Education and Training

Angelic Organics Learning Center
From bees and chickens to season extension to project planning, AOLC’s public workshops in Chicago and monthly CRAFT on-farm trainings offer inspiring ideas and hands-on skills for city residents throughout the year. For upcoming workshops go to: or email

Chicago Botanic Garden
Classes are taught by field experts and range from plant botany to cool season vegetable growing. Over 400 classes, workshops and certification courses (like the 9-month Windy City Harvest Sustainable Urban Horticulture program listed at the bottom of this page) are offered annually for adults and youth at the Garden and other locations across the city.

Illinois Community Colleges Sustainable Agriculture Training

College of Lake County- Grayslake, IL

A.A.S. Degrees in Horticulture Production, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction and Maintenance, Natural Areas Management, and Sustainable Agriculture.
Certificates in Natural Areas Management and Sustainable Agriculture.
For more information on recommended courses or program specific advising, contact department chair Rory Klick at (847) 543-2320 or the Biological and Health Sciences division at (847) 543-2042.

John Wood Community College
Sustainable Local Foods Farming Certificate- JWCC’s new Sustainable Local Foods Farming program provides courses and hands-on training in sustainable fruit and vegetable production, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

For more information contact:
David Camphouse, Coordinator of Local Food Programs
(217) 641-4340

Wright College- Chicago, IL

Certificate in Sustainable Urban Horticulture

Triton College- River Grove, IL

A.A.S. Degrees in Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT) and Sustainable Landscape Practices
Online/hybrid Certificates in Sustainable Food Production and Sustainable Agroecology at in-district tuition rates regardless of your home address

For more information:
Tom Elsey
Department Coordinator, HRT
Office: R205
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3550

Benjamin Newton
TAA Grant Coordinator Sustainable Agriculture
Office- R-307
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3943

Richland Community College- Decatur, IL
You may also contact David McLaughlin, Agribusiness and Horticulture Program Director, in the Horticulture Building, (217) 875-7211, ext. 562, or by e-mail

Chicago Honey Co-op
Beekeeping classes held twice a year with one class in January and an outdoor class in May.

CRAFT monthly field days
On-farm trainings offered once a month April-October and coordinated through Angelic Organics Learning Center.

Garfield Park Conservatory
Classes from beekeeping to kitchen sink composting are offered throughout the year, and held Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. Most classes ask for a suggested $5 donation, others might include special materials or instruction fees.

Greencorps Chicago offers a twelve-month training program in landscaping and horticulture, environmental health and safety, electronics recycling, and weatherization. Professional development and academic enhancement are integrated into all aspects of training. Not only do trainees learn through hands-on experience in a community garden and other environmental projects, but they are also placed in internships with green industry companies, which frequently lead to permanent jobs once their training is completed. Historically, Greencorps has recruited trainees from partnering social service agencies that serve underemployed and the unemployed communities. Trainees are paid a wage during their participation in the program. Job placement assistance is available upon completion. The application process usually begins in January. To request more information, please call 312.744.8691 or email

Growing Home
Growing Home operates 2 certified organic production farms in Englewood, the only certified organic production farms in Chicago today. These farms are used as a vehicle for a transitional jobs program for people with barriers to employment. During 14 weeks of work with Growing Home, our Production Assistants learn to work at a fast-paced production farm, learning many transferrable skills. We work with graduates to find employment all along the food chain. Several are now working at indoor farms in Chicago. Growing Home reaches out to the Englewood community through its Wednesdays at Wood St. - weekly open house and farm stand; its Spring and Fall Open Houses, and community workshops. Call 773.549.1336 or visit for more info.

Growing Power
In addition to supplying Chicago with organic food from multiple farm and garden sites across the city, Growing Power offers workshops, courses and internships that prepare participants to develop community food projects, commercial urban farms and more.

LETS GO Chicago
LETS GO Chicago is a youth-led organization in Rogers Park that hosts the Summer of Solutions an annual green economy training program for youth between the ages of 14 and 30. Their agriculture projects include facilitating a children's garden education class, building community gardens in local yards, and operating a three season greenhouse. Visit their website for more info on applying.

GardenKeepers is a complete introduction to urban gardening based on Earth–wise use of natural resources and chemical-free gardening methods. And because you can't have a community garden without a community, learn how to organize and to run a successful, long-lasting, community-managed allotment garden together with your neighbors. GardenKeepers is presented twice a year and is intended for Chicago residents who have started or who wish to start a community garden. It is designed for groups, not individuals.
For more information, visit or contact

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Whole Farm interactive workshops and on-site field training.
W2493 County Rd ES
East Troy, WI 53120

Resource Center Chicago
For nearly 35 years, the Resource Center, a non-profit environmental education organization, has led the way in demonstrating innovative techniques for recycling and reusing materials. The Resouce Center is devoted to economic and educational revitalization of city neighborhoods through recycling, urban gardening, composting, and other programs that reclaim and reuse resources.
Phone: 773.821.1351

Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security
Online course on urban agriculture

University of Illinois Extension*
Tips for all stages of the process of growing food.

University of Illinois Extension – Master Gardener Program*
Ron Wolford, 773-233-0476,

University of Illinois Extension - New Illinois Farmers

Windy City Harvest
Windy City Harvest is an organic vegetable and plant production enterprise that provides instruction in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture.
Workshops are offered on organic vegetable production. Courses are Saturday mornings at the Arturo Velasquez Institute at 2800 S. Western Avenue for $39 per course.
E-mail: or Register online
Certificate Program:
This 9-month Sustainable Urban Horticulture program was developed and is delivered by the Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with the Richard J. Daley College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. Students receive six months of hands-on instruction in greenhouse and outdoor growing practices, along with a three-month paid internship. Windy City Harvest participants study at the Richard J. Daley College's Arturo Velasquez Institute at 2800 S. Western Avenue in Chicago as well as other sites across the city.