Schumacher College Growers

Schumacher College Growers

“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

Food is at the heart of Schumacher College. It nourishes the community on many levels. Much learning happens around the kitchen table; and whilst harvesting or peeling carrots. The gardens are central to this – and how we grow our food has profound and far reaching ramifications. The College gardens use regenerative and ecologically sensitive, low input methods to grow much of our own food. Our horticultural students join a rich six month immersive programme learning how to grow food in a way that maintains and restores soil and ecosystem health.

Rooted at the college and growing for the kitchen and community gives a dynamic experience of the challenges faced and the ongoing, evolving solutions that are possible. Once you engage thoughtfully with a local food system you end up engaging with a breadth of topics including food sovereignty; our place within the natural world, what it means to be a conscious consumer …..
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 all our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing and all the exploration and questioning that entails a truly transformative time.

Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

The Practical Residency in Sustainable Horticulture runs from April to September and incorporates the Certificate in Permaculture Design (awarded by the Permaculture Association) – if you want to smell sweet soil and get your hands dirty whilst stretching your mind and nourishing your spirit – then do join us.

Schumacher Practical Residency In Sustainable Horticulture 2019

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 healing and 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, 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.”