Following a successful first year of Edible Bristol’s Growing Futures course we are excited to open up bookings for 2024

The aim of Growing Futures is to support participants to explore a deeper connection with growing food, supporting nature and land based futures, whether that is as a career or looking at self sufficiency.

Growing Futures is one day per week, February to October, every Thursday during Bristol term times, from 9.30-3 at Cultivation Place in Speedwell. There are also occasional visits to local producers and projects. During school holidays there is also the opportunity to come along to practical work parties on site.

The course involves lots of practical, hands on learning, from successful seed sowing, propagation, annual and perennial veg growing, to fruit trees and pruning, orchards and forest gardening. We support learning of circular systems, such as no dig, growing agroecologically and creating spaces and growing plans. All of this is backed up with theory based classroom sessions and with time allowed for reflection on subjects both with our team and peer to peer

Growing Futures is a great opportunity for exploration of land based careers and personal futures in light of the climate and biodiversity crises, and holds the group in a safe space to talk about these enormous issues whilst learning practical solutions. Whether participants are interested in land based careers or are just looking to create resilience in their own growing, the season opens up possibilities, networks and plenty of conversation, providing a safe space to explore, question and find your path onto a land based future.

 

Term 1

W/C 19thth February -w/c 25th March

This terms will cover basic agroecological growing principals including soil and bed preparation and management, composting, soil health and the soil food web along with seasonal seed sowing. There will be a focus on observation of the land to understand what it needs and how it behaves. There will also be a full session on pruning fruit trees, based at our Millennium Square Gardens.

Term 2

w/c 15th April-w/c 24thMay

This term we will look at the principles of agroecology and seasonality, focusing on utilising knowledge from term 1 and building on that. Working both in a polytunnel and in outside beds we will look at how to get the best harvests whilst still focusing on soil health, working with the seasons. Introducing productive margins for wildlife, as well as the importance of ponds and utilising any waste as materials for composting, and eliminating the need to buy in inputs. Alongside sowing and planting, intercropping and the beginnings of harvesting this term will be vital learning to build on in future terms.

Term 3

w/c 3rdth June- w/c 23rd July

Building on term 2, term 3 will focus on observation, plant health, maintaining land and healthy soils, alongside propagation and harvesting. This term will also see opportunities to hear farmers and growers speak about their businesses and projects. There will also be focus on business, from setting up to governance and ensuring your business model works for you and the land on which it relies.

Term 4

w/c 2nd September- 25hth October

Term 4 will look at preparation for the year ahead, alongside harvesting and winter growing. There will be a focus on good winter use of the polytunnel, alongside what can be grown outside for winter crops and to ensure the spring hungry gap is as short as possible. We will look at diversifying and creating opportunities over winter alongside looking at how land based businesses can support local communities. There will be opportunity to look back at the year, hear from land based business people and learn about local network that will support new land based businesses.

For further information and prices contact sara@ediblebristol.org.uk

And below is some feedback from this years cohort……

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