Spring 2014 quarter
- David Muehleisen sustainable agriculture, entomology , Paul Przybylowicz ecology, biology, mycology
- Fields of Study
- agriculture, botany, business and management, ecology and environmental studies
- Preparatory for studies or careers in
- 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.
Do you want to 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 explore the details of sustainable food production systems using three pillars of sustainability—economic, environmental and social justice—as our lens. While our primary focus will be on small-scale organic production, we will examine a variety of production systems. Our focus will be on the scientific knowledge, critical thinking and observation skills needed to grow food using ecologically informed methods, along with the management and business skills appropriate for small-scale production.
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 to gain practical experiential learning. This 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, crop physiology, storage techniques and cover crops.
Additional topics covered throughout the program will include record keeping for organic production systems, alternative crop production systems, techniques for adding value to farm and garden products, hand tool use and maintenance, and farm equipment safety. We will also cover communication and conflict resolution skills needed to work effectively in small groups.
Topics will be explored through on-farm workshops, seminar discussions, lectures and laboratory exercises, and field trips. Expect weekly reading and writing assignments, extensive collaborative group work, and a variety of hands-on projects. The final project in the fall will be a detailed farm and business plan which integrates all the topics covered in the program.
Books that may 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 3rd 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 (Library Bldg. Rm. 2153 Program Coordinator Steve Schmidt), PH: 360.867.6348; TTY 360.867.6834; E-mail: prior to the start of the quarter. If you require accessible transportation for field trips, please contact the faculty 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 2013 to develop a financial aid plan that includes summer quarter 2014.
- Campus Location
- Online Learning
- Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
- Greener Store
- Required Fees
- $225 per quarter for overnight field trips and supplies.
- Offered During