The teachings of Gaia College could not be more timely than it is now and I truly hope that one day there will be Gaia "centers/colleges" sprinkled all over North America and beyond. My heartfelt congratulations go to you and your husband for this college and the courses you have created. I would just like to say that as much as I enjoyed learning the course, it was Connie that made it. She was an excellent instructor, passionate about her work and a joy to learn from. I think she's an excellent, inspiring role model for us all and a real asset to Gaia College. Margo 

Organic Master Gardener Online

Starting Dates And Registration

 

 

Be prepared for a major shift in paradigms! This is a gardening course, and so much more. Students have called it "life changing" - because once we truly understand the connection between soil health, plant health, human health and environmental health we look at the world with different eyes.

This is our core course. It's intense - challenging - inspiring, and taking the country by storm!

You will get the same comprehensive, professional curriculum as the Organic Horticulture Specialist course, but discussions will generally reflect the interests of a more mixed audience including home gardeners, budding farmers and landscape professionals. Depending on registrations, we may combine students from both courses to keep class sizes manageable!

  • Learn to create fabulous food and ornamental gardens without pesticides and other harmful chemicals

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

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

  • Prepare to write the SOUL Organic Accreditation exam for land care professionals

  • Earn generous Continuing Education Credits to maintain your industry certifications (ISA, CNLA, BCSLA, SOUL)

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.

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

Organic Master Gardener ®is a registered trademark of Gaia College.

This program partially satisfies the requirements of the Diploma in Organic Land Care

 

Student Comment

Just have to say this course is such a priceless contribution to us and our planet. I feel privileged to be taking it, absorbing like a sponge, reveling in what confirms and supports. Many thanks, Carol McIntyre

$ 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.  The OMG really sparked my passion for gardening/landscaping into full flame.  I look forward to meeting you one day. The OMG 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 the longer online courses - 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.