Principles of organic and biodynamic agriculture
Explores the history and key concepts, including the farm as a self-contained organism, the importance of bio-diversity, and the crucial role of the soil in land management.
Botany and plant observation
Develops the valuable capacity of plant observation for selected agricultural and horticultural crops, including weeds, and what they can tell us.
The background, composition and influence of these preparations; their making, storage and application.
The Living Soil
From soil formation to the development and maintenance of dynamic and living soil fertility including application of soil fertility enhancement principles to a variety of land management situations.
The wider cosmos’ rhythmic influences on life and physical processes. How working with these influences enhances the development and living quality of soil, plants and animals. Understanding and working with the BioDynamic Calendar.
Introduction to and practical application of organic and biodynamic methods over a wide range of farming and gardening situations, for example:
Common horticultural field crops – site selection; cultivation methods; selection and propagation of varietals; crop rotations; and pest, disease and weed management.
Orchards and vineyards – design of site; varietal selection; understorey management; fertility; pest and disease management.
A holistic exploration of the nature and needs of farm animals and the appropriate management techniques to enhance their health, wellbeing and integration into the farm organism. Includes animal health and pasture management within NZ organic and biodynamic certification standards.
Farm Integration – Water and Trees
Particular emphasis is given to the qualities of trees and their place, uses and management within the farm and in the wider environment and the management of water in the farm environment.
Standards and Conversion
History and role of the major NZ organic and BioDynamic standards. The certification process and conversion towards sustainable organic biodynamic methods. The application and completion of comprehensive documentation for certification of a chosen property.