2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Practice of Sustainable Agriculture: Spring, Summer

REVISED

Spring 2014 quarter

Faculty
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.
Prerequisites
High school biology and chemistry.
Description

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 primary measures of sustainability—economic, environmental and social justice. 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 include entomology, plant pathology and 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. We will explore topics through on-farm workshops, seminar discussions, lectures and laboratory exercises, and field trips. Expect weekly reading and writing assignments, extensive collaborative 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.

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 , PH: 360.867.6348; TTY 360.867.6834) 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.

Schedule and Location
Spring
Location
Olympia
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Books
Greener Store
Required Fees
$250 in spring, $225 in summer, and $400 in fall for overnight field trips and supplies.
Offered During
Day

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 21st, 2014 Fee has increased from $225 to $250.
September 13th, 2013 This program will be offered to all class levels (Freshmen through Seniors).