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

Current course opportunities

Accredited Learning Opportunities:

Courses currently in progress:  our tutors have been working hard and have done an amazing job adapting courses currently running to continue to support learners (as those of you who are on these courses will know!). The Level 1 Work Based Award, Level 2 Practical Horticulture Certificate and Extended Certificate have moved to online delivery, with the option to register as a volunteer within our new volunteering system – please see volunteering page here. The Level 2 Work Based Certificate is running within the new distancing procedures on site, with tutorials delayed for the moment.

17th June 2020  Update on course delivery within Coronavirus guidelines

Updated Summer term course plan:

Due to our summer term funder requirements (Adult Education funding), we are currently prioritising learners who are unemployed with proof of JSA, ESA or Universal Credit (and not currently self employed or on furlough) 

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

Dates: start date 8th July  – 14th August for five weeks Wednesdays and Fridays with no class on 29th + 31st July

Initial assessment via zoom starting 25th June and ongoing

Time: 10.30am-4.30pm

Course description: This 5-week 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.

If you would like to book on to an initial assessment and register your interest please email: courses@organiclea.org.uk

Work based Horticulture Level 1 Award (City and Guilds)

Dates: start date 29th July  – 30th September  – ten weeks on Wednesdays

Initial assessment on 15th July at Hawkwood Nursery – ongoing before course start

Time: 10am-4.30pm

This qualification involves minimal classroom time with 10 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.

If you would like to book on to an initial assessment and register your interest please email: courses@organiclea.org.uk

Work based Horticulture Level 1 Certificate (City and Guilds) 

Dates: Tuesdays: 21 July – 6 October, 10-5 (12 sessions),  Wednesdays: 6 sessions, 10.30-4.30 (to be agreed at course start)

Initial assessment on 7th July and ongoing before course start

This course (Level 1 Certificate) is longer than the Level 1 Award and is aimed at those who learn best when doing something in practice, over and over again. Over 18 sessions (completed in 12 weeks), the main focus is guided gardening activity where basic skills can be learnt and practiced. It is designed to gradually build confidence and independence in the working horticultural environment – and covers a broad range of gardening skill areas. Small groups allow learners to progress at own pace and caters of specific learning needs. Working towards a 2 day a week commitment, allows increased achievement and pace of working linked to horticultural practice. This course is designed to support those developing work-ready confidence in horticulture and other areas.

If you would like to book on to an initial assessment and register your interest please email: courses@organiclea.org.uk

Update oncourses starting from September 2020):

We’re working on things being back to normal by September! We are still planning to run the usual blend of Level 1 Work Based, Food Growing and our Level 2 courses starting in Autumn 2020. We will plan to run initial assessments for these in July. If you would like to register your interest for any of these courses please email courses@organiclea.org.uk
We will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible by email but please be aware this may take longer than usual in the current climate.

Food Growing Level 1 Award (City and Guilds) Saturday

If you are interested in the upcoming course please email courses@organiclea.org.uk

This course provides an opportunity to achieve an accredited gardening qualification through practical learning. It is designed to build basic and technical skills in the classroom then support this with demonstration practical tasks in Organiclea’s market garden at Hawkwood. It would suit anyone who is thinking about working as a gardener or who wants to enhance their food growing knowledge for the home environment.

Course Fee including Awarding Body registration : to be confirmed for 20-21 academic year –  FREE for those on jobseeking benefits.

Booking can take place without an assessment. To book a place on the course, contact courses@organiclea.org.uk

Horticulture Level 2: Extended Certificate (City and Guilds)

To register interest for courses starting in 2020 please email courses@organiclea.org.uk – there will be an initial assessment for this course (dates to be confirmed)

Start date: October 2020 (dates to be confirmed)

End date: June 2021 (dates to be confirmed)

Session time: 10.30am-4.30pm

This 30 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.

Assessment required before booking can take place.

Course Fee including Awarding Body registration: to be confirmed for 20-21 academic year –  FREE for those on jobseeking benefits.

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

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

To register interest for courses starting in 2020 please email courses@organiclea.org.uk – there will be an initial assessment for this course (dates to be confirmed)

Start date: October 2020 (dates to be confirmed)

End date: June 2021 (dates to be confirmed)

Session time: 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.

Assessment required before booking can take place.

Course Fee including Awarding Body registration: to be confirmed for 20-21 academic year –  FREE for those on jobseeking benefits.

Note: Level 1 qualification is considered essential entry requirement for this Level 2 courses. Whilst we can consider equivalent experience, priority does go to Level 1 holders.

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

To register interest for courses starting in 2020 please email courses@organiclea.org.uk – there will be an initial assessment for this course (dates to be confirmed)

Session times: The sessions are 9am – 5pm on dates determined during pre-course assessment – with Wednesday and Friday options.

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. Information and Assessment date.  Contact courses@organiclea.org.uk to book onto an assessment.

Course Fee including Awarding Body registration: to be confirmed for 20-21 academic year –  FREE for those on jobseeking benefits.

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.