Sustainable Growing

Transform your garden or allotment through this interactive online course
BOOK NOW

WHEN:

1 March – 31 May (3 months) or 27 August (6 months) 2021

TUTORS:

Colum Pawson

VENUE:

Online

PRICING:

3-month course: £225 | 6-month course: £350

About this course

The Schumacher Growing team will use a combination of video and photographic content to lead participants on a real-time, interactive growing journey through the busiest time of year in the Schumacher gardens. Alongside this there will be demonstrations of what can be done at home as the season progresses. These demonstrations will be supported by downloadable information sheets and an online private Facebook group where questions can be asked and experiences can be shared. In addition, once a month there will be an online Zoom meeting offering a more in-depth Q&A session hosted by the Schumacher College Head Gardener.

Who is this aimed at?

The course is aimed at those with some experience who are wishing to further their knowledge of growing their own food. It will offer people the chance to be part of an online community of gardeners who can help and inform each other as they develop their growing skills.

Topics covered

Garden planning and basic design | Rotation of crops | Seasonal tasks to carry out in the garden | Essential information on a list of popular vegetables | Planting out and preparing the ground | Seed sowing and pricking out | Watering | Compost making | Growing in a greenhouse/polytunnel | Container growing | No dig gardening | Weeding| Harvesting | Green manures

Why is this different to other online courses?

Students will be encouraged to form a peer group who can discuss the teachings and share their experiences of growing at home, which will help to create a support network amongst themselves that will complement the support offered by the course. Students will leave with a good understanding of organic growing principles, and will have carried out the tasks themselves leaving them with a deeper practical understanding of growing, as well as the confidence to continue growing in their own situation. Course Structure Each month a set of topics will be covered which will relate to the seasonal tasks being carried out in the garden at the time. Each topic will be supported by written material and video demonstrations of the tasks being carried out in the College gardens. Through the season there will be a set of tasks to be carried out at home which relate to the suggested list of crops to be grown. Alongside the teaching there will be a Private Facebook group where students can share and discuss ideas relating to the material being taught with some input from the College team. This will be further strengthened by a monthly online Zoom call where students can nominate questions to be discussed. These will then be answered live by the College Head Gardener. The College Garden team will be also be sharing what they are doing on a larger scale in the college gardens via regular video and photo updates.

We caught up with Colum to find out more about his career in gardening and what makes him tick. Colum Pawson Q&A >

“This is my first year ever of vegetable growing and I have been totally amazed by what I have achieved. This course has definitely taught me so much in such a short period of time and even friends and family are asking me questions about their own veg growing. So the influence goes even further than the members of the course” – 2020 course participant

Cost

3-month course: £225 | 6-month course: £350

Supplies

You will be responsible for providing all of the tools and seeds you need. For seeds, we recommend ordering online from vitalseeds.co.uk – a company selling organic seeds just down the road from the Dartington estate.

FAQs

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where and when do i access online resources, and how much time do I have to commit?

The only live element of the course is the monthly Zoom call, (6.30pm on the first Monday of each month), although we will record this call for those who can’t attend. This will last for around 1 hour.

Fresh material (handouts, videos, Facebook group content) will be posted each week. We estimate you’ll need an hour each week to review these, although it’s up to you.

The amount of time you spend applying each week’s learning on a practical basis in your own garden is up to you.

What will I need as a new gardener on this course?

Ideally you will have somewhere to garden in. At the very least an outside area that you can put some containers or pots to grow in. Other than that you will need some compost to raise seeds in, some seeds and a few basic tools such as a trowel and watering can. If you are doing a larger area than containers, a fork, hoe and rake will be useful too.

Will I have to spend a lot of money in addition to the course fees? Are any seeds/pots provided?

You will be responsible for providing all of the tools and seeds you need. The course will provide you with tips and tricks for recycling common household items and sourcing anything you need cheaply and sustainably. How much growing space will I need? Ideally you will have somewhere to garden in. At the very least an outside area that you can put some containers or pots to grow in.

What if I only have a patio with containers?

We will look at container growing on the course but ideally you will have a piece of ground you can work with to get the most from the course.

How many containers will I need to buy?

As many as you want according to your space and how much you want to grow.

Do I need to buy compost?

You will need compost to raise seeds in.

What will we be growing?

What you grow will be up to you, but we will give pointers and recommendations, as well as holding discussions amongst the group of participants.

What are the basic requirements to do the course?

Ideally you will have somewhere to garden in. At the very least an outside area that you can put some containers or pots to grow in. Other than that you will need some compost to raise seeds in, some seeds and a few basic tools such as a trowel and watering can. If you are doing a larger area than containers a fork, hoe and rake will be useful too.

Will I get a certificate at the end?

This is not an accredited course, but you’ll receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the course for your records and as evidence that you took the course with us at Schumacher College.

I’m not on Facebook – can I still join?

Yes but the Facebook group is a valuable addition to the course.

I don’t want to share my email address with others / I want to keep in touch with everyone – can I have a list of their email addresses?

Due to GDPR rules and our own ethical position on this, personal emails won’t be shared by the College. The Facebook group will be the main point of contact for the group, and you should set your Facebook account privacy settings yourself if you have not already done so. If individuals want to stay in touch via email they will need to arrange this themselves. The Facebook group will be left running at the end of the course so that it can also be used by participants to keep in touch.

TEACHERS

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

*The booking deadline (see above) gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we either confirm the course; add additional time for people to book; or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

We are proud to be COVID-secure. Find out what we’re doing to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience here >

Select a time below to begin your online booking. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. Please note that individual orders will be restricted to six tickets per booking (on the assumption this rule will apply post-lockdown). No tickets will be available on the door as the box office remains closed due to Covid-19. You are welcome to email us at janette.hornby@schumachercollege.org.uk with any queries you have.

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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