The Winter Practice of Organic Farming

Winter Open
Class Standing
Ben Hunsdorfer

This 16-credit, full-time program combines learning the knowledge and skills underlying successful small-scale organic market farms alongside seasonal plant propagation and winter horticultural activities. Learning about regenerative thinking and the philosophy of organic farming will provide foundation for our hands-on work. Studies of soil properties, soil regeneration concepts, and soil test report interpretation will be paired with on-farm soil quality monitoring as the campus farm transitions to more perennial-based soil building practices. Practices and regulations of certified organic farming will be introduced alongside the campus organic farm’s organic systems plan.

Students will also learn about the scientific principles and practices of plant propagation along with learning about and doing winter season horticultural activities with a focus on pruning and taking care of farm area plantings. Practicum work will include propagating plants for the campus farm’s upcoming growing season and market stand. Other topics and activities will include greenhouse environments and management, garden planning, plant variety selection, soil test report interpretation, and tool sharpening and repair. Plant propagation topics and practices will include seed germination, growing media, greenhouse seed starting, sanitation, disease prevention, and asexual propagation by division, cuttings, and grafting. Students that have taken the winter organic agriculture program previously should not enroll in this program.

8-credit option: Students can enroll in an 8-credit option that will only include plant propagation and winter season horticultural activities.

Hands-on Learning in cold, wet, windy weather: All meetings will be in-person located at the campus Organic Farm area. Some classes will take place inside a classroom, but many activities will take place outside or in unheated greenhouses. Be prepared for completing hands-on activities in all types of winter weather. It is highly advisable to bring rubber boots, warm socks, rain gear, warm hat, and layers of clothing to adjust to changing conditions.


Winter Anticipated Credit Equivalencies
4 - Organic agriculture

4 - Organic Farming Practicum

4 - Plant Propagation with Lab

4 - Winter Season Horticulture: Theory and Practice


Course Reference Numbers
So - Sr (16): 20248
So - Sr (8): 20251

Academic Details

Farm and garden management; working with nonprofit organizations focusing on food, land use and agriculture; state and county extension; and state and federal regulatory agencies.


$50 required fee for farm lab use.

For students interested in having more opportunities to practice pruning, and imagine utilizing pruners in the coming decades, it is highly recommended that you opt into a tool purchase ($70). Students will decide this during the first week of class with purchased tools expected to arrive week 2.


In Person (W)

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

Schedule Details
LAB 1 1040 - Class Lab