The Practice of Organic Farming and Agricultural Systems Thinking

Quarters
Spring Open
Location
Olympia
Class Standing
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Ben Hunsdorfer

Are you interested in learning how to produce food using organic and ecologically sound methods? In this Spring-Quarter course, the Practice of Organic Farming will provide students an opportunity to garner real-world knowledge and skills in the science, practice, and movement of sustainable agriculture. During the quarter, we will explore best-management practices related to organic food production in the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on understanding the scientific and ecological rationales behind sustainable agriculture methods. Students will participate in the development of perennial pasture and soil conservation, developing and maintaining farm infrastructure and equipment, planning and managing organic crops from seed to harvest, and participating in direct marketing and distribution at a farm stand and CSA.

This course is rooted in experiential learning, and students who choose to take 16-credits will be able to apply the theories covered during lecture and seminar to the hands-on practice at the Evergreen Organic Farm. Students will develop an understanding of mental models and systems thinking as it pertains to agroecosystems. Student learning will be assessed on the completeness of reading responses, group project and oral presentation skills, participation in practicum work and class discussion, quizzes, and a final written report. This program is physically rigorous and academically demanding. It requires dedication and teamwork outside in adverse weather conditions. Students enrolled in the 16 credit option will go on a 3-day 2-night field trip to Lopez Island.

8-credit option:Students can enroll in an 8-credit option that will only include hands-on activities in organic farming and spring season horticulture.

Anticipated Credit Equivalencies

4 - Organic Agriculture: Soil Fertility and Crop Requirements

4 - Systems and Dynamics in Agriculture

4 - Organic Farming from Seed to Market

4 - Spring Season Horticulture: Theory and Practice

Registration

Course Reference Numbers
So - Sr (16): 30246
So - Sr (8): 30247

Academic Details

8
16
17
Sophomore
Junior
Senior

For students enrolled for 16 credits: $150 covers 2-night field trip fee to Lopez Island ($100) and fee for farm lab use ($50).

For students enrolled for 8 credits: $50 covers fee for farm lab use.

Schedule

Spring
2024
Open
In Person (S)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Day
Schedule Details
Farm (Outdoors)
Olympia

Revisions

Date Revision
2024-03-04 Added $100 overnight field trip fee for 16 credit students only.