Tropical Cropping Systems

4 credits, Organic Farmhouse, T/TH 1-3pm

Potluck Tuesday 12-1pm

We will examine agroecosystems of the tropics, especially traditional systems, such as slash and burn, slash mulch, multiple cropping, forest and home gardens, including both agricultural and political economy aspects. Subsistence and large scale production of major tropical crops including the basic botany, production, political economy and environmental sustainability of the following crops will be studied: banana, oil palm, rubber, coffee, cacao, tea, cover crops, agroforestry crops, tropical roots and tubers, tropical grain crops (corn, sorghum, millet), legumes, sugarcane and major fruit crops. B asic Spanish agricultural vocabulary will be covered. Case studies will be used. The students design a tropical farm system using their knowledge, as well as attempt to solve problems that agricultural workers in various parts of the world have posted on listserves. Books include (all ordered by bookstore): Breakfast of Biodiversity (2005), Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba (2002); Food Plants of the World and a reader will be used. Videos: In Good Hands, Que el Frijol Nos Hay Enseñado, Banana Split, The Greening of Cuba and Love, Women and Flowers. Field trip to the Skagit Valley of WA for 4 days to visit farms with other students in the Eco Ag program.

Contact Faculty | Martha Rosemeyer | Steve Schuerell | Contact Site Manager | EcoAg 2006