(Level 2 National Certificate)
Dartington Estate, Totnes, South Devon
Course runs from 7 September 2013 to 14 July 2014. Level 2 classes are 10am – 4pm Wednesday – Friday.
Level 2 is a one year course for those wishing to gain essential skills and knowledge in horticulture, linking into the future when cheap fossil fuel products and energy will be scarce. It will involve a mixture of theory sessions with ‘hands on’ practical application. It is recommended for school leavers and mature students.
You need to be either 16 years of age and have a minimum Grade C GCSE in English and a keen interest in horticulture within a sustainable context, or be aged 17 and over and have at least a years experience within a horticultural setting and a good level of literacy.
Level 2 course covers the following modules:
204 Undertake related experience in the land-based industries
205 Establish and maintain plants outdoors
201 Understand the basic principles of plant science
202 Understand the basic principles of soil science
221 Introduction to the principles of land based machinery
223 Introduction to plant nomenclature, terminology and identification
228 Understand the principles in sustainable horticulture
232 Undertake techniques in organic horticulture
245 Contribute vegetable production by organic methods
More detail will be added on module content in the coming weeks
School Farm is a community-focussed market garden that is developing low carbon growing technology according to a minimum tillage and low-mechanisation policy and working to bring land back into organic certified status. Growing food and flowers for a local market by engaging the local community as apprentice volunteers and customers is an essential part of the business model and is paving the way for many emerging market gardens across the country.
The nationally renowned 21st Century Dartington Hall gardens are set in a splendid medieval landscape. They have been the centre of an experiment in rural regeneration and horticulture since the 1930s and attract thousands of visitors a year. Wildflower meadows and regenerating orchid populations are among the many features of these gardens that make them an excellent place to learn the skills that will be required by heritage gardeners of the future as we build biodiversity back into our managed landscape and develop ways to grow with less dependence on fossil fuels.
The gardens at the internationally acclaimed Schumacher College are successfully demonstrating the potential for ecological land management practices including forest gardening and permaculture in commercial and domestic horticulture. The importance of forest gardening has recently been the focus of national media attention as it has potential to significantly increase the productivity and biodiversity of our food production systems whilst massively reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Details of main course tutors will be posted once confirmed. Guest tutors will include members of the Schumacher College Faculty, for example Dr Stephan Harding, Dr Jane Pickard and Bethan Stagg (details on staff page of our website). Practical tutors will include Schumacher College’s residential gardener Dr Jane Gleeson and staff from School Farm and Dartington Gardens.
Level 2: Students attend three days a week for Level 2 which combine theoretical with practical education. You will spend at least three half-days a week in supervised practice, working alongside experienced horticulturalists who are leaders in their field. Residential options are available for two to three nights of the week in the Dartington and Totnes area.
How to grow food in an oil-scarce world is possibly one of the most useful set of skills any young person could be learning and a significant rise in demand is anticipated in the job market. Similarly, there is an increasing demand for ways to manage heritage gardens that are less dependent on fossil fuels and promote biodiversity. Successful students of ‘The Dartington Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture’, Level 2 or 3, will have employable skills and recognised qualifications fit for horticulture in the 21st Century.
Dartington is one mile from Totnes, a vibrant, small market town, well known for its sustainability initiatives, such as the Transition Town movement, and lively social and cultural scene.
Career Advice Days – to be held 9 – 12am, 9 March at Dartington/Schumacher College; for details please contact Claire Birchett Claire.Birchett@bicton.ac.uk tel 01395 562408 or Patrick Welch, PCWelch@bicton.ac.uk, tel 01395562335
Devon Gardens Trust offer a bursary for course expenses to students living in Devon, please visit their website for details. You may be able to access government grants in certain circumstances; please discuss with Bicton College contacts below