Market Gardener

Learn the essential concepts and practices of organic market garden agriculture. Experienced organic farmers and horticulturalists will help you explore greenhouse propagation, soil and plant science, weed and pest control and irrigation technologies. You will also develop business management and marketing skills, as well as crop planning and budgeting. 


 This program is currently not available to international applicants.

This program provides students with the skills and knowledge to be successful market gardeners and contribute to the food security of our province.

Bob Haugen, NIC Continuing Education manager, contract and training services

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  • SSF-010 Introduction to Market Gardening
  • SSF-011 Greenhouse Operations
  • SSF-012 Market Garden Operation
  • SSF-013 Business Plan Preparation
  • TFS-010 FoodSafe Level I *
  • WSF-019 Orientation to WHMIS Online *
  • MVO-071 Transport of Dangerous Goods - Online *
  • OFA-010 Occupational First Aid Level 1 *

* Note: TFS-010, WSF-019, MVO-071, and OFA-010 must be completed by program completion.

Completion Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete each core course and all mandatory safety training courses required within the program.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students should be able to lift up to 20 kilograms. General physical fitness and the ability to use hand tools for extended periods of time — such as garden hoes, weeding tools and shovels — are also requirements.


How to Apply

  1. Complete the Continuing Education Application for Admission.  Forms can be dropped off or mailed to the Student Services office at your local campus, along with payment for your course fees. If you have questions, please call 250-724-8705. 


Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Program Highlights

This program is designed to familiarize students with the main theories, concepts and practices of organic market garden agriculture with guidance from experts in the industry.

The curriculum covers greenhouse propagation, soil and plant science, weed and pest control and irrigation technologies. Students will also develop business management skills, marketing skills as well as crop planning, and budgeting.

Students will also have the opportunity to gain and apply sales and marketing skills by selling their produce at local farmer’s markets, restaurants and grocery stores.

Career Opportunities

With the cost of produce from California continually increasing and a growing awareness of the environmental costs associated with trucking and transportation, there is a huge opportunity for market gardening to expand in Alberni and beyond. This expansion will require trained gardeners to work on the farms and to own and operate market gardens.


Classes will generally run Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm each day. Depending on instructor availability for special sections, some classes may run until 5 pm during weekdays. An occasional Saturday class may also be scheduled.

Supply list

Please come to the first day of class with comfortable clothes and shoes and be prepared to work outside.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $7,250
Books $180
Total $7,430

For updates on future offerings of this program, join our interest list.