Distance Learning Course in Sustainable Farming
- Become a more sustainable farmer
- For those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems.
- Learn economic, commercial, marketing and production techniques in a multi-facetted way to help move a farm towards improved sustainability.
There are 8 lessons as follows:
- Introduction: Scope, Nature of Sustainability
- Land care: Weed control, Tree Management, Pest and Disease, Fire, etc.
- Financial Sustainability
- Broad Management Strategies
- Enterprise Selection & Management: Plants
- Enterprise Selection & Management: Animals
- Explain the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms
- Explain how to avoid serious degradation of soils on a farm through sustainable management
- Discuss how to avoid too serious degradation of soils on a farm
- Explain the nature and function of land care
- Discuss economic rules that apply to a farm enterprise
- Explain crop management techniques for sustainability
- Minimise degradation through planning and management
- Evaluate the financial viability and potential of animal enterprises.
WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
- Investigate what is being done for improving agricultural sustainability in your country or region.
- Contact different organisations or farmers and find out what you can about attitudes & resources available to assist with improving sustainability in your chosen area/Country/region.
- Investigate whether an organic certification scheme operates in your country, and if so, find out what is involved currently in attaining that certification for a farm.
- Obtain either literature or advice relating to the management to soil degradation in your locality.
- Identify the most important issues that farmers need to address in a region within approximately 100 km( or 50 miles )of your home; in order to remain financially viable over the next two decades
- Distinguish between hydroponics, permaculture, biodynamics and certified organic farming.
- Identify a farm situation where it might be appropriate to convert to either permaculture, biodynamics or certified organic system.
- What is being done to improve sustainability of agriculture in the region, country or state of your choice.
- Obtain information from your local government department or irrigation supply company. Find out what the local water quality is like and how it was measured.
- Explain how you can test your local water supply for contaminants. What contaminants were found? eg. Bacteria, heavy metals, silt etc.
- Outline how can these contaminants be removed from the local water supply eg filtration, chemicals, etc.
- Identify cost effective means by which contamination can be prevented.
- Identify types of water catchment in your local area. eg dams ,stream ,creeks ,etc.
- Find out what types of conservation are being practiced in your local area.
- Outline methods of pest control being practiced in your area
- Describe methods of weed control used in your area.
- Identify and describe any natural control methods being used in your area.
- Research tourism activities are available in your local area.
- Investigate planning and advisory services in your local area.
- Investigate existing animal enterprises in your local area and the economic impact.
An ideal complementary reference is the book Sustainable Agriculture 2nd edition, written by our principal John Mason, and published by Landlinks Press (A division of CSIRO).
Click to see an outline and order a copy