Education in Paradise!

There is a very special NTS event scheduled for 27 Sep – 1 October. Some of you may be familiar with my love affair with a little volcanic island called Norfolk, located 150 minutes from Brisbane in the emerald blue pacific. I was originally sponsored by the Norfolk Island government to educate local growers about sustainable agriculture and I have returned several times for seminars over the past two years. Then, last year we decided to conduct one of our four-day certificate courses on the island and that proved a resounding success. The Australian Federal Government agreed to extend the full Farm Ready subsidy to those attending our Norfolk course (as it is technically an Australian territory). This enabled both Norfolk and Australian farmers to attend, free of charge, and the Australian growers also received a subsidy for travel and accommodation. How good does it get! A fully subsidised education experience on one of the last remaining pieces of paradise on this planet. I can assure you that no one was disappointed!

I have become so enamoured with this beautiful place and loving community that I recently purchased a farm on the island. I  am currently renovating the two storey house and have commissioned a large dam with the intention of growing the highest quality medicinal herbs ever produced.

We have scheduled a second four-day Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture course on the Island from the 27th September to the 1st October 2010 (including the optional field day). I am obviously looking at any excuse to get over there myself, but it really is a special opportunity for you as well. Here’s ten reasons that you might consider this opportunity.

Ten Reasons to Learn in Paradise

  1. The NTS Certificate In Sustainable Agriculture is regarded throughout the world as the pre-eminent learning experience for those wishing to increase profitability and production, while reducing their reliance upon farm chemicals. Over 3000 people have now completed this course in 4 continents and the feedback has always been exceptional. This course also features a significant human health component. In fact, there are a battery of tests and recommendations, as part of a human health workshop on the last day, that will have you leaving the event with an exciting, proactive game plan to improve your health, happiness and longevity.

  2. The optional field day on the fifth day offers an opportunity to visit food producers with a broad range of enterprises who have discovered the benefits of both the biological approach and diversity in their businesses. You will see some glorious countryside, eat some spectacular local meals and taste superb chemical free, nutrient dense food, directly out of the paddock.

  3. It is always more conducive to learning, to be removed from your normal routine. You don’t get much more removed than attending a seminar in a luxury resort, in a lush tropical setting, surrounded by descendants of the Bounty mutiny, on an island 1000 kms from anywhere!

  4. If you have ever contemplated attending this course but couldn’t find the time, then now is that time. Bring your partner so you can learn together. You may both be covered by the Farm Ready subsidy. We find that there is a great benefit in partners sharing this experience. There is more likelihood that a new approach will be embraced when partners are sparked together. This can also serve as a Government sponsored second honeymoon if you choose the 8 day package deal! The same thing applies to farm staff, business partners or other family members that may be involved on the farm. You will be more likely to move forward if you all understand this approach and have shared the stimulation of this unique course.

  5. The “Big Night Out” is a delicious, biological, 3-course meal/party that is a legendary component of this course. It is free for course participants and is a “getting to know each other” event held on the second night of the course. On Norfolk we will savour this treat on a large verandah overlooking the ocean, as renowned local chef and horticulturist, Simon Bigg, prepares a delectable 3-course meal accompanied by fine wines. The only caution regarding these memorable events is to avoid a hangover next day, as there is still much learning to be done.

  6. One major emphasis in this course is the supreme importance of building humus in your soil. You will learn all of the humus building strategies, that will position you ahead of the pack when the inevitable payment of carbon credits begins in the near future. You will also be able to experience unique volcanic soils that still contain up to 12% organic matter and this will help confirm the profound benefits of carbon building.

  7. The cosy island environment facilitates friendship and you are assured of making friendships with like minded people at this course. Often course participants form biological support groups where experiences, tips and successful strategies are shared on the Internet for years so come.

  8. This course is not just restricted to farmers. Consultants, golf course superintendents, National Parks staff, council staff and anyone interested in soil health, animal health, human health and planetary health will benefit immensely from these four intense days of learning.

  9. When will you ever have the chance to visit Norfolk for this kind of price I have attached some of the package deals and you will see that you can enjoy an eight day working holiday for around $1250 and this includes twin share accommodation, the cost of the air ticket and a hire car. The Government will reimburse $500 of this cost along with the full cost ($699.00) of the NTS course. In effect, if you qualify for the subsidy, you will be paying a total of just $750 (excluding field trip) for 8 days on Norfolk, and a course that could change your life. The only problem is that there is a bit of urgency here because we have no way of pre-booking flights, and when the limited available airline seating is full, we will have to refuse any further bookings for the course. We have no way of knowing when this will occur, so it will have to be a case of first in first served.

  10. Finally, you may need to know about some of the charms of this island to help you make a decision. I’ve inserted some of my Norfolk photos at the bottom of this page and attached the package deal info and course registration forms. Norfolk Island has the cleanest air on the planet (measured by the CSIRO) and the cleanest ocean water. The visibility is amazing and you can see turtles, dolphins and sometimes whales and sharks from many cliff top locations. The vegetation features the best of sub tropical Queensland and New Zealand but is dominated by the grandeur of huge Norfolk Pines. There are two volcanoes and two beautiful national parks. The golden beaches and azure waters are fringed by lush pasture and vegetation. There are world heritage listed historical areas. The climate rarely drops below 10 degrees or rises above 28 degrees and hence the sub tropical feel. Cows and geese rule the roads. There is no income tax, seat belt laws or crime. You don’t lock your house or car and children enjoy a genuine safety and freedom that has been long lost in most regions of the world. There is a fascinating history dominated by the Bounty story and the people are amongst the friendliest in the world.

OK I think I’ve done enough raving! If you think that you might want to attend this course than act now, as there are only a few weeks left, and course numbers are governed by the number of seats remaining on the three flights (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) that service the island. I suspect that we will be forced to close bookings within a couple of weeks due to this constraint so don’t miss out!

I look forward to spending time with some of you if you decide to attend the Norfolk course. Stay happy and healthy.

norfolk island - beach Norfolk Island - Pine Norfolk Island3 Norfolk Island - Cow

Norfolk Island Bay Norfolk Island Sunset Norfolk Island - Golf

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