Be inspired by Karen’s years of experience

 Karen is an experienced speaker, teacher and garden tour leader. A lifetime of growing her own food informs her teaching and she has inspired many others to experience the joy of home food growing.  Karen is available to speak at events, forums and gardens clubs, as well as teaching classes and running hands-on workshops. 

She teaches and runs workshops for councils, community groups, workplaces, offices and in private gardens for groups of friends, as well as in her own home garden Gunyah at times. Interstate, Karen is available for teaching in capital cities by arrangement.

Book Karen to speak, teach or run a workshop


Karen speaks on a variety of sustainable gardening topics, from native food plants in suburban gardens and kitchens, to growing better tomatoes. 

Teaching classes

Karen teaches on a range of topics relating to growing and using vegetables, herbs and native food plants, as well how to grow really amazing tomatoes! If you don’t find a class in the list below that suits you, Karen can tailor one.

Karen Sutherland, tomato growing workshop

Topics for classes :

  • Tomato growing masterclass
  • Small space big harvest
  • Attracting bees and beneficial insects into the garden
  • Vegetable growing for beginners 
  • Gardening by the seasons
  • Native food plants for garden and kitchen
  • Edible native plants for companion planting
  • Growing from seed or cuttings
  • Sensory garden plants
  • Using edible weeds
  • Grow your own herbal tea
  • Permaculture primer

Practical workshops

Karen also runs practical workshops on various subjects including seed saving, raingarden building, wicking bed building, building your own wall garden and fruit tree pruning.

“Both workshops were great, and so lovely of you to share the collective gardening wisdom, and to uphold the value of being a keen observer in the garden.” Susan, class participant

“Karen is so natural in sharing her big expanse of knowledge so generously and warmly. I loved her talk about tomato growing.” Nerida, class participant

Classes & workshops at Gunyah Garden

Classes and workshops at Karen’s garden in the northern suburbs of Melbourne are usually held on Saturdays and Sundays, either 10.00 am – 12 midday or 1.00 – 3.00 pm, and run for 2 hours, including refreshments.  Attendees receive course notes, refreshments from the garden and a packet of seeds saved from Karen’s garden. Gunyah garden has over 200 edible and useful plants in an ornamental setting. Classes are held in a room overlooking the garden. To understand various plants we simply wander outside and see, smell and taste them.

Please Note: due to Tomato book events, there are currently no classes scheduled at Gunyah Garden, however, please sign up for our email newsletter list if you wish to be advised when we will be running these, as well as any other events.

Upcoming Classes and Events with Karen

(Note:Tomato book events are also on our home page)

Thursday 9 May
6.30 pm - 8.30

Native Edibles for Companion Planting

Non-indigenous Australians are waking up to the amazing edible plants around us and wondering why we didn’t use them before! Knowing what will grow and also produce a harvest, as well as how to use it, is difficult as most of us aren't yet familiar with Apple Berries or Native Mint. In this class you’ll learn how to incorporate some easily grown edible native plants into your garden so that they work in harmony with your existing plants, as well as a variety of ways to use these plants in your kitchen.

What you will learn

A range of edible natives that are easy to grow in Melbourne
Basics of companion planting
Which plants to choose in your garden planning, and how to grow and care for them

What you will get

Detailed course notes
A discount voucher to use on products at BAAG, A cuppa (or two) and some biscuits

Bulleen Art and Garden,

6 Manningham Rd W, Bulleen VIC 3105

  Book Here 

Wednesday 15 May 2019
7.00 pm - 9.00 pm


Raingardens are self-watering, low-maintenance gardens designed to protect our rivers and creeks, by capturing stormwater that runs off hard surfaces when it rains. Raingardens naturally filter and purify the stormwater before it reaches local creeks that lead to the bay, significantly reducing water pollution.

This interactive education session is for anyone with an outdoor area of any size, as raingardens can be adapted for many different locations, shapes and sizes. Raingardens are easy to maintain, especially if you use native Australian plants; they don't need to be mowed or fertilised, and need little supplementary water.

Residents near creeks or beaches are especially encouraged to come along to find out more! Karen Sutherland from Edible Eden, is an expert on raingarden design and has helped construct many in a variety of locations.

Frankston Life Saving Club

1 Long Island Drive

Frankston, VIC 3199

This is a free session, but bookings  are essential. 

Thursday 23 May
6.30 pm - 9.00

Native Herbs for Kitchens, Gardens & Small Spaces

Explore edible native Australian plants that are easy to grow, attractive and add flavour and interest to your home-cooked dishes. Lemon Myrtle, Bush Pepper and Native Salt are just a few of the flavours we can smell and taste, and they and many others will be discussed in terms of how best to use and grow them in your garden. All plants covered are suitable for a Melbourne climate, and many are suitable for pot cultivation. Add bushfoods to your garden and plate without delay!

What you will learn
Which native produce-plants are suitable for growing in the Melbourne area.

What to harvest and when.
How to use them to flavour your dishes and enliven your garden.

What you will get
Detailed course notes
A discount voucher to use on products here at BAAG.
A cuppa (or two) and some biscuits

Bulleen Art and Garden,

6 Manningham Rd W, Bulleen VIC 3105

Book Here


Sunday 9 June 2019
11 am - 12 pm


Tomato talk, book sales & signing.

"Tomato Know Sow Grow Feast" Tomato Troubleshooting: How to grow better tomatoes next season!

Review what you did this year, ask questions and get hot tips from an expert to prepare and improve your tomato growing for the next season.

Free event

Booktique bookshop

51 Reid St, Wangaratta VIC 3677

Wednesday 18 September 2019
6.15 pm  - 7.45 pm


Unusual edibles in small spaces

Why grow carrots and capsicums when you can grow turmeric and dwarf tomatoes?
There are a range of unusual edibles that can be grown in pots and small spaces, in sun or shade. Come along and be inspired by author Karen Sutherland to grow some of these special plants, including native food plants such as lemon myrtle or desert lime. Karen’s award-winning co-authored book, Tomato – know, sow, grow feast will be available on the night.

Free event

EnviroCentre  Altona Library

123 Queen Street Altona 3018