2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Practice of Sustainable Agriculture

Last Updated: 05/02/2008

Fall and Spring quarters

Faculty: David Muehleisen agriculture

Faculty Signature Required: Application and interview are required. To apply, contact Melissa Barker, Organic Farm Manager, (360) 867-6160 or barkerm@evergreen.edu or mail to The Evergreen State College, Organic Farm Manager, Lab I, Olympia, WA 98505. Applications received by the academic fair, March 5, 2008, will be given priority. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

Major areas of study include practical horticulture, soil science, pest management and organic farming practices.

Class Standing: Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: junior/senior standing

This program integrates the theoretical and practical aspects of small-scale, diversified organic farming in the Pacific Northwest during the spring, summer and fall quarters. Each week involves eight hours of classroom instruction and twenty hours of hands-on work at Evergreen's Organic Farm. Practice of Sustainable Agriculture is designed to complement the broader and ecological systems focus of the Ecological Agriculture program (offered 2007-08 and 2009-2010 and every other year).

Students will explore the academic and hands-on aspects of basic farm management, which includes seasonal crop production, nutrient management, animal husbandry, irrigation, plant breeding for seed production, weed and pest control, as well as direct and wholesale marketing and the influence of policy on farm management. State-of-the-art facilities introduce students to vermiculture, composting and biodiesel production. These topics provide a framework and foundation for more specific concepts to be explored each season.

In spring quarter, we will focus on soils and nutrient management, practical horticulture, greenhouse management, small animal husbandry, crop rotation and equipment maintenance. In summer quarter, we will focus on reproductive crop biology, fruit production, post-harvest processing, food preservation, pest management, energy use analysis, as well as outbuilding construction and basic farm maintenance skills. During fall quarter, we will focus on winter growing and season extension techniques, cover crops, compost biology, food harvest, post-harvest crop storage, development of farm production and business plans, the state and federal agriculture policy environment, and farmland acquisition for beginning farmers. Students will explore their personal agricultural interests in an on-going research project. Throughout the program students will visit a wide range of organic and unique conventional farms found in the many ecosystems represented in the Pacific Northwest.

After completing this program, students will have an understanding of a holistic approach to small-scale sustainable farm management in the Pacific Northwest.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 25

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: Approximately $100 per quarter for overnight field trips, including food, transportation and conference registration, as appropriate.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in farm and garden management, as well as work with county, state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations focusing on food and agriculture.

Planning Units: Environmental Studies

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 2nd, 2008 David Muehleisen has joined this program as faculty.