Be part of a fast-growing industry that promotes good health and environmental awareness
Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic chemicals (such as those found in artificial fertilisers and pesticides). The organic movement started in the 1950s in reaction to land being cleared by large machinery and harmful chemicals to enable large-scale food production and the industrialisation of the farming process. With the introduction of organic certification and the growth of the organic farming sector and demand for organic products, this method of farming is here to stay. This course will enable you to develop a knowledge of arable farming using organic techniques. It extensively covers soil and nutrients, and you will also learn about crop rotation, weed management, and controlling pests and diseases in organic systems. As well as providing a route into a farming career, the course is ideal for those already working in arable farming who wish to convert to organic production or for leisure learners with a keen interest in this subject.
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace, studying when and where you choose.
This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by organic farming experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
There is no formal examination. On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You have 2 years to complete the course.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Lesson 1 – Introduction and brief history of organic farming. Why organic farming? Introduction to soil structure, organic matter, soil organisms, the living soil, drainage and cultivation.
Lesson 2 – Nutrient cycling in natural ecosystems, agricultural systems, organic farms, specific plant nutrients and requirements, nutrient management, management of manures, slurry and organic residues.
Lesson 3 – Crop rotation, polyculture systems, fertility building, rotation design, crops within the rotation, stockless rotations, problem of rotations.
Lesson 4 – Weed management, weed ecology, cultural control practices, direct intervention techniques, biological weed control, integrated weed management.
Lesson 5 – Pest and disease management, causes of pest problems, self-regulation in organic systems, cultural control of pests and diseases, direct pest and disease control methods, pest management in grain storage, integrated pest management in organic farming, specific pests and diseases.
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 6-12 months*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
You do not need previous farming knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.