A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Current course opportunities

Accredited training courses

Please see below for our current accredited training courses offer. Do check back here for updates.

Please note: We are currently following Government Covid-19 guidance, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

We will list any updates to our course offer here on this webpage, when the above guidance changes.

Work based Horticulture Level 1 Award (City and Guilds) 

Dates: 17th May – 19th July 2021

Times: Wednesdays 10am – 4.30pm

This qualification involves minimal classroom time with 9 weeks of guided horticultural practice rooted in organic market gardening theory. During this time you will practise food growing techniques and experience the realities of a productive horticultural work place. You will develop a work-book portfolio with reflective worksheets. This course takes place at our Hawkwood Nursery site. This is suitable for people who already have some experience of organic food growing and have an interest in developing their career in this area. An initial assessment will need to be completed.

This course has funded places intended solely for those who meet the following criteria. Please only apply for this course if you can meet and provide proof of all three of the below criteria:
1. I am legally resident in UK and have the right to take paid employment in the UK
2. I live in one of the following London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest.
3. I am unemployed and able to prove receipt of full benefits, UC, ESA, JSA – OR – I am unemployed but not in receipt of benefits. Proof will be required in the form of written confirmation from a relevant third party that has been assisting you so has an understanding of their current circumstances (e.g. social services or other professional providing support and guidance etc).

If you would like to register your interest please email: belle@organiclea.org.uk

 

Work based Horticulture Level 1 Award (City and Guilds)

Dates: 9th June – 4th August 2021

Times: 10am – 4.30pm

This qualification involves minimal classroom time with 9 weeks of guided horticultural practice rooted in organic market gardening theory. During this time you will practise food growing techniques and experience the realities of a productive horticultural work place. You will develop a work-book portfolio with reflective worksheets. This course takes place at our Hawkwood Nursery site. This is suitable for people who already have some experience of organic food growing and have an interest in developing their career in this area. An initial assessment will need to be completed.

This course has funded places intended solely for those who meet the following criteria. Please only apply for this course if you can meet and provide proof of all three of the below criteria:
1. I am legally resident in UK and have the right to take paid employment in the UK
2. I live in one of the following London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest.
3. I am unemployed and able to prove receipt of full benefits, UC, ESA, JSA – OR – I am unemployed but not in receipt of benefits. Proof will be required in the form of written confirmation from a relevant third party that has been assisting you so has an understanding of their current circumstances (e.g. social services or other professional providing support and guidance etc).

If you would like to register your interest please email: belle@organiclea.org.uk

 

 

Food Growing Level 1 Award (NOCN) remote classroom learning via Zoom 

Dates: Wednesday  17th March –  Wednesday 16th June 2021 (no class on 7th and 14th April and 2nd June)

Times: Wednesdays 10am – 4.30pm.

Course description: This 10 session course provides an opportunity to achieve an accredited gardening qualification in a remote classroom setting with other learners, with a focus on practical learning from a distance.

The course will be delivered two days a week by an experienced Organiclea tutor and combines classroom learning and tutorials to help build basic and technical skills and confidence for your own food-growing situation. This will be accompanied by video and handout resources from tutors and growers based at Organiclea’s market garden at Hawkwood Plant Nursery.

Designed as distance learning and adapted to keep as best we can the experience of learning that is important to Organiclea’s adult learning activity:

  • Shared sense of journey as a group of learners.
  • Supportive mentoring tutor relationship – your single point of contact for the course duration from within the Organiclea workers’ cooperative.
  • A growing connection to Organiclea’s overall work as a social enterprise; our practice, ethos and progression opportunities.

Requirements:

  •  Access to an outdoor food growing space in order to carry out the practical work required for the course, eg. an allotment, small garden space or planters on a balcony. Unfortunately we cannot support windowsill growing with this course.
  •  Gmail email address in order to access Google Classroom. Tutorials will be given on using Google Classroom
  • ‘Zoom’, the remote conferencing software app. You will need to have this installed on a computer that has a microphone, speaker and video camera.
  • A smartphone or camera capable of taking photographs and / or video and an understanding of how to transfer these to email / web.

