This year long course, running 1 day a week, is a great introduction to organic horticulture, with a focus on food growing. Following the seasons students look at soils, seeds, compost, and plant care, as well as creating planting plans and exploring different approaches to food growing including permaculture, forest gardening, no-dig gardening and working with wildlife.
The local food economy is growing fast and many more people are keen to connect with where their food comes from. This offers many opportunities as producers and for professional gardeners to expand their skill-set to offer food growing and wildlife gardening to their customers.
This course takes place at School Farm CSA, a certified organic community market garden on the beautiful Dartington estate near Totnes, Devon, and through the year there will be visits to other growing projects in the area. The course is delivered by experienced growers who have themselves been through the process of gaining qualifications and practical experience in organic growing before they launched their own growing enterprise.
The techniques and tools used will be applicable to both the home/ allotment gardener, professional gardeners and people who might want to set up their own food growing enterprise.
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This course is suitable for anyone with some experience of gardening or plant knowledge, although can be enjoyed by enthusiastic beginners and more experienced gardeners alike. As a practical course some level of physical fitness is required but different needs will be met where possible.
There are no strict entry requirements, but some experience of gardening and plants is very valuable and enthusiasm to learn is essential.
The course is primarily practical, and backed up by theory and discussion. It covers all aspects of food growing including:
- Soils, composting and mulching
- Companion planting, crop planning and rotations
- Propagation by seeds and cuttings
- Transplanting and planting out
- Caring for plants including understanding weeds, pests and diseases, and plant nutrients and feeds
- Tree and shrub fruit pruning
- Plant identification
- Gardening for wildlife and biodiversity
- Planning garden space and planting, including creating a design and planting plan
- Introduction to various approaches including permaculture, forest gardening, no-dig gardening and growing herbs.
Students can expect 1 day a week of practical learning on the land in different seasons and weather conditions, indoors and outdoors. The assessments are primarily practical with short written Q&A’s as well as a garden and plant planning project.
Students love learning directly from the land and one another as well as from experienced growers, inspirational visits to varied growing projects and the chance to plan and share ideas about how to grow their own gardens and projects.
TStudents may go on to grow their own food, work as a gardener, set up a growing enterprise or further study or apprenticeships in organic growing.
*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility. The Cornwall College Group reserves the right to withdraw any course listed at any time.