Training Courses

Upcoming Training Courses 

 

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November 2019 

ECO-nomics of Permaculture

Creating Sustainable Livelihoods

Thursday 21st November - Friday 22nd November 

£120 inc VAT including refreshments.

Lunch can be provided at a cost of £6.00 inc VAT per person per day please email Rachel if you would like to book lunch. 

 

To bring about sustainable change in our food systems we need more small scale farms producing local healthy food, and we know that Permaculture Design methods can create these farms. However the limiting factor for many of these farms is  generating enough money to support right livelihoods. With grant funding being almost non existent for these starter farms the best way, and the most sustainable way for these farms to thrive is for them to generate enough money for those working on them to support themselves and develop the farm or food business.

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

 

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Introduction to Biodynamic Farming and Growing with Marina O'Connell

Saturday, 21st March, 2020  - Sunday 22nd March 2020 and Saturday 19th April - Sunday, 18 April, 2020 

£250 inc VAT including refreshments

Biodynamic Farming was the first form of ecological farming system, arising in 1924. It has also proven to be one of the most sustainable forms of farming with the highest levels of soil biodiversity found on farms.

This course is designed for the gardener, grower or farmer who wants to find out more about the principles and practices of biodynamic systems in a simple and practical way. You will cover the context of biodynamic systems and the Demeter regulations; how to carry out the practices of biodynamic systems, the use of the preparations and the calendar on both a practical and theoretical way. You will look in-depth at how preparations are made by working with local biodynamic practitioners who will give an insight in to the preparations and their uses. The course will be held on a registered biodynamic farm and will enable you to carry out some basic biodynamic systems on your own land.

Please note that this course takes place over two weekends

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

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Apprenticeships 

Permaculture Diploma Apprenticeship Placements  

Marina O'Connell is a tutor for the Permaculture Diploma, if you would like to sign up as her apprentice please contact her directly.  For further information reagrding the Permaculture Diploma please visit the Permaculture Association website.

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Accommodation for Training Courses

There are a number of options for accommodation in the area if you need somewhere to stay for the duration of the course. Totnes is the nearest large town with Plymouth and Exeter within a 45 minute drive. 

Dartington Hall Estate

Dartington Hall Estate has a range of accommodation avaialbe at a discounted rate for participants of The Apricot Cente courses. Please quote APRICOT when making a booking. 

Dartington Hall – 01803 847147 - Dartington Hall is Devon’s finest example of medieval domestic architecture. Set in beautiful landscaped gardens, it is within walking distance (15-20 minutes) of the centre . 2011 B&B rates – single rooms range from £39 (with shared bathroom facilities) to £85 (en-suite); double rooms range from £96 (with private bathroom) to £130 (en-suite)
http://www.dartington.org/dartington-hall

Camp Dartington

Pitches start from £16.00 per night and are bookable on line, see link https://www.dartington.org/visit/camp/

Higher Close

24 single rooms at £35.00 per room per night including full English breakfast. These rooms are basic student style rooms, they have a wash hand basin in each room. Six single rooms share a bathroom and toilet. Higher Close has a small kitchenette which guests can use to make tea and coffee. There are no self-catering facilities at Higher Close.

 

Dartington Village and Surrounding Area 


Week Meadow www.weekmeadow.co.uk  is right next door to the farm and offers self catering at £75 per night. 
 
Jill Goodridge  ‘Croftdene’, Week – 01803 862535/07968 750540 - 2 double rooms in quiet cottage in the hamlet of Week just over the road from Dartington church, about 10 minutes walk from the Centre. £60 for small double room per night, £40 for single person. £70 for large double for 2 people
  
Tanya Bell - 01803 865581 / mob 07779 187748 tanyabell@btinternet.com - 8 Broom Park, Week – B&B or short lets. Clean comfortable rooms in house on quiet housing estate, about 5 minutes walk from the College. £28 single, £38 for 2 in double. Reduced prices for longer stays. Supper available on request.
 

The Cott Inn - 01803 863777 - The Cott Inn in Dartington is a family run pub who has been welcoming guests since 1320 AD. With luxury ensuite rooms and wonderful food and drink, it is within a 20 minute walk from the centre - roomsrange from £100 per night.  www.cottinn.co.uk


Totnes and further a field


The accommodation listed for Totnes is all within a 10 minute walk of the train station

Heather Harvey (our wonderful administrator) runs air b n b in Totnes in a wonderful loft house. This charming and light-filled house is tastefully furnished and has great views across Totnes to Windmill Hill. Though just yards from Totnes High Street, it's hidden away and very peaceful. The main living space has big glass windows and a balcony where you can sit out and enjoy the view. It also has its own private parking space (rare in central Totnes), gas central heating, 2 good sized double bedrooms and an extra double sofa bed available on the mezzanine floor.  www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/21179712?guests=1&adults=1 
 

“Meadow View” - Tel Pippa 01803 865139 or 077990 756874  pippapotamus@hotmail.co.uk
B&B available close to Totnes station & two miles from Dartington by road or riverside cycle path.
Large en suite room with lovely view & very quiet. £30pppn

 

 

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Previous Training Courses and Events

2019 

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September 2019 

Introduction to Agroforestry and Design 

Friday 20th September - Sunday 22nd September 

£240.00 Inc VAT including refreshments

Lunch can be provided at a cost of £6.00 inc VAT per person per day please email Rachel if you would like to book lunch. 

