Our Applied Organics (Level 4) course builds on the knowledge and skills acquired on our Go Organic (Level 3) course.

A practical, science based approach is used to separate myth from fact, while exploring a wide range of organic techniques and methods. The overall aim is to build ecosystems, promote biodiversity and increase soil and plant health instead of relying on artificial fertilisers and poisonous sprays.

This course will be of great value to orchardists, commercial growers, farmers, rural entrepreneurs as well as those seeking a healthier alternative to conventional food production, or employment in the horticulture industry.

Topics covered include:
•    An overview of the organic industry in New Zealand
•    Organic standards and organic certification
•    Strategies to maintain organic fidelity
•    Developing an integrated weed, pest and disease management plan (IPM in practice)
•    Post-harvest handling, storage and transport of organic produce
•    Developing a sustainable soil management programme

There is a choice of electives, which allows specific industry focus, including:
•    Making liquid fertilisers
•    Pruning of fruit crops
•    Seed-saving and Storing
•    Seed propagation... and much more!

The knowledge gained can be applied to not only food crops, but also to the cultivation of any plants including pastures, orchards, shelterbelts or woodlots. Organic philosophies also embrace principles of kaitiakitanga, which may interest Tangata Whenua involved with land management.

What will you gain?
As well as gaining broad knowledge of sustainable horticulture and skills you can use in commercial organic growing or in the home garden, you will also gain ongoing support and friendship, a network of organic contacts and the opportunity to visit other organic properties and observe them in operation.

Course Structure and Programme Delivery
Each course typically runs over ten months with students attending weekly tutorials, workshops or fieldtrips either daytime (during school holidays) OR evenings and weekends.

Our tutors facilitate excellent learning opportunities using a variety of techniques including interactive and stimulating tutorials, group discussion, practical activities and case studies from real-life situations. Students will need access to an area of land for production.

Depending on prior knowledge and experience, students may need to commit up to 10 hours per week to complete practical and theory assignments from home.

Courses may be offered in most Agriculture New Zealand Training locations, subject to sufficient interest.

Qualification and Further Opportunities
Successful Students will gain 68 credits (a minimum of 40 credits at Level 4); and will be awarded a National or Local Certificate and may progress into employment in the Organic Industry or use the skills and knowledge they have gained to develop their own enterprise.

Fee and Enrolment Information
This course is approved for New Zealand Domestic Students and may be delivered in partnership with your local Polytechnic. Contact us for details regarding eligibility to enrol, and for course fees in your area.

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If you want quality training, you want Agriculture New Zealand! For more information or to apply, contact us now!

0800 4 SKILLS (0800 475 455) or email agnztraining@pggwrightson.co.nz