Take a Course that has been training Commercial Herb farmers for decades!
Comments from Graduates of this course...
Thanks ACS, studying with you has been truly rewarding, because of your understanding, helpfulness and devotion to all students. I will certainly use the chance to study again with you! (Lerni)
(The course) has helped me achieve a 'greener' thumb. I now have lots more success with my garden. Beforehand, my thumb was the furthest from 'green' you could get! (Janice)
Duration: 100 hours
This course is divided into TWELVE UNITS.
Each unit comprises ONE or MORE LESSONS, as follows:
Unit 1 Introduction To Herb Culture
Introduction to herbs, definitions, uses. Classification of herbs; use of a botanical key.
Cultural Techniques...planting, soils, drainage, feeding, mulching, composting, pruning.
Propagation Techniques...propagation mixes, growing structures, cuttings, seed, separation & division, layering.
Identification of plant health problems...pest & disease, frost, heat, water stress, etc.
Unit 2 Using Herbs
Processing and Use of Herbs
Medicinal, culinary, perfumes, dyes, oils, distillation processes, etc.
Harvesting & Storage, Air drying, oven drying, microwave drying, freezing, fresh storage, when & how to harvest.
Unit 3 The Mints (Lamiaceae)
Mentha species ... Peppermint, spearmint, applemint, wintermint, pennyroyal, corsican, ginger mint etc.
Lavender (Lavendula varieties) & thyme (Thymus).
Assorted Lamiaceae varieties: Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Rosemary, Bee Balm (Monarda), Basil, Savory, Marjoram, Sage.
Unit 4 The Daisies (Asteraceae)
Artemisia species...Southernwood, Wormwood, Tarragon, Mugwort.
Miscellaneous Asteraceae: Chamomile, Tansy, Safflower, Costmary, Yarrow, Calendula, Dandelion etc.
Unit 5 The Parsley Family (Apiaceae)
Parsley, Coriander, Dill, Caraway, Angelica, Cumin, Fennel, Lovage, Sweet Cicely etc.
Unit 6 The Onion Group
Chives, Leek, Garlic chives, Tree onion, Welsh onion, etc.
Unit 7 Other Herbs
Rosaceae (Rose, Burnet, Strawberry, blackberry, etc)
Miscellaneous: Lemon grass, Lemon verbena, Bay, Sorrel, Dock, Juniper, Horseradish, EveningPrimrose, etc.
Scented Geraniums, Australian Natives, Eucalyptus and Others
Unit 8 Pests & Diseases
Natural Pest Control: Herb sprays, biological control, etc.
Unit 9 Landscaping with Herbs
Landscape Design Principles and Practices: How to draw a landscape plan
Home Gardening With Herbs: Cottage gardens, hedges & borders, tubs, baskets, kitchen gardens, herb lawns, herb indoor plants.
Public Landscaping: historic herb grdens (Knot gardens etc), herbs for low maintenance & colour inparks..etc.
Unit 10 Herb Farming 1
Establishing and Operating a Herb Nursery: Open ground vs container growing, nursery layout, potting soils, pots and labels, marketing, etc.
Unit 11 Herb Farming 11
Establishing & Operating a Herb Farm: Soil Preparation and management (plastic mulch, organic mulches, cultivation), rowcropping.
Unit 12 Herb Farming 111
Evaluating Herb enterprises, assessing market demand. Deciding how to proceed.
- Differentiate between different varieties of herbs in cultivation.
- Explain the general cultural practices used for the growing of herbs.
- Determine harvest and post harvest techniques for herb crops, including processing, storage and useof herbs.
- Develop a production plan for a herb crop grown for harvesting.
- Develop a production plan for a herb nursery.
- Design a herb garden for a home or public garden.
- Evaluate the production of herbs or herb products in a commercial business.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
-Distinguish, using illustrations and minimum but adequate comments; between major plant families which herbs belong to.
-Compile a resource file of fifty different sources of information regarding cultivated herbs.
-Prepare a resource collection covering one hundred different herb varieties.
-Develop guidelines for the general culture of herbs.
-Explain different propagation methods suitable for herbs.
-Demonstrate how to prepare cuttings for different herb varieties.
-Propagate different varieties of commercially farmed herbs, using appropriate, but different propagation techniques for each.
-Explain natural pest and disease control methods for a specified herb species.
-Explain the concept of companion planting, including examples of proven companion planting interrelationships.
-Write a maintenance schedule for either a herb garden, nursery or farm.
-Describe different harvesting techniques for herbs, by outlining the steps to follow for each.
-Determine criteria which are critical to success in the process of drying herbs.
-Compare different drying processes for herbs, with reference to: *equipment used *procedure *cost.
-Produce two marketable herb products by harvesting, and processing material from a herb plant.
-Prepare different herbal products for home use.
-Estimate the costs associated with processing four different herbs to a marketable stage, itemising the components of costs for each.
-Determine different species of herbs which have potential to be grown commercially as broad acre crops.
-Describe the process of producing a specified commercial herb crop being grown organically.
-Describe the process of producing a commercial herb crop being grown hydroponically.
-Compare broad-acre production methods, used for three different herbs, including: *propagation *planting *crop management *harvesting *post-harvest processing; by constructing a table or chart.
-Design a simple trial, to test the commercial potential of different varieties of a specific herb species.
-Conduct the simple trial you designed recording details of tasks undertaken.
-Analyse the results of the trial conducted to test the performance of a herb plants.
-Determine the variety with greatest commercial potential from those trialled.