 

Last years successful course with Martin Wolfe, will be happening again this year and although sadly he is no longer with us, we hope that our course will continue his wonderful work of sharing of knowledge and skills, we know this was so important to him. We have created a course that combines his lectures as well as Marina's experience of working along side Martin and setting up her own farms with Agroforestry methodologies.

 

“Agroforestry is both a traditional practice, and a modern practice. It has undergone a renewal and uptake for modern sustainable farming methods over the last 30-40 years The name of "agroforestry" was created in the 1977 to describe the deliberate use of incorporating trees into farming practice”

 

The course will be run by Marina O'Connell - Marina O’Connell is a horticulturist, permaculture designer, tutor and a biodynamic farmer. She has over 30 years of experience of training and growing in sustainable food systems including designing and implementing agroforestry systems on three farms. This three day course will equip you with an overview in how to design, implement and manage an agroforestry system. Starting with an introduction to Agroforestry and it benefits the course will lead you through designing and planning your own agroforestry system

 

We will visit four agroforestry systems on the Dartington Hall Estate, incorporating Alley Cropping, the Forest Garden at Martin Crawford’s Agroforestry Research Centre, and the new Agroforestry plots at the Schumacher College and at Huxhams Cross Farm.

 

Lunch can be provided at a cost of £6.00 inc VAT per person per day please email Rachel if you would like to book lunch.

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

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September 2019 - February 2020 
Permaculture Design Course with Marina O'Connell and Bob Mehew

£720 inc VAT for 12 days over 6 weekends

concessions may be available on request

 

The Apricot Centre Permaculture Design Course is a part-time, non-residential course that takes place over 6 weekends between September 2019 - February 2020 making it perfect for those wishing to study whilst working or have family commitments.

The course runs in bite size chunks so that you can digest the information, and self-study between the sessions. The course is unique in that is based at Huxhams Cross Farm which is in conversion to biodynamic status, it is a demonstration permaculture site and a rare example of farm scale permaculture in action. This enables us to show practical examples of permaculture on site as well as visiting other permaculture designed sites in South Devon.

Our Permaculture Design Course uses creative and practical teaching methods to enable you to develop and experience the principles and practices of permaculture design, with emphasis on guiding you to design in groups and individually with support from your tutors. This structure equips you with the skills go on to design and implement your own larger farms, smallholdings, community gardens or even your back garden.

The 12 day course covers:

· Permaculture principles and ethics
· Renewable energy and sustainable building
· Simple vegetable growing and fruit growing
. Soil management and fertility
· Forest gardening
· Simple livestock management
· Transition movement
· Design skills
· Visits to inspirational sites

The course is run by Marina O'Connell and Bob Mehew, directors of the Apricot Centre. Bob is a project manager and has project managed the development of the new Huxhams Cross farm, he is an expert at using permaculture design for projects and business development. Marina O’Connell is a horticulturist, permaculture designer, tutor and a biodynamic farmer. She has over 30 years of experience of training and growing in sustainable food systems.

 

Dates of the Course

14th-15th September 2019
12th-13th October 2019
9th-10th November 2019
7th -8th December 2019
11th-12th January 2020
8th-9th February 2020

The course is certified by the Permaculture Association of Britain. This is a qualification recognised by the permaculture community internationally.

 

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

July

CANCELLED

Introduction to Permaculture 

Saturday 6th July - Sunday 7th July 2019

£120 inc VAT including refreshments.

Lunch can be provided at a cost of £6.00 inc VAT per person per day please email Rachel if you would like to book lunch. 

 

 

An excellent way to find out more about permaculture is to attend our two-day introductory course. This 'taster' will provide an opportunity to actively learn about the principles and see examples of designs being implemented by projects. Our weekend course offers an introduction to the ethics, principles and design tools of permaculture. Come along and learn what Permaculture is and what it can do for your and your current lifestyle.  This course is suitable for you if you have a smallholding, small garden, allotment and even if you are don‘t grow food. Its a great opportinuty to meet and connect with like-minded people.  

The course provides the opportunity to discuss vitally important issues in a positive, creative and supportive space. The course is lively, participatory and thought provoking.

