Thank you for your years of learning and educating yourself about the truth and helping us prepare to teach our children and grandchildren just how sacred everything is. I am happy that I can tell my children from a spiritual side and from a scientific side just how related we all are. Chris Muscat 

Organic Horticulture Specialist Online

Starting Dates And Registration

 

 

Whether you are already a landscape professional, just beginning your education, or simply learning for personal enjoyment, this course will give you the knowledge you need to become a better gardener. You will receive a thorough introduction to the science and practice of organic horticulture, facilitating a profound shift in ecological awareness.

Going way beyond the idea of pesticide and fertilizer product substitution, you will understand the concepts of landscape health management as opposed to pest management, building a holistic decision making framework for creating and maintaining vibrantly healthy gardens and landscapes, including turf.

This course prepares you to

  • Grow fabulous, healthy gardens

  • Gain essential skills to start or enhance your business in the rapidly growing organic land care industry sector

  • Write the SOUL Organic Accreditation exam for land care professionals

  • Earn generous continuing education credits for landscape professionals to maintain industry certifications (ISA, CNLA, BCSLA)

  • Become involved in SOUL (Society for Organic Urban Land Care) and share your knowledge with your community through workshops, talks and other creative ways

The on-line version of this course integrates reading, quizzes and discussions with practical, hands-on assignments. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is required.

Depending on registrations, we may combine students with the Organic Master Gardener course to keep class sizes manageable! The curriculum is identical, but the audience is usually more diverse in the Organic Master Gardener course. Some of the discussions can be quite eye-opening for landscape professionals.

To receive a Certificate of Completion students must contribute to all on-line discussions and satisfactorily complete all assignments and quizzes.

This program partially satisfies the requirements of the Gaia College Diploma in Organic Land Care and the Humber College Sustainable Landscape Design Certificate

 

Student Comment

This course has given me a much deeper understanding of garden and agroecosystems, how damaging conventional growing methods have been, and how a holistic organic approach offers many advantages, benefits and opportunities. Particularly, I'm grateful for the way you and the other instructors presented the practice of organic gardening within the context of a bigger picture, including ethical considerations and providing important reminders of the limits of the science.
Ian

$ 695.00

Fees include:

  • Textbook (e-book)
  • Comprehensive on-line educational materials
  • Unlimited access to our on-line course resources, community center, including libraries, discussion forums and much more.

Payment Options

By Mail On-line
Cheque drawn on a Canadian bank
Money order in Canadian funds

 

 

Policies

Please be sure you are familiar with our policies.

 

There are no academic prerequisites for this course, however students must

  • be proficient in English (written)
  • be comfortable with current computer and internet technology
  • have an email account capable of receiving a large number of messages for the duration of the course
  • have access to high-speed internet

Student Comments

I have to tell you how much I am enjoying these classes. Up to now I've taken other courses which have covered much of the same material, but this time things are really clicking. I'm understanding more and retaining more of the information. I'm more aware of the implications of going organic not just in gardening but in other aspects of my life. It's like an epiphany. It sounds silly when I write it down, but it's made me so much more aware. Thank you.
Barb Bancroft, Vancouver

Thank you again for an awesome Organic Master Gardener Course. I feel very fortunate to be amongst the first graduating class. As I have said to you in person, the course has been life-changing for me, giving me a deeper, richer, more respectful and more aware relationship with my planet, ecosystem, and personal life.
Anne Finlay, Victoria

There are no formal exams in this course, as the emphasis is on developing practical skills and the ability to synthesize information.

To receive a Certificate of Completion students must contribute to all on-line discussions and satisfactorily complete all assignments and quizzes.


Student Comment

Thank you so much Heide, for your advice on this matter and also for the fabulous programs you have compiled.  This course really sparked my passion for gardening/landscaping into full flame.  I look forward to meeting you one day. This course has provided me with a new way to 'dig' my work, a challenging way to look at our whole industry.  I think this "Shifting Paradigm" is timely and necessary for those of us who love and honor Mother Earth!
Valerie Deakin

Today was our first class! I'm so impressed with the course material. Lots of substance and no fluff, just the way I like it! We viewed your DVD today on pesticides and it was so clear and concise. Thank you!
Tara Qua, Gabriola Island

Required Text

Hermary, Heide, Working with Nature - Shifting Paradigms, Gaia College. Particularly designed to lead the student through the paradigm shift that is necessary before he or she is capable of truly holistic thinking.

The textbook (e-book) is included in the course fees and available at the course website, together with comprehensive on-line lessons and other resources – including on-line libraries.

Required Supplies

To complete some of the practical assignments students require

  • Bypass pruners
  • Basic gardening tools
  • Materials for composting, garden bed installation, compost tea and other microbial preparations. Microbial inoculants, compost tea brewers etc. can be purchased from The Organic Gardener's Pantry

Student Comment

The course has given me a larger vision: the ability to stand back and assess those practical aspects of drainage, soil structure, irrigation needs, compaction concerns, site features and utilization, plant health and landscape protection. These practical aspects must continuously be related to the ever-present consideration of nature's need to strive towards a more balanced approach.Working with nature has more meaning for me, and, I hope, for those students with whom I interact.
Laurie Hardy, College Instructor

While a number of professional societies and institutions provide continuing education credits for the classroom version of this course, we have not yet secured their commitment to extend those credits to the on-line course. In the meantime we will work with you on a case by case basis to support your application for continuing education credits.


Student Comment

I have found the program extremely helpful in operating my business. I now have a lot more knowledge and the confidence to make the right choices.
Michael Cowan, Organic Landscaper

Studying on-line is very different from learning in a face-to-face classroom setting. It may be more convenient – or for some it may be the only way they can take our courses - but it is definitely not easier.

The University of Illinois has provided some excellent pre-assessment information for potential on-line students. Please complete the online Self Evaluation:
http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/selfEval.asp

And please read the article entitled 'What Makes A Successful Online Student?'
http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/StudentProfile.asp.

If you have any doubts about your ability to dedicate 6-10 hours per week to this course then it is probably not for you. Those who are able to commit themselves to this experience rest assured that our instructors are not only experts in organic horticulture, but are also experienced on-line facilitators. We will do our absolute best to ensure you have an interesting and fulfilling learning experience.

 

Online classroom versus self-paced studies

The question may arise why we are offering this course over a specific time frame, rather than letting each student study at their own speed. Our experience is that without firm deadlines most students do not finish - and we really want you to succeed!

So, for optimum student success, this course is being offered in an interactive online classroom format.. The “virtual classroom”  includes group interaction in structured activities such as discussions, experiments, and demonstrations, yet still maintains flexibility for the individual.

Our vast learning resources and networking facilities are always available to students, even after completion of the course. So if for some reason you are not able to complete the course on time you will still retain access to the information to review it at your own pace. However, to earn the Certificate of Completion all course work must be completed by the end of the course term.

 

How do we handle hands-on activities in an on-line course?

That is indeed a challenge, but frankly, allowing "enough" hands-on experience is always difficult even in a classroom course. So the hands-on portion of the course has been incorporated into the assignments, where students get to put their newly acquired knowledge to practice. This is even more fun if you can get a friend to take the course with you!

Depending on the course, some of these activities may require access to soil and composting materials. Students living in climates where the ground may be covered in 2 feet of snow for the duration of the course have the option to choose an alternative assignment, or take the course at another time of the year.