-Prepare flow-sheet broad acre crop production schedules for herbs; one each from Allium, Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Lamiaceae groups.
-Determine minimum facilities required to produce saleable plants in a specified herb nursery.
-Prepare a potting media suitable for growing a container herb plant of a specified species, as nursery stock.
-Describe the procedures used in a commercial herb nursery, to produce plants for sale.
-Differentiate between the procedures used for production of different products in a herb nursery, including: *Punnets of seedling herbs *Bare rooted plants *Standard container plants *Hanging baskets *Topiary.
-Grow a herb plant to a commercially acceptable standard, as a tubestock container plant, through all stages of production, without supervision.
-Prepare nursery production schedules for herbs from different minor herb groups.
-Explain the use of general landscape principles and practices in the designs of different herb gardens.
-Determine different applications for herbs in home gardens.
-Determine applications for herbs in public landscaping, referring to both difficulties and advantages in different situations.
-Design for a herb garden for a site surveyed by you, drawing showing the placement of at least 20 different varieties of herbs.
-Explain the reasoning behind the herb garden designed.
-Determine critical factors to establishing a new herb business.
-Analyse the business operations of a specified herb enterprise.
-Assess market demand for a herbal product, through a phone survey and information search.
-Compare the commercial potential of different types of herb enterprises, in your locality.
Extract from Course Notes:
Three crops can be grown annually in most temperate areas without great difficulty.
A summer sown crop is harvested in autumn, an autumn sown crop is harvested in spring and a spring sown crop is harvested over summer.
Each crop is harvested continuously for a month or more before discarding.
As the crop gets older the quality can deteriorate.
The early harvest of the spring sown crop is generally the best quality.
Quality characteristics are a dark rich green colour, long stalks for bunching, clean unmarked leaves and a good water content (ie: not wilting at all).
Prepare a fine seed bed by cultivation using a disc plough first, then harrows or a rotary hoe.
Form up raised beds about 1.8m wide and rake the surface to level.
Plant three to four rows across each bed.
Control weeds using either mulch or by spraying weedicide before planting then following up with hand cultivation or hand weeding.
The amount of seed required varies from areas to area.
In Ohio in the U.S.A. growers achieve top yields with 12 to 20 lb of seed per acre.
Three main varieties are grown...
Petroselinum crispum var. crispum (Curley Leaf Parsley)
- has very curly leaves
- has aromatic leaves
- used fresh, dried or dehydrated in foods, or as a garnish
Petroselinum crispum var. neopolitanum (Italian parsley)
- has flat, not so curly leaves.
- usually considered to have more flavour than others
Petroselinum crispum var. tuberosum (Hamburg or Turnip rooted parsley)
- less common
- has an enlarged edible root.
Do You Know these Herbs?
REASONS TO STUDY WITH ACS DISTANCE EDUCATION
-teaching Horticulture since 1979
-exceptional faculty staff (see below)
- Hands on: develop practical as well as theoretical skills
-successful people are always those who can offer a skill or service that others can't
-this course is different; our graduates have different skills to set them apart.
- Relevance -curriculum developed in response to industry needs
- Lots of help: personal, prompt attention from tutors
- Holistic Courses: We teach more than just "facts"
-success is only 20% about intelligence (and what you know)
-you also need to build networking, problem solving & communication skills, and more!
-this course helps you develop all of these things and more
- Value: courses compare very favorably on a cost per study hour basis
- Up to date: courses under constant review
- Student amenities: This school is backed by over one of the most unique and comprehensive private collections of intellectual property in the horticultural industry. The principal and staff have written and published over 50 books and 150 gardening magazines, as well as 20,000 hours horticultural study programs. A team of 5 horticultural writers continue to develop and update new material continually. These resources together with web sites, an online student room, social media etc. provide a unique and comprehensive facility to support students studying with the school.
These are just some of the people involved with developing and updating courses; and tutoring our horticulture students
John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc.
40 years + in horticulture Graduated from Burnley Horticultural College in 1971,Nurseryman, Landscape Designer and Parks Director through the 1970's. One of Australia's most published garden writers, author of books published by Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, CSIRO and other major publishers; Editor for 4 different national gardening magazines; honored as a fellow of both the Institute of Horticulture in Australia and the Institute of Horticulture in the UK.
Gavin Cole B.Sc., M.Psych.
30 years + in horticulture. Renowned horticulturist and psychologist. Former operations manager for the highly regarded "Chelsea Gardener" landscape firm in London, garden writer and landscaper in both Brisbane and Adelaide in Australia.
40 years + in horticulture. Former education manager for "Garden Organic"; England's peak organic gardening and farming body.
Dr Lyn Morgan Phd
25 years + in horticulture. New Zealand based hydroponic consultant and author, with experience working everywhere from Asia to America.
Rosemary Davies Dip.Hort.Sc.
30 years + in horticulture; including Victorian Department of Agriculture Gradening Advisor, Gardening Editor/writer/author for major publishers and newspapers.
Diana Cole B,A., RHS Dip Hort, NTEC Higher Dip in Garden Design
15 years + in horticulture and landscaping
Adriana Fraser Adv.Dip.Hort.
30 years + in horticulture. Consultant, teacher, garden write, manager of plant collections
Bob James B.App.Sc(Hort), M. Env.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt., PDC, Dip.An.Husb.
Yvonne Sharpe Dip.Hort., M.Hort.
Martin Powdrill B.Sc(Hons), M.Sc. PDC
Marie Beerman B.Sc., M.Hort.