Yesterday I went to the vegetable gardening class at the extension service. It was a good basic class, but was very general information, so I had heard most of it previously. It would be a great class for a beginner.
The two things that I took away from the class were building a floating garden, a simple hydroponic gardening system for the home grower and using five gallon buckets with a hole drilled in the bottom for making an upside down tomato growing bucket.
The extension service has a great page on growing in containers:
Here's the link on how to build a floating garden:
The least expensive net pots I have found are at: