Schumacher College Gardens and Food

Schumacher College Gardens and Food

“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.”

― E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered

Why food matters to us

Food is at the heart of Schumacher College as it nourishes our learning community on many levels. Much of learning happens around the kitchen table or while harvesting or peeling carrots.   How we grow our food and what we eat is one of the many questions we are constantly asking ourselves.

The College gardens use regenerative and ecologically sensitive, low input methods to grow much of the food we eat here. Our horticultural students study on a six month immersive programme learning how to grow food in a way that maintains and restores soil and ecosystem health.

Growing for the kitchen and community gives a dynamic experience of the challenges and solutions around producing food. By engaging with a local food system you end up engaging with a range of issues from food sovereignty, our place within the natural world and also what it means to be a conscious consumer …..

Our growing areas 

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

The Mother Tree

You can buy chemical free fruit and nut trees raised here at Schumacher College from our project The Mother Tree.

The Practical Residency in Sustainable Horticulture runs from April to September and incorporates the Certificate in Permaculture Design (awarded by the Permaculture Association) 

Schumacher Practical Residency in Sustainable Horticulture 2020

Join us for an exciting opportunity to learn the practical skills needed to grow food and practice horticulture whilst working with nature and biological cycles. Our current mainstream food system is in need of profound repair. If you are willing to try new approaches to help achieve this, then this six month residency is for you. Explore with us how to protect and restore the soil, foster and sustain a healthy ecosystem and use renewable resources whilst growing an abundance of delicious vegetables for use in the college kitchens. Learn More



Jane Gleeson Agroecology & Sustainable AgricultureJane Gleeson

Jane is Lead Gardener and oversees the running of the gardens, instructing and guiding student groups and volunteers in garden tasks. Jane says: “I love working at the College with its emphasis on exploring and developing respectful relationships to each other, the planet and the food that sustains us.”