We welcome our regenerative gardeners!
We welcome three garden trainees to Sharpham, who will be here for the next year learning regenerative horticulture techniques.
Sara, Dan and Emma have come to live and work on the Sharpham Estate because they were selected for a 12-month Level 3 traineeship course being offered by The Apricot Centre, at Dartington.
During this year, they'll learn regenerative land-based systems, working towards a Permaculture Design Certificate Qualification. This qualification has been generously funded by Devon Environmental Foundation, Vivobarefoot ‘Livebarefoot Fund’ and Devon County Council.
Emma comes from Cornwall and has worked in gardening almost all her career. She did an apprenticeship in amenity horticulture at the age of 17, working for the council doing parks and ornamentals, then later she did a course in horticulture at The Eden Project. She worked as a gardener in a private school which led on to a post at a very posh London estate, where she worked in highly formal and ornamental gardens and grounds.
She took a year out after several years to consider her next steps in horticulture. And then the Sharpham/Apricot Centre opportunity popped up.
"What drew me to this that you don't use any chemicals and there's a whole picture - it's not just about what you get out of the land. Also am interested in food-growing because I've never done that," she said.
As for Sharpham, she's looking forward to when the veggies start happening. "Also, I've never worked anywhere that makes its own compost and uses it! I like the ethos of the place and getting to live and work somewhere so beautiful," she said.
Dan has had a variety of roles before coming to Sharpham. He has worked with young people, he's travelled and worked in international development, he's volunteered on farms and within alternative education places in India, he's taught English in Vietnam.
He's lived and worked in spiritual /permaculture communities including Findhorn, where he worked in the vegetable gardens there.