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Taruna tutor’s passion for sharing biodynamics recognised

2 September 2014

Taruna tutor’s passion for sharing biodynamics knowledge recognised nationally

Covering a holistic landscape of agriculture and horticulture, Havelock North-based Taruna College’s Certificate in Applied Organics and Biodynamics is proving increasingly popular.

“Students are passionate about the land and are looking for a picture of agriculture that is slightly different to the norm,” says programme tutor and interim college manager, Erin Simpson. “The course covers all aspects of agriculture and horticulture, from soils and germinating and growing seed, to the use of biodynamic preparations and providing an in-depth analysis around permaculture and bio-intensive gardening.”

As a sign of appreciation from the Biodynamic Society, Erin recently won an award for his work in the programme, which he has been tutoring for the past six years.

“It was great to be recognised, as I am passionate about sharing my knowledge,” he says.

As well as an effective plan for land management, students leave the programme with a network of mentors within the biodynamic and organic community, ensuring they have ongoing support in their work. From owners of lifestyle blocks to people working within the viticulture industry, Taruna College pairs people with others in the area in the same field.

“These days it seems agriculture and horticulture are moving more towards organics and biodynamics,” Erin says. “There is a growing awareness of a more holistic way to care for our land and the course gives people that different viewpoint.”

Run over 36 weeks, the course is seminar-based with workshops, classwork and tutorials mixed with assignments. The programme is NZQA Level 4, so students have the option to further their studies if they want.

To find out more about the programme, or Taruna College’s other programmes in education, health and art, see their website,

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