About Us & Our Facilities

Our history
The Organic Studies Centre evolved from a centre of organic research and training focussed around a demonstration farm at Rosewarne and was established in 2001 as part of the Defra/EAGGF funded Objective 1 project ‘The Organic Studies Initiative.' The funding enabled the building of a resource centre, employment of specialist staff and a comprehensive programme of research, demonstration and training for the benefit of farmers and growers in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond.

The Centre developed a reputation for knowledge transfer which, along with the experience of participatory research, has led to its involvement in national and international organic research projects and programmes.

Our facilities
The OSC offices at Rosewarne house a wide range of literature on all aspects of organic production, including reports and papers produced by the Centre from 2001 to the present.

Within the 47ha farm site at Rosewarne is an area of approximately 4 acres dedicated to smaller scale organic horticultural production growing vegetables and fertility building crops. The site also has a host of protected cropping structures including polytunnels and state-of-the-art greenhouses. On site laboratory facilities are used to support detailed field studies. Horticulture, animal care and conservation departments at the college broaden the opportunities for organic practices and research.

Training
The Organic Studies Centre is part of Duchy College's Rural Business School (RBS) which combines education, training, business support and applied research for rural industries. The RBS offers educational and developmental programmes ranging from one-day vocational workshops to foundation degrees in Agriculture, Rural Tourism, and Agri-Food. It is developing new and exciting opportunities with the European Social Fund. This funding stream contains many facets that allow and expect the specific training needs of businesses and the individuals that they employ to be met; this is achieved by approaching businesses and discussing their needs prior to embarking on a course.

A positive aspect of this funding stream is that all courses must carry accreditation therefore they come with a recognised qualification allowing a business or individual to continue with the training as needs be and as time allows. Being able to take parts of qualifications rather than the whole qualification enables the employer to maximise time spent away from the workplace for training without affecting the productivity to any significant levels, as well as concisely meeting the training needs.

Find out more about European Social funding here.

The RBS can also offer courses and workshops for the wider public which are becoming increasingly popular at Duchy College for their uniqueness and diversity without the commitment to a full or part time course and the added pressures that examinations bring.

Please see the website of the Rural Business School at www.ruralbusinessschool.org.uk for more details of courses.