found by clicking here.

If you are able to pay for this program, please do! Your purchase supports our ability to offer scholarships and frees up spots for a greater number of applicants.

Who are the main teachers, and what are their qualifications?
Chloe Lieberman is the writer for Wild Abundance. She studied agroecology at the University of California – Santa Cruz in the early 2000s. Her travels have taken her all over the world, where she has studied gardening and farming practices. Chloe has farmed professionally, cooked professionally, and currently runs a 23-acre homestead near Asheville, NC where she and her partner grow a huge garden and tend to a milk cow, several goats, a beautiful orchard, and a bevy of edible perennial plants.

Natalie is the founder, director and main visionary of Wild Abundance. She has been gardening on her own for over 20 years (after helping her mom in her garden during her childhood). She studied ecological agriculture at The Evergreen State College in Washington state. She has gardened throughout the US and in Europe and Central America. Natalie has taught gardening for the last 12 years and formerly ran a “Spring Garden School,” a once-a-week program that lasted all spring for several years. She sadly gave it up in order to have more flexibility to teach other classes but is now excited to offer this new iteration of gardening school.


Chloe Lieberman

Chloe writes for Wild Abundance’s blog, newsletter, and website.  In addition, she cooks for some classes, teaches a few others, and jumps in to help out with management and strategy. These roles give her a welcome outlet for the knowledge and excitement she perpetually cultivates around land-based living and a positive future for the planet. ...
Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie is the visionary behind Wild Abundance, as well as a primary instructor for many classes. She’s passionate about teaching and sharing skills to help all kinds of people live in an empowered and Earth-centered way. Natalie and her family live at the Wild Abundance homestead campus in the Southern Appalachians. She balances her time ...

Registration Info

Registration is closed for 2020. Get on the waitlist to join us and grow in 2021.