10 January – 11 February 2022 (five weeks)
Nathan Einbinder, Caroline Aitken, Charlie Clutterbuck and guest lecturers
Fully online, with an option of a two-week residential at Schumacher College (see ‘residential option’, below)
£1,500 (or £150 deposit, with the outstanding balance payable at the booking deadline specifed below).
4 January 2022
About this course
This course explores how soils work and offers participants a thorough understanding of the relations in the web of soil life that we all depend upon. We will look at how improving the biodiversity of plants, fungi, fauna, and microorganisms can produce healthier soil structures, now called ‘soil health’ . This benefits water, nutrients and carbon cycles. We then go on to evaluate factors affecting soil health, and indicators of improvement, to judge the wider impacts on the environment, climate change, erosion and flooding.
On this course you will learn:
- how soil food webs work, including flora, macro- and meso-fauna, fungi, and microorganisms,
- how to identify the importance of soil health in crop growth, animal welfare, water holding and healthier diets.
- to demonstrate how increasing the biodiversity of life in soils helps drive biogeochemical processes, like water, carbon and nutrient cycles, that make life on earth possible.
- to evaluate factors that affect good soil health and the best indictors of soil life.
- to determine how improving soil health can contribute to resilience and help mitigate climate change.
Who is it for?
This course is for anyone looking to bring in regenerative thinking to their own current projects or wishing to gain skills and knowledge to help them start working in this area. Some examples of roles and sectors participants might expect to use this course to help move into include:
- Regenerative farming advisor or consultant
- Regenerative farm manager or owner
- Small business owner or advisor involved in the regenerative food system
This course is based on Module 2 of the Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise Master’s and can be taken as a non-accredited short course. Find out more about the full programme via this link.
How it works: non-accredited short course
Simply book in the usual way: head to the ‘book now‘ section, and you can choose to pay the full fee or an £150 deposit at checkout.
There are no specific entry requirements for the unaccredited course, though it is important to note that this course is taught at postgraduate level. Take a look at the pre-course reading list to get a feel for whether the course is for you.
How it works: accredited short course
You can complete this short course as a 30-credit module. The accredited course includes an additional week in which you will complete the course assignment for submission and lecturer feedback.
If you wish to take the course accredited you will need relevant qualifications and/or be able to show equivalent experience in the field. The cost of the accredited qualification is £1,900.
To find out more about this accredited option, please visit the Regenerative Economics course page and refer to ‘Learning Pathways’. On application, choose ‘Module 1’.
This course is the first module of the Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise postgraduate qualification, and you are welcome to study on-site alongside students taking it as part of their postgraduate studies. This option involves living and working on-site for the first two weeks of the course. The residential dates are 10–21 January 2022.
You can do this if you are taking either the accredited or non-accredited course.
A limited number of rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Private, basic accommodation starts at £320/week, on top of the course fee. Once you have a confirmed place on the course, please complete an accommodation request form to see if you can take up this option.
Nathan is course lead for Regenerative Food and Farming postgraduate programmes. Before arriving at Schumacher, Nathan taught geography at San Diego State University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
In addition to teaching, he worked as a consultant for international organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, where he conducted research on regenerative soil management and its connection to socio-ecological resilience in Central America.
Nathan has said that he is eager to bring his experiences to Schumacher College to inspire students and relate the principles and values of Indigenous agroecology to the UK context. He is also excited to put into practice his background and commitment to experiential education, to help train the next generation of change-makers and regenerative food and farming professionals.
Caroline is a lecturer on our Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise postgraduate programme. She is also director of Whitefield Permaculture, an adult education and land design consultancy based in Devon.
Caroline has a background in design, farming and cooking. She trained and worked with Patrick Whitefield, continuing his business after his retirement, and co-authored Food from your Forest Garden (Green Books, 2012) with Martin Crawford.
Caroline has been an associate lecturer at Schumacher College since 2016 and led the development of the BSc Regenerative Food and Farming programme. She lives with her partner and son on a 4 acre smallholding in Dartmoor where they produce veg, fruit, eggs, honey and firewood.
Charlie teaches on our Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise postgraduate programme. He is an expert on soil health, and how soil life is crucial to healthy ecosystems.
After a long gap, campaigning for better food systems, he realised that soil should have more prominence in climate crisis debates. He believes we need to see soil more as a whole, rather than just carbon molecules, with a rich mix of life, including worms, nematodes, fungi bacteria and lots of little arthropods working together to create underground cities. He set up a website www.soilanimals.com, exploring the role of soil animals in the state of soils, from where BBC Gardeners World did a feature on him with his homemade sampling systems. There he showed how springtails act like both the birds and the bees of soils in spreading fungi and bacteria. Currently he is writing a book on the evolution of soil - when and how it came about.
*If you choose to pay a deposit, you will be contacted to pay the outstanding balance once the Booking Deadline (see above) has elapsed.
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