The sessions include:

Ethics and principles

Design

Examples of permaculture

An observation exercise

A practical exercise or walk

An overview of the permaculture network and how to find out more.

Our introductory course doesn't cover all the topics in great detail - it is a taster and overview. If you already know you want to find out about permaculture in more depth, it may be better to go straight on to a full permaculture design course, we offer discounts for those participants who go on to do the full design course after the introduction course.  Some people however have found that attending an introduction to permaculture course was enough - with the enthusiasm generated by the course, plus books and their own knowledge, people have gone on to create some incredible projects after attending the weekend course.


The tutor will be Bob Mehew one of our directors at The Apricot Centre.  Bob is a project manager and has project managed the development of the new Huxhams Cross farm, he is an expert at using permaculture design for projects and business development.

Hot drinks and biscuits will be provided. This course is not residential. It will run from 9am to 4pm each day.

Biodynamic Approach to Food, Nutrition and Cooking

Friday 12th July (eve) - Saturday 13th July 

£75 inc VAT including nibbles and lunch 

 

"Wendy Cook studoed art at Cambridge where she met the comedian Peter Cook and later became his wife.  Wendy soon gained a reputation as a hostess, her guestes were likely to include John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  When their daughter Daisy became ill with Asthma, Wendy began a journey of discovery that included complementary treatments and alternative philosophies.  She studied many disciplines, including Rudolf Steiner's approach to nutrition and agriculture.  Having seen how life changing nutrition can be, she devoted herself to cooking and teaching in clinics, communiteis and schools" - The Biodynamic Food and Cookbook

 

Wendy Cook is a biodynamic cook and author, she will be hosting a wonderful workshop at The Apricot Centre, Huxhams Cross Farm, where you will be able to learn about the evolution of consciousness linked with the culture of food and cooking.  She will demonstrate a range of techniques and recipes from her cook book The Biodynamic Food and Cookbook.

On the course you will have the opportunity for an evening farm walk and discussion with Qand A, where Wendy will talk about the link between consciousness, culture, biodynamic food and cooking.  This will be followed by a full day staurday of harvesting  organic/biodynamic vegetables to produce wonderful meals.

 

 

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2018

The Apricot Centre has been been running training course on permaculture, biodynamics and agroforestry for more than 20 years. We use a creative mix of theoretical, interactive and hands on practical training.  We are unique in that our courses run from our site Huxhams Cross Farm, which is in conversion to biodynamic status, it is a demonstration permaculture site and a rare example of farm scale permaculture in action. This enables us to actually show you practical examples on site.   We use a highly skilled and knoweldgeable team of trainers reflecting the huge amount of expertise in the area and often have guest trainers offering exciting and innovative courses. 

This years courses include, Scything the Land, Water and the Agricultural Organism, Make an Organic Cob Bread Oven, Permaculture Design Course, Agroforestry and Introduction to Biodynamics. Please check back throughout the year as new courses are being added.

June 2018

Saturday 30th June - Sunday 1st July 

Scything the Land with Jeremy Weiss

including produce for a campfire cooked dinner and biodynamic eggs for breakfast and camping in the Grove Orchards. 

 

Starting with a bring and share lunch on the Saturday,  you will spend the afternoon learning about setting up, peening and honing a scythe.  After a light supper, prepared by yourselves, from Huxhams Cross Farm vegetables you will learn the traditional skill of  scything short grass. Camping overnight in our orchards will allow you the opportunity to learn about the tradition and technique of scything from Jeremy in a friendly and relaxed environment.  You will rise at 6am to cut some longer grass until a delicious breakfast of Huxhams Cross Farm eggs and campfire toast.   This course offers the opportunity for lots of hands on experience in all aspects of using the scythe.  We find it best if you learn through doing and Jeremy is an experienced scythe teacher as well as also using the scythe for the maintenance of his own small holding.   You will also have the opportunity to spend the night on a permaculture designed, biodynamic farm. 

You will need your own Austrian Scythe, as well as honing and peening equipment. Jeremy highly recommends purchasing a “cautious beginner’s set” from Simon Fairlie who imports them from Austria. As part of the set he would recommend the “Rasierschnitt 60cm” blade for most uses but if you wish to discuss your individual needs please get in touch with Rachel. You can find Simon’s website here.
Please note that you will need to bring your own scything equipment for the course - this will allow you the opportunity to learn how to set up your equipment correctly. 
If you are unable to bring your own scythe please contact The Apricot Centre and we will organise equipment hire. 