This course has funded places intended solely for those who meet the following criteria. Please only apply for this course if you can meet and provide proof of all three of the below criteria:
1. I am legally resident in UK and have the right to take paid employment in the UK
2. I live in one of the following London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest.
3. I am unemployed and able to prove receipt of full benefits, UC, ESA, JSA – OR – I am unemployed but not in receipt of benefits. Proof will be required in the form of written confirmation from a relevant third party that has been assisting you so has an understanding of their current circumstances (e.g. social services or other professional providing support and guidance etc).

Download the Course Information Sheet here

If you would like to register your interest please email: courses@organiclea.org.uk

 

Horticulture Level 2: Extended Certificate (City and Guilds)

Dates: October 2021 – July 2022

Times: 10.30am – 4.30pm

This 31 week intensive course is for those who are already gardening and who want a more theoretical base to develop their gardening practice. It interests those keen to commit more time to gardening work at a personal and (potential) employment level. Learning includes units on understanding soil science, plant science, techniques in organic horticulture and fruit and vegetable production by organic methods. This course demands commitment to both learning and self-study; and delivers a lot in terms of academic learning and confidence in the detail of gardening practice. The theory learnt in the classroom and in the 3-6 hours of home-study/research/essay writing per week, is backed up by practical tasks and assessments in the Hawkwood vegetable and fruit gardens.

Note: A City & Guilds Level 1 horticulture qualification or equivalent experience are considered essential entry requirements for this Level 2 course.

Enrollments for the 2021-2022 course will open in June 2021. Please check back here then to register your interest.

An Initial Assessment will be required before enrollment can take place.

 

Practical Horticulture Skills, Level 2 Certificate (City and Guilds)

Dates: October 2021 – May 2022

Times: 10.30am – 1.30pm

This course is delivered in 26 sessions over 37 weeks. Full list of session dates available with the course information sheet.

This ‘practice’ based course equips the production horticulturalist with the essential know-how and techniques to assess, prepare and maintain gardens at a range of scales. Study units include: prepare for planting; techniques for plant care; training and pruning in fruit production; stem cutting propagation; pedestrian controlled rotary cultivation; and identifying plants by botanical names. You will be assessed at the Hawkwood site during course hours and this includes practical assessment gardening tasks and accompanying written worksheets. Home study will support your gardening practice and worksheets.

Note: A City & Guilds Level 1 horticulture qualification or equivalent experience are considered essential entry requirements for this Level 2 course.

Enrollments for the 2021-2022 course will open in June 2021. Please check back here then to register your interest.

An Initial Assessment will required before enrollment can take place.

 

Work-based Horticulture: Level 2 Certificate (City and Guilds)

Dates: March 2021 – July 2021

Times: 9am – 5pm

This course is rooted in 20 sessions of guided learning in the production market gardens.  Designed with guided horticultural practice, themed small group tutorials, practical assessments, 1-1 support opportunities and Q&A homework, you gain an in-depth understanding of how urban community horticultural enterprise works from both a production and organisational perspective. It offers an opportunity to learn and assess your own options and interests in this area of work. Units cover fundamental productive horticultural skills in the organic environment: Preparing sites for planting, seed sowing calendars, planting out and caring for planted areas, as well as crucial work-based guidance linked to health and safety, working relationships and learning plans for your own future work in this area. It seeks to grow considerable skills and abilities in horticultural practice and in the working environment.

Assessment required before booking can take place. Contact courses@organiclea.org.uk to book onto an assessment.

For Workbased courses a proportion of places are reserved for those not in employment.

Note: Level 1 qualification is an essential entry requirement for this Level 2 course.

 

Progression opportunities in garden enterprise  – details here

There are a range of non-accredited structured learning opportunities ongoing. Sign up to our email list (see link top right) to get our updates, or come along and volunteer with us to learn informally – see next induction dates here.

Sign up to our email list (see link top right) to get our updates, or come along and volunteer with us to learn informally – see next induction dates here.