Agroecology Science and Practice: Market Farming and Community Gardening (Fall)
This is the third quarter of a spring-summer-fall program.
In this experiential program, students will learn how successful farms and community gardens can be highly productive, ecologically resilient, financially stable, and serve community needs while honoring traditional stewardship ethics along with experimentation and innovative practices. The program starts spring quarter, continues summer and fall quarters, and takes place on the campus organic farm and garden areas. Student learning is centered in seasonal activities across land management, food production, scientific inquiry, planning, budgeting, marketing, and celebrating food cultures with the fruits of our labor. This program is suited for students who can dedicate at least 25 hours per week to on-campus program work that is team oriented, physically rigorous, and academically demanding. Up to eight upper division science credits may be earned per quarter for students who enter with introductory science coursework and complete additional assignments across field experimentation, lab work, and scientific writing.
Over three quarters, students will learn how to apply regenerative farm and garden practices based on the scientific underpinnings of Natural Resource Management, Agroecology, Soil Science, Agroforestry, Agronomy, and Animal Science. We will focus on climate change adaptations through improvements to soil health, closed-loop nutrient cycles, water availability, energy use efficiency, crop-livestock interactions, perennialization, and pollinator habitat. Production practices will be integrated with on-farm research to test innovations in polycultures, tillage, planting, irrigation, IPM, weed management, composting, variety trials and seed saving. Seasonal horticulture knowledge and skills will be learned by propagating, cultivating, pruning, and harvesting diverse vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, cut flowers, and nursery crops.
Learning year-round and vertical production methods will emphasize the design and management of greenhouses, season extension structures, trellising, and food forests. Learning about how livestock support farm functions and product diversification will happen through beekeeping, vermicomposting, poultry rearing, and field trips to farms with large animal livestock. Students will learn the permaculture design process through focused workshops and projects that enhance farm area layout and accessibility, bee and native pollinator habitat, livestock integration, mushroom production, water and energy systems, signage and displays, peer knowledge sharing, and the creation of gathering spaces to support learning circles and Food and Agriculture community events. Design thinking and participatory action research will also be learned and practiced to support collective student leadership development and the social impact of campus food production and garden spaces.
Farm planning, finances, and marketing are critical to maintain the campus farm’s operating budget and community base of support; students will be immersed in the iterative cycles of analyzing production and market data, setting sales goals and operating budgets, crop planning, seed ordering, seeding schedules, market stand sales, and nurturing customer relationships. Community connections will also be built by collaborating across Food and Agriculture programs to complete field work, do tasting labs of farm produce, and enhance multi-media digital marketing and social media outreach for prospective students and Evergreen supporters.
This is the third quarter of a program sequence, interested students should contact faculty in advance to discuss their prior knowledge and skills to assess readiness for joining the program.
Course Reference Numbers
Agricultural Production and Management, Agroecology Research, Edible Landscaping, Community Food Systems, Food Marketing and Sales, Natural Resource Management, Soil Science, Permaculture Design
$256 required fee that covers tools, an overnight field trip, and a required lab fee.