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

 

July 2018

Friday 13th July -  Sunday 15th July 

Water and the Agricultural Organism with Simon Charter and Kai Lange

 

 

In agriculture and horticulture we care for plants and animals in the context of the farm or garden as a wholeness within bigger ecological systems. This leads to the idea of a farm as an organism with its own organs and where the parts influence the whole and the whole influences the parts . There is one element that is physically present in every organ, every organism, and that is water. In this workshop we will seek a greater appreciation and understanding of water and water quality. We will do this in a direct and experiential way. How does it show itself in the land, how does it reveal its nature in movement and form. We might then ask what is good water ? Can it  be seen as a source of nourishment? as a medicine?

This will inevitably lead on to questions about how we handle water in different  situations but hopefully we can avoid the prescriptive and cultivate a feeling for appropriate ways of working with it. The weekend will include many interactive flow experiments , observations of the way water flows at Huxman’s Cross. There will be a presentations  and discussions on the farm organism and around the idea of a 3 foldness in water.

As far as we know this sort of workshop has not been done before so the whole event will be an experiment . We trust the water will speak a little into this space and we look forward to hearing seeing what it says.  Total cost for this course is £120 which includes a simple lunch and supper. 

To obtain a booking form or for more information contact Sean Murphy or Simon Charter

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August 2018

Friday 24th August - Sunday 26th August 

Make an Organic Clay Bread Oven with Gordon Clarke 

 

In this 3 day course you will learn how to build a beautiful organic oven, built on a stone plinth and made from woven willow and clay from the land. You will spend 3 days designing and creating the oven with renowend architect Gordon Clarke.   You will explore bread making fro around the world, from flat breads baked on stones or in ash pits, to ovens carved into the banks of streams.  You will have the chance to look at extreme ovens, drawing upon Gordon's years of experience in guerilla kiln building.  You will also have the opportunity to take part in a ceremeonial lighting of the oven on the last day. 

Lunches will be provided by Wendy Cook who has a lifetime of experience with biodynamic cooking.  There will be the opportunity to attend a further biodynamic cookery course with Wendy later in the year.   

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

 

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September 2018

September 2018 - February 2019

 
Permaculture Design Course with Marina O'Connell and Bob Mehew

 

 

The Apricot Centre Permaculture Design Course is a part-time, non-residential course that takes place over 6 weekends between September 2018 - February 2019 making it perfect for those wishing to study whilst working or have family commitments.

The course runs in bite size chunks so that you can digest the information, and self-study between the sessions. The course is unique in that is based at Huxhams Cross Farm which is in conversion to biodynamic status, it is a demonstration permaculture site and a rare example of farm scale permaculture in action. This enables us to show practical examples of permaculture on site as well as visiting other permaculture designed sites in South Devon.

Our Permaculture Design Course uses creative and practical teaching methods to enable you to develop and experience the principles and practices of permaculture design, with emphasis on guiding you to design in groups and individually with support from your tutors. This structure equips you with the skills go on to design and implement your own larger farms, smallholdings, community gardens or even your back garden.

The 12 day course covers:

· Permaculture principles and ethics
· Renewable energy and sustainable building
· Simple vegetable growing and fruit growing
. Soil management and fertility
· Forest gardening
· Simple livestock management
· Transition movement
· Design skills
· Visits to inspirational sites

The course is run by Marina O'Connell and Bob Mehew, directors of the Apricot Centre. Bob is a project manager and has project managed the development of the new Huxhams Cross farm, he is an expert at using permaculture design for projects and business development. Marina O’Connell is a horticulturist, permaculture designer, tutor and a biodynamic farmer. She has over 30 years of experience of training and growing in sustainable food systems.

The course is certified by the Permaculture Association of Britain. This is a qualification recognised by the permaculture community internationally.

 

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

 

Friday 21st September 1pm - Sunday 23rd September 2pm 

Agroforestry with Professor Martin Wolfe 

 

“Agroforestry is both  a traditional practice, and a modern practice. It has undergone a renewal and uptake for modern sustainable farming methods over the last 30-40 years The  name of "agroforestry" was created in the 1977 to describe the deliberate use of incorporating trees into farming practice”

 

Professor Martin Wolfe is one of the world's leading experts on Agroforestry, based on 30 years of experimental work on his farm in Suffolk. He will offer his expert knowledge in Agroforestry, the benefits, and ways in which trees can be combined with arable and livestock systems. The course will equip you with an overview in how to design, implement and manage an agroforestry system.  Starting with an introduction to agroforestry and its benefits the course will lead you through designing and planning your own agroforestry system.  We will visit four agroforestry systems on the Dartington Hall Estate, incorporating Alley Cropping, the Forest Garden at Martin Crawford’s Agroforestry Research Centre, and the new Agroforestry plots at the Schumacher College and at Huxhams Cross Farm.

 

Professor Martin Wolfe is a visiting professor at CAWR (Coventry University)

For more information or to book contact Rachel Phillips or click here

 

  

 

 

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