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Upcoming Courses & Events


We are currently scheduling the program for Autumn 2016/Spring 2017, so please keep checking back here for additions BUT ALSO please sign up to the mailing list on the home page AND register your interest for any events you would like to attend which are listed but not yet scheduled; this is of great help to us in conserving valuable resources - so that we can have a sense of demand.

Summary of Events:

October, dates and venues tbc - Grazing/Silvopasture Study Tour (with Rob Havard, Pete Aspin, and others)

October, dates and venues tbc. - Stewarding Your Soil with Zach Wright - Zach will be in Ireland in October; email for contact details for the organiser; the event will be a variation on the one we ran here in the UK - we expect to run more here in 2017 but he doesn't have the capacity to do that as well this year.

21st-23rd November, Worcestershire - Holistic Management; Financial and Grazing Planning with Tony McQuail and Rob Havard, co-sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI).

We are also expecting to continue work with Joel Williams (Soil Health), and to repeat the Animal Herbal Medicine course (details below) so please do register your interest in these if appropriate - and we may even have something else up our sleeve too...

Past events this year:

12th February (Devon) - Crediton Monitor Farm Meeting with Joel Williams supporting - see here for more details.

21-23 March (Somerset) - Soil Food Web Course with Zach Wright, Huntstile Organic Farm, Somerset - Fully Booked

18-21 April - Soil Food Web Course with Zach Wright, Haye Farm, Ribbesford, Worcestershire - Fully Booked

17 May - Animal Herbal Medicine with Jane Walwork-Gush, Hunststile Organic Farm, Somerset

29th June - Grazing for Long-term Resilience and Sustainable Profit; Holistic Management Collaborative Open Gate @ Croome Court, Worcestershire, with Rob Havard, Philip Bubb, Russ Carrington and Matt Clegg - in association with Holistic Management International 


Holistic Management® Introduction, Financial and Grazing Planning

Holistic Management grazing

An Introduction to Holistic Management with specific focus on Financial and Grazing Planning

with Tony McQuail, and Rob Havard

Co-sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI)Holistic management international

Three Parishes Hall, Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire, WR7 4PG - plus various holdings in the area

21st-23rd November, 2016

Would you like to increase the health and productivity of your land and animals?

As a farmer or land manager you know that one of your greatest assets is the land you work with, and managing that land can be tough due to weather conditions, environmental pressures and high input costs, and farming is still a business.  This course was designed to help you regenerate your land for better soil health, bio-diversity, productivity and profitability through the practice of Holistic Planned Grazing and Holistic Financial Planning.  We know that to create a sustainable, healthy agricultural enterprise, you need to run it like a business and we've created this course to give both new and experienced farmers and land managers the knowledge and tools they need to do just that.

Holistic Management is a farm planning and decision making process developed to help farmers and land managers achieve a triple bottom line of healthy land, people and profits. It has a full toolbox of planning resources to help farmers reach this goal. In this three day workshop we will be focusing on the Financial Planning and Planned Grazing systems and will highlight the key features of each which make them so effective.  This is an active hands-on course and by the end of the three days you will have completed a draft financial plan and grazing plan.

This is a participatory workshop. Registrants will be encouraged to bring questions and information about their own operation which they can use during the workshop to develop resources they can use when they return to their farm.

Tony McQuailTony McQuail is the workshop leader. He and his wife, Fran, have operated a mixed livestock farm since 1973 in the rolling hills of Huron County, Ontario, Canada inland from Lake Huron (https://meetingplaceorganicfarm.ca/). They are in the process of transitioning their farm to their younger daughter, Katrina.

McQuail credits the Holistic Management Course they took in 1995 as being transformative for their farm family and a major reason their daughter wants to return to the farm.

“The course helped us develop a farm that was profitable, enjoyable and improving ecologically. We were able to manage the farm so that it felt like the farm was working for us – not us slaving for the farm.”

McQuail is a founding member of the Ecological Farmer’s Association of Ontario which has been providing farmer to farmer education, farm tours and courses for over 35 years.

HMI will be issuing certificates to those who demonstrate competence in the material covered

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Stewarding Your Soil

Zach Stewarding your soil courseHow to Manage the Beneficial Organisms In and For Your Soil

with Zach Wright

more dates and venues tbc; please email to express interest

This course is an very unusual opportunity to cover the basics of The Soil Food Web, in a condensed and practical format, building the compost pile, making compost tea and having a go at microscope work ourselves, all under the guidance of Zach Wright, one of only three Soil Life Consultants certified by Dr Elaine Ingham.

