Sustainable Growing at Home

A season-long online horticulture course for you to learn how to grow fruit a veg at your own pace in your own garden or allotment.


Start whenever you like (recommended March / April)


Amy Cairns and Colum Pawson


Completely online, with prerecorded instructional videos and lessons.


Suitable for complete beginners through to growers with intermediate experience.



IMPORTANT TO KNOW: There is no live element to this course, so you can work through the 6 months of educational content as and when you have time. Everything is prerecorded and ready for you to work through it at your own pace.

When you book, you will receive a link and instructions on how to access the online course resources. Please ignore any event date that appears during the booking process.

About this course

Are you looking to make the most of your garden, veg patch or allotment this year but not sure where to start? This six month online course teaches you all the skills you need to help you grow delicious, healthy food for you, your friends and family, and contribute to a more sustainable planet at the same time.

Through a series of video lessons, downloadable worksheets and monthly discussion boards, you will gain practical knowledge of how to be a sustainable horticulturalist. Our lessons cover all the key topics in home gardening, from watering and composting, to sowing and harvesting, and there are specific ‘Vegetable of the Week’ sessions that drill down into the details of each of the most common veg types.

This practical course draws on the ethos of Schumacher College’s head, heart and hands learning. While the focus is on learning how to grow as beginner or early stage gardener, we also introduce a holistic way of thinking and caring for your space, incorporating aspects of soil care, wildlife management and approaches to boost biodiversity in your area.

Key features

  • 6 monthly modules containing a total of 48 individual lessons
  • exclusive videos made by the growing team at Schumacher College
  • downloadable worksheets and practical information for each lesson
  • how to guides for each of the most common veg types
  • all the essential skills and techniques needed to become a eco-conscious grower

course content

The basics of planning, creating, and maintaining a vegetable garden. Topics include preparing the growing space, seed sowing and pricking, watering, and guidance for growing broad beans, leeks, onions, and potatoes.

Weeding, preparing the ground, planting out, container growing, and guidance for growing brassica salads, peas, beetroot, and chard.

 The no-dig method, soil care, creating compost teas and wormeries, and guidance for growing garlic, micro greens, dwarf french beans, sweetcorn and lettuce.

Summer sowing, soil care and slugs, and guidance for growing basil, carrots, cucumber and squash.

Composting, pests in the garden, indoor growing, and harvesting, and guidance for growing peppers, tomatoes, parsley, coriander and chicory.

Sowing schedules, crop rotation, summer pruning, preserving and seed saving, and guidance for growing climbing beans, aubergine and kale.


Amy Cairns

Amy Cairns

Amy is the Course Leader for our Agroecology Residency programme. She is passionate about small-scale community gardening projects and is particularly interested in growing organic salads and cut flowers. Having trained with The Wildlife Trusts in agroecological community food growing, she went on to run a community garden and urban horticulture course in Bristol. She moved to Devon to work as a gardener at meditation retreat centre The Sharpham Trust, and is passionate about spreading the message of the benefits of nature connection and sustainable food growing practices. In her spare time Amy loves to read and spend time by the sea.

Colum Pawson

Colum Pawson

Colum manages the growing areas around Schumacher College and teaching our horticulture students. Born in Glastonbury, Somerset, Colum admits he is rarely happier than when in a muddy field. He has run a number of small agriculture businesses and also worked as a freelance horticulture consultant. He has run a market garden, worked with community supported agriculture, spent a year as part of an intentional community at Radford Mill, near Bristol, and WOOFed (worked on an organic farm) his way around France and Spain. His spare time is spent walking with his wife and two children, singing and improving his unicycling.

Book now

When you book, you will receive an eticket that contains a link and instructions on how to access the online course resources. Please ignore any event date that appears during the booking process.

You are welcome to email us at with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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