Training aim

The training of „Specialist in Traditional Orchards“ intends to enlarge and deepen the classical vocational training within related fields. The curriculum offers a possibility to teach/learn and to discover new/forgotten knowledge about traditional orchards and ways of sustainable orchard management.

One aim is to provide students the knowledge about traditional orchards in the fields of pomology, care & management and processing & marketing of their products.

A second aim is to develop the needed skills and competences to integrate this knowledge and insight into different kinds of professional environments.

The curriculum, based on ECVET-instrument (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) and using an output-oriented approach consists of units and learning outcomes describing the knowledge, skills and competences to be reached by students/trainees.

Total amount of teaching hours



L4 (in case of units tested in pilot courses also L3 and L5: Units 1, 4 and 7)


1) Pomology

2) Care & management

3) Processing & marketing

Target group definitions

Students in initial and accomplished vocational education and training, tertiary education, adult education in the agricultural, horticultural, environmental sectors. The curriculum is aimed at formal and informal educational institutions and organisations and all other interested groups dealing with traditional orchard topics.

Supportive materials and tools for the curriculum

1) Material collection (knowledge base)

The comprehensive material collection (knowledge base) serves as a supporting tool for the use of the curriculum. The material collection comprises available literature, contacts, links and list of courses to different topics related to traditional orchards.

2) Picture pool

The pool of „traditional orchard“ pictures provides a great database of photos demonstrating different aspects of traditional orchards divided into three main thematic topics corresponding to the modules.

3) Teaching material (for selected units)

This educational material is designed for a pilot course with duration of 40 lessons of 50 minutes each, including training sessions that are taught in the classroom and practice sessions for outside (e.g. workshops, excursions). The didactic material was developed on the base of the expertise of the whole group and curriculum ECVET-sheets were elaborated by experts from the partner consortium in the ESTO project. The following teaching modules have been developed:

Pomology: Getting the pomological base

Care & management: Propagating fruit trees for traditional orchards

Processing & marketing: Producing fruit juice

4) Expert text

The expert text is a knowledge base supporting the application of the teaching material and training preparation.

All supportive materials and tools are also available on

Short description of curriculum modules

1. Module Pomology


1 unit, consisting of approx. 13 teaching hours (at 50 min.)

Short description

During attending the module ’Pomology’, students get to know the features of the most common European fruit species (apple, pear, plum, sweet and sour cherry). This comprises origin, ecology, phenology, morphology of trees and fruit features of species as well as fruit features of important cultivars. Characteristics of old cultivars are presented with a special focus on their use in traditional orchards. Advantages and disadvantages of old cultivars are discussed with respect to their distribution, rareness, recommended growing conditions, appearance, taste and processing value.

At the end of the unit, students will be able to identify the most common European fruit species by their features, to determine important cultivars by their fruits, to taste and to describe them. They will know where to find further information and thus will be able to enlarge their knowledge of cultivars on their own. Moreover, they will be able to choose suitable cultivars for establishing an orchard independently, to organise and conduct fruit exhibitions and to present fruit features to an interested audience on the occasion of such exhibitions.

2. Module Care & Management


6 units, consisting of approx. 40 teaching hours (at 50 min.)

Short description

The module ‘Care & Management’ consists of four major units. During unit ‘Establishment’, the students learn how to plan a new traditional orchard with respect to locality, production goals, varieties, tree size and planting pattern. Furthermore, they will get familiar with soil tillage, quality and storage of trees and techniques of planting and protection against rodents. At the end of the unit, they will be able to analyse a locality, draw a scaled plan, calculate the costs and conduct the establishment of a new orchard including the first pruning on their own.

Unit ‘Care’ deals with soil and climate conditions, condition of trees, rejuvenescence, phytopathology, ecology, equipment and cost account as a basis for orchard care. Students also get familiar with pruning and fertilizing trees as well as pest control and maintaining grassland and infrastructure like driveways. At the end of the module, students will be able to analyse the conditions within an orchard, develop a care and management plan and manage an orchard with regard to economic and ecological benefits according to a management plan on their own.

Unit ‘Propagating fruit trees for traditional orchards’ deals with the work usually done in tree nurseries: propagation (by use of rootstock, grafts; appropriate tools and methods), care for young trees, labelling, documentation and cost account. After attending this unit, students will be able to propagate fruit trees in a traditional way with regard to economic benefits on their own.

During unit ‘Harvesting and fruit storage’, students get familiar with stages of fruit maturity, fruit quality, harvesting and storage methods and the selection of appropriate methods according to the intended use of the fruits. They also learn how to identify storage diseases. At the end of the course, students will be able to conduct harvesting and fruit storage with regard to fruit quality on their own, including documentation and cost account.

3. Module Processing & Marketing


4 units, consisting of approx. 50 hours (at 50 min.)

Short description

The module consists of four units. Within the first unit of this module (12 hrs), students will get a first insight into the diversity of all important official requirements and conditions for running a fruit processing company. As it is not possible to get familiar with all details, the aim of the lesson is to inform students about legal and hygienic preconditions to be fulfilled for running a company. Regarding the very diverse possible marketing tools for traditional orchards products, the aim is to provide useful hints to visit relevant specific courses where topics connected to management and marketing are taught. Thus this unit informs students about the necessity of visiting other relevant courses (on hygiene, marketing etc.)

During the units ‘Producing fruit brandy’ (20 hrs), ‘Producing dried fruit’ (5 hrs) and ‘Producing fruit juice’ (13 hrs), students will become familiar with knowledge and skills to be gained in producing good fruit brandy, dried fruit and fruit juice. Firstly, the students will get some basic information about the importance of fruit selection for different processing methods and about machinery and technical equipment needed. Students should have an opportunity to gain practical experience in processing of fruits of traditional orchards and to try out some processing methods in practice. The quality of products from traditional orchards as well as their health and nutritional benefits are important issues involved in these units.

Curriculum – overview      

Module Pomology
Unit no. 1 Getting the pomological base (L3,4,5)      

Module Care & Management
Unit no. 2.1 Establishment – planning a new traditional orchard (L4)
Unit no. 2.2 Establishment – establishing a new traditional orchard (L4)
Unit no. 3.1 Care – analysing an existing traditional orchard (L4)
Unit no. 3.2 Care – implementing care and management for an existing orchard (L4)
Unit no. 4 Propagating fruit trees for traditional orchards (L3,4,5)
Unit no. 5 Harvesting and storing fruit (L4)      

Module Processing & Marketing
Unit no. 6 Getting clear with the official requirements for running a processing company (L4)
Unit no. 7 Producing fruit juice (L3,4,5)
Unit no. 8 Producing dried fruit (L4)
Unit no. 9 Producing fruit brandy (L4)