Since Zach will be returning to the US in May, the course has had to be arranged at short notice, and participant numbers are strictly limited (to 12 in order to ensure that there is enough personal attention, especially during the microscope sessions).

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Soil Health; A Living Perspective

Soil nutrient managementOptimising Soil Management for Productivity (6 BASIS points; 2E, 1GM, 3N)

with Joel Williams

time and venue tbc. (please get in touch to register your interest)

Joel was recommended to us by one of our farmers in the south-west and we ran a one-day workshop similar to this one in Devon back in February.  It sold out and participants went away wanting more, so we are repeating this 'foundation' material in other venues with a mind to then following this up with more in depth days which focus on specifics such as microscope work, disease management and compost teas.

Joel's cv is impressive and extensive (see his profile for greater detail), but in short, after focussing more strongly on the soil chemistry and nutrient balancing in Australia, he worked with Elaine Ingham at Laverstoke in the UK, inverting this and focussing more strongly on optimising the soil biology with a smaller focus on mineral management. Now he tends to take a middle road but is happy to deliver on whichever side the audience requires. He is particularly interested in the links between nutrition and pest and disease pressure and how nutrient corrections when supplemented with biological protection can be used to manage insect and disease problems, and after some time back in Australia, we are fortunate that he has now returned to England again.

Here are some of the things people said about the initial day we ran in February:
"Superb course, would love to learn more"
"A well structured, interesting and inspiring day"
"It was a really interesting, informatibe and inspiring course... I'll definitely be putting some of what I have learned into practice both at home and at..."
"Really interesting and understandable talk on soil that actually helped me understand what to look for practically and get enthused about fungi!"
"A big subject nicely broken down into nicely digestible chunks"
"Very intersting/exciting - even for the amateur (I thought it may well go over my head, but I took in a lot)"
"Quality, trustworthy information delivered in a very understandable way.  Clarified a lot of the mysteries of soil biology"
"Excellent overview of soil biology and how to achieve better microbial health.  Relevant for all audiences interesting in farming."
"Absolutely fantastic day! Well worth the trip from Aberdeen" (and that was to South Devon...)
"Highly informative... Well structured... Applied knowledge..."

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Animal Herbal Medicine - An Introduction

Herbal medicines

Workshop with Jane Wallwork-Gush

more dates and venues tbc; please email to express interest

There are a number of approaches to using herbal medicine with animals; zoopharmacognosy or the principle of animal self-selection, homeopathy and adding herbs singularly or in blends to the feed and of course external or topical applications. As a herbalist and smallholder Jane will present a simple and practical approach that can be adapted to the size of the smallholding or farm and stock held.

In Jane’s words:

Prevention is better than cure. My partner and I have two green food supplements for the winter months when our cattle and pigs are indoors. The constituents of these boost immunity and provide a good source of nutrients where hay is being fed to cattle and it also includes some powdered roots and mushrooms for the pigs. It is important to have a few standard remedies and base herbs available for use. It is not always practically or economically viable to have a wide and varied selection of plants, oils and other preparations to hand, particularly essential oils as these can be expensive. With a few simple herbs, powders, oils and essential oils a basic kit is easy and commercially viable to use and maintain and can support your livestock in good health. We have a great relationship with our vet and accurate diagnosis is vital - however, we don’t wish to see him too often.

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Holistic Management® Collaborative Open-Gate

Holistic Planned Grazing: Cattle at Croome Park

Grazing for Long-term Resilience and Sustainable Profit

with Philip BubbRob Havard, Matt Clegg, and Russ Carrington

Sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI)Holistic management international

Croome Court, Croome D'Abitot, Nr High Green, Worcester, WR8 9DW

Wednesday 29th June, 2016 (please note change of date due to clash with Agricology Open Day)

This is a unique opportunity to dip your toes into the world of Holistic Management and Planned Grazing, and explore it's potential to enhance your farming/land management practice.  We are incredibly fortunate to have a selection of high calibre presenters from varying backgrounds, who will discuss and demonstrate the benefits of a Holistic approach to farming and land management and how it can return benefits at a farm as well as catchment scale - and within management structures too.  We are also expecting a broad spectrum of experienced attendees, so this will be an integrated learning experience and we trust that as with our other events, the networking potential will be as invaluable as the learning.

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