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Year 2: Applied Organics

This BHU-Lincioln University programme offeaors training at one of Australasia's oldest organic farms. During the 43 week's tuition (including holiday breaks) you can achieve the National Certificate in Horticulture (Level 4).

What the training will cover

  • Organic standards and certification
  • Plant propagation from seed and cuttings
  • Organic crop production
  • Irrigation
  • The legal requirements for a horticultural business
  • Applied soil management
  • Pruning
  • Water use and quality
  • Composting
  • The history and development of organics
  • Farm fencing and hanging gates
  • Tractor driving
  • Workplace health and safety

The programme has a good mix of both practical and theory. Our on-farm facilities and equipment coupled with off-farm visits and tuition from a range of experienced tutors, work experience, and workshops provide you with the widest possible knowledge of the industry. Graduates will have acquired a understanding of organic production for use in employment within the horticulture industry or thier own gardens and smallholdings.

Organic Standards and Certification

This course is taken by Dr Charles Merfield. By the end of this course students will be able to: explain the requirements for maintaining organic certification; identify how certification integrity may be endangered in organic horticulture operations; outline the requirements of an organic management plan for a horticultural operation to obtain organic certification and define key factors determining the viability of an organic horticulture venture.

Plant Propagation

This course is taken by Janine Rosie and Fiona Gunn. On completion of this course students will be able to: manage stock plants; select and prepare cutting material; manage the propagating environment; harden off rooted cuttings; and keep records of propagation by cuttings; source and store seed; treat seed to enhance germination; produce seedling lines; and keep records of propagation from seed. This course runs over 19 weeks with two tutors working together to give students a very thorough understanding of propagation from seed and cuttings.

Organic Crop Production

This course is taken by Dr Tm Jenkins. Students completing this course are able to: demonstrate knowledge of the criteria for selection of an organically produced crop; use site data to plan and implement a soil and fertility management programme; identify pests and diseases associated with the selected crop, and plan for and carry out the management of these organisms using organic methods; and identify weeds that will negatively affect crop development and plan for weed management in the selected crop.


This is a practically orientated course where students build and maintain their own irrigation systems, monitor soil moisture levels and budget for irrigation applications.

Legal Issues

This course is taken by Gilda Otway. This course is designed for people working, or intending to work, in horticulture. Students will be able to: describe business ownership structures; describe basic legal requirements in buying and leasing real estate; state how to comply with Inland Revenue Department (IRD) requirements; and demonstrate knowledge of the legal obligations of an employer and employee.

The topics covered in this course also include the restrictions on land and water use by primary producers; and water quality, and ground and surface movement problems associated with agricultural and horticultural land use.

Applied Soil Management

This course is taken by Gilda Otway.This course covers the sustainable management of soils and the issues related to the maintenance of this resource; erosion, cultivation and intensive agricultural use.


This course is taken by Hamish Kelland. This course will use the BHU pip fruit, stone fruit and connoisseur orchards to learn the practical skills required for the training and pruning of fruit tree crops. Students spend nine days learning how to prune, the course includes field trips to practice the pruning of grapes, nut crops and export organic apples.

Water Issues

This course is taken by Jane Demeter. The course covers issues relating to water use and quality including the allocation of water, contamination and compliance requirements.


Students learn and practice the principles of hot composting, bokashi using effective microorganisms and how to use biodynamic compost reparations.

The History and Development of Organic Horticulture

This course is taken by Bob Crowder. Students who complete this course are able to: describe the basic relationships and characteristics of an organic system; describe the development of modern organic horticulture; describe the schools of thought that are credited with the organic movement.

Farm Fencing

This is a practically orientated course that teaches students how to repair broken posts, construct fences, end assemblies for horticulture and hang gates.


Students learn basic tractor maintenance, how to attach implements and drive a tractor in a safe and controlled manner. Students are able to practice on one of two BHU tractors on the BHU farm under the tuition of experienced trainers.



  • National Certificate in Horticulture  - Level 4 - 140 Credits


Duration and Timetable

  • Duration: 0ne academic year (43 weeks including holidays)
  • Start date: Monday 31st July 2017
  • End date: Friday 25th May 2018
  • Days: 2.5 days, Monday & Tuesday 9am-3pm, Wednesday 9am-12pm
  • Follow this link for the programme timetable

This programme also requires work experience hours to be completed, and self-directed learning hours to be logged as follows...

Summary of Delivery Hours for the Year 2 Programme


Summary of Hours


Self Directed

Work Experience


National Certificate in Horticulture L4









Entry requirements

New Zealand Residents or Citizens:

Applicants must:

  • Be aged 16 years or over
  • International students must be 18 years of age or over.
  • Have completed at least three years at secondary school, and achieved the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (Level 1), or equivalent
  • Be confident they can succeed at Level 3 and have the physical ability to manage the work without putting themselves or others at risk
  • Have adequate literacy and numeracy skills.

Download the enrolment form here

International Students

International student enrolments are managed by Telford, a Division of Lincoln University. Please follow this link for more information.

Note: International students require an overall IELTS score of 5.5 ot a TOEFL of 61 iBT, 500 paper, essay rating (TWE) 4.



Loans, Allowances and Fees

Loans and allowances

  • The full-time programme is eligible for student loans and allowances. Please contact Studylink to apply, use the following details:
  • Programme code: NC1014
  • Training Provider: Lincoln University
  • Start date: Monday 31st July 2017
  • End date : Friday 25th May 2018
  • Duration: 43 weeks including holidays
  • Student ID number: Available from the 1st July. Please contact the BHU for your student ID number once you have enrolled


Domestic students: $498.00

International Students: $24.000. Please contact the BHU for detailed international fees information

International Scholarships

The BHU offers two scholarships of NZ$5000.00 each to international students. See this link for more information on how to apply

Where to send your enrolment form and payment of fees

Please forward your enrolment form and a certified copy of your passport or birth certificate to:
The BHU Organics Trust
P.O. Box 69113
Lincoln, 7640

Fees can be paid by cheque or electronic transfer (please contact the BHU for account details)



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