Practice of Sustainable Agriculture: Fall
Fall 2013 quarter
Do you want produce food for yourself, your family and other families in your community? What does it take to grow food and feed yourself and others every day throughout the year? This three-quarter program (spring, summer and fall quarters) will investigate how food production systems operate with our primary focus on small-scale organic production. We will concentrate on the scientific knowledge, critical thinking and observation skills, management and business tools, and practical hands on training needed to successfully grow food and fiber in a sustainable way. We will explore the details of sustainable food production systems and evaluate them through the three pillars of sustainability—economic, environmental and social justice.
We will be studying and working on the Evergreen Organic Farm through an entire growing season, seed propagation to harvest. The farm includes a small-scale direct market stand and CSA as well as a variety of other demonstration areas. All students will work on the farm every week as part of the practicum. The program is rigorous both physically and academically and requires a willingness to work outside in adverse weather on a schedule determined by the needs of crops and animals raised on the farm.
During spring quarter, we will focus on soil science, nutrient management, and crop botany. Additional topics will include introduction to animal husbandry, annual and perennial plant propagation, season extension, and the principles and practice of composting. In summer, the main topics will be disease and pest management, which includes entomology plant pathology, weed biology. In addition, water management, irrigation system design, maximizing market and value-added opportunities and regulatory issues will also be covered. Fall quarter's focus will be on production and business planning, cover crops, and crop storage techniques and physiology. Students will develop and present a detailed farm and business plan, which will integrate all the topics covered in the program into a culminating project to allow students to demonstrate their learning and creativity.
Additional topics will include record keeping for organic production systems, alternative crop production systems, and techniques for adding value to farm and garden products. Students will learn about hand tool use and maintenance, farm equipment safety, and types of field operations. Topics will be explored through on-farm workshops, seminars, lectures, laboratory exercises, farm management groups, guest lectures, field experimentation and field trips to regional agricultural operations.
Books to be used in the program include Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers by Theriault and Brisebois, Planning Workbook: Organic Whole Farm by Huelsman, Plant Propagator's Bible by Smit, Building Soils for Better Crops 3 rd ed by Magdoff and van Es, The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming , Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh ... Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees by Damerow, The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Costenbader, Building A Sustainable Business A guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses by The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.
If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the faculty or the office of Access Services prior to the start of the quarter. Access Services, Library Bldg. Rm. 2153. Contact Program Coordinator Steve Schmidt, PH: 360.867.6348; TTY 360.867.6834; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . If you require accessible transportation for field trips, please contact the instructor well in advance of the field trip dates to allow time to arrange this.
Students planning to take this program who are receiving financial aid should contact financial aid early in fall quarter 2012 to develop a financial aid plan that includes summer quarter 2013.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day
May be offered again in
|August 13th, 2013||Fall fee has increased (from $200 to $400).|