Information day: 17 january. Subcribe here.
At the Warmonderhof you will learn both the practical and the theoretical aspects of biodynamic farming and gardening. You will train to become a manager or self-employed entrepreneur in the farming and gardening business world. Upon completion of the four-year course, students can go on to work as a farmer or gardener, but also in the wholesale business, distribution centers, the production sector and in the health store sector. Some students continue with their education or enrol in other courses that enable them to work in other professional sectors. ‘Warmonderhoffers’ are to be found in every corner of the world.
Through the companies run at the Warmonderhof you can learn the business of cattle farming, crop production, vegetable production and fruit growing. You therefore do not need to have a background in agriculture. The theory classes provide the basic knowledge required for working in the farming and gardening sectors. This combination of theory and practical experience is what gives the Warmonderhof its unique character. Not to mention the fact that you can also live on campus, which offers you the opportunity to gain maximum benefit from the course.
You want to see how it looks like?
In the first year you will concentrate on the basics, such as milking and feeding, sowing, planting, weed control and harvesting. You will learn how to operate the machines and vehicles. This will be followed by short-term and long-term work placements at businesses both in the Netherlands and abroad. You can also do your work placement a mere bike ride away from the Warmonderhof as it is situated in a region brimming with the most advanced organic and biodynamic farming and gardening businesses in the country. While you will certainly be busy with hands-on work here, you will also be responsible for planning and for supervising the first and second-year students.
The Warmonderhof is one of the largest biodynamic farming and gardening businesses in the Netherlands. The farms together cover 85 hectares. The cattle farm has 45 cows for milking, expansive grasslands and a modern milking facility. Crop production boasts large fields of onions, carrots, pumpkins and potatoes among its main crops and many others, including cabbage. There is an impressive range of tractors and a fully-equipped, modern farm vehicle division. Some of the products are stored in the sheds for further processing before they are made ready for delivery. The gardeners at the Warmonderhof produce a wide range of crops on smaller parcels of land where you will also work. The majority of these crops are produced for the markets in cities like Amsterdam and Almere. Fruit growing takes up a total space of 30 hectares, which is relatively large for this kind of business. This also demands a lot of sorting and packaging work.
In the first two years of the course you will get to work in all of the businesses, given that the course cycle must cover all aspects of both livestock and crop production. You can choose to specialise in either cattle farming/crop production or gardening in your third year.
Subjects taught at the Warmonderhof
The theoretical subjects such as cattle farming, crop production, gardening, fruit growing, soil and fertilisation studies are crucial features of the course. These subjects are really what its all about it. This also applies to the more technical areas, in which you learn how to operate the machinery necessary for carrying out work and the maintenance of this machinery etc.
Animal and plant studies, landscaping and phenomenology are those subjects in which the essential components of biodynamic farming and gardening come to the fore, in much the same way as in the healthcare and education sectors.
Art has always enjoyed a special place at the Warmonderhof partly because it is fun but also because it involves viewing things from a different perspective. This usually results in new and refreshing insights. At the practical level this involves classes in woodwork and pottery, and, outside of class, drama, music and end-of-year concerts.
The economic subjects are learned primarily from carrying out administrative tasks for one of the businesses. You learn to budget in an efficient manner and how to set up your own company. You learn how to keep the books in order, the ins and outs of tax regulations, and how to properly market your company. You also learn everything you need to know about the organic farming sector: the present number of organic businesses, which companies are involved in wholesale trade and where the public can buy organic products. Attention is also paid to the economy in general i.e. everything to do with prices, wages, the government, foreign trade and, most importantly, the environment.
Living at the Warmonderhof
The majority of our ninety students live on campus at the Warmonderhof. Most have their own room, while others may share. Each group of five students has its own fully fitted kitchen. The students usually eat together. It means that the businesses and activities are always only a stone’s throw away. Life is good at the Warmonderhof.
The Warmonderhof Culture
An essential element of our culture is the time given over to discussing how the class is progressing and what might need to be changed, how class activities should be organised, such as the first-year student’s cycling trip and the school trip abroad for third-year students. Every Monday morning there is a meeting involving the whole school in which areas of importance to everybody are discussed, for example, the day-to-day running of things, the school and the accommodation. Our culture also encourages students to organise social events and film evenings and to get involved in the running of the restaurant.
Students at the Warmonderhof are eligible for student grants. Foreign students (from the EU, EEA (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland) are also eligible for a student grant from the Dutch government if they work for at least 56 hours per month for a company. For more info visit ww.duo.nl Students have to pay course fees to the Dutch government if they are 18 or older.
All the costs you can find at the downloads.
To be admitted you need to have completed secondary school (or Class 10 level at the Rudolf Steiner School). The level of previous education varies considerably per student. Because lessons are thought in Dutch you will have to learn the Dutch language. Therefore many students arrive a few months before the beginning of the first year to work on a farm and to learn the basics of the language.
If you are interested in applying for the course then you can avail of the opportunity to spend a day with the students currently attending the school. You can arrange to meet someone to discuss your application either during that day, or at another more suitable time, to find out if the Warmonderhof is the school for you. If you want to come in contact with us, send us an email.