Learning from doing in sustainable horticulture - how contemplative enquiry transforms learning

Schumacher College aims to cultivate the whole person – head, hearts and hands.  With a focus on interactive, experiential and participatory learning, we provide the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face the ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century. The Apprenticeship in Sustainable Horticulture is now in its second year and the presentation will look at how we encourage learning by doing in the area of sustainable/restorative food growing in a residential learning community.


I graduated in Medical Sciences at Cambridge University in 1990 and spent over ten years working in the NHS mostly within the field of mental health. I also studied theology, looking at religion and mental health. 15 years ago I started gardening and was soon completely hooked. I was simply bowled over by plants and how endlessly fascinating they are. So I studied and worked at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for three years and then taught Horticulture at Hadlow College in Kent.

Before coming to Schumacher College I taught part time whilst running my own local garden maintenance business. I love working at the College with its emphasis on exploring and developing respectful relationships to each other, the planet, and the food that sustains us.

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