Course Availability: Full Time
Have you ever thought of having an allotment or growing a garden or starting a little business?
This is the programme for you!
Emerson Biodynamic gardening programme is a “learning by doing” experience.
What is biodynamic farming?
Biodynamic farming is a practice that was first developed by Rudolf Steiner and it is the oldest 'green' farming movement. Biodynamics is a transformative approach which embraces the mystery of all life processes and seeks to maximize health and vitality. For biodynamics, farming is not primarily a means to maximise production, but each farm or holding is a self-sustaining organism in its own right, where diverse activities and habitats strengthen and balance each other. The soil is seen as the central component of all biodynamic farms.
Our gardens (22 acres) invite our students to experience the wonder of nature in plants and trees. This creates a contemplative and safe environment which helps people to slow down and step out of a daily routine into a creative space. We see the estate as an important part of the holistic education we are offering at Emerson College.
Our catering team cook fresh vegetarian meals daily for up to 120 people. Since 2015 we have started to grow our own vegetables to supply the kitchen. We have been expanding the garden area year by year. Hundreds of bouquets of flowers are harvested and decorate classrooms and common areas.
How does it work?
The course is a seasonal Biodynamic gardening training and is composed of a theoretical and a practical part.
Participants work daily in the gardens (vegetable and estate) with their tutors.
Before each action the general principles are explained, sharing the philosophy behind each move and giving full awareness of the process.
Materials will be provided for each phase. The maximum number of participants is 3.
The main topics of the course are:
- biodynamic preparations
- general soil health
- from seed to plate
- gardening and health
- dealing with pests and diseases
- safe use of hand tools, light machinery and ladders
- growing food for our own kitchen and cooperation with the chef
Each participant will keep a diary of the experience and will be asked to produce a personal project or research (e.g. making a compost pit). The personal projects will be mentored throughout the course by the facilitators. At the end of the course you will receive an Emerson certificate.
The participants will be able to attend the whole 9 month programme or just one of the two modules. Visa students can stay for a maximum of 6 months.
Minimum age is 18 years old. No previous experience in gardening is required. The work in the garden is quite hard and the applicant needs to be in good health. Applicants who do not have a European passport will need to apply for a 6-month student visa.
Dates: 24 April to 20 September 2019 (22 weeks)
- growing vegetables for a professional kitchen
- perennial flower border beds
- flowering meadows
- timings in estate garden management
22 September – 13 December 2019 (12 weeks)
- compost making
- green manure
- winter crops
- pruning trees
- winter preparation of beds
Working and course days will be Tuesday to Saturday 8.30 – 12.30, 2 – 4pm.
14 April to 20 September 2019 (22 weeks):
Tuition fee £1530
Single room and lunches Tuesday to Saturday £3370
22 September – 13 December 2019 (12 weeks):
Tuition fee £840
Single room and lunches Tuesday to Saturday £1860