2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Practice of Sustainable Agriculture: Spring


Spring 2012 quarter

David Muehleisen sustainable agriculture, entomology , Stephen Bramwell
Fields of Study
agriculture, biology, botany, ecology, environmental studies, field studies, sustainability studies and zoology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
farm and garden management; working with non-profit organizations focusing on food, land use and agriculture; State and County Extension; and State and Federal regulatory agencies.
high school biology and chemistry, ability to adhere to a structured work schedule, ability to follow detailed directions in a work environment, and ability/willingness to resolve conflicts in a group setting.

What does it take to start up and run a small-scale agricultural business? Do you know how to grow organic food? Are you interested in contributing to the success of the campus Organic Farm? Join us on the farm for hard work and a wide-ranging examination of these and other questions.

In this three-quarter program which begins spring quarter, we will integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of organic small-scale direct market farming in the Pacific Northwest by working on the Evergreen Organic Farm through an entire growing season (spring, summer and fall quarters). All students will work on the farm a minimum of 20 hours per week. The 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.

Our exploration of critical agricultural topics will occur through a curriculum that is intricately tied to what is happening in the fields as the growing season progresses. The major focus of the program will be developing the knowledge and skills needed to start up and operate a small-scale agricultural operation based on a sound understanding of the underlying science and business principles. At the same time, hands-on farm work will provide the context for developing applied biology, chemistry and math skills.

Each quarter, we will cover a variety of seasonally appropriate topics needed to operate a sustainable farm business. In the spring, we will focus on soil science and nutrient management, annual and perennial plant propagation, greenhouse management, crop botany, composting, vermiculture, and market planning. In the summer our focus will be on entomology and pest management, plant pathology weed biology and management, water management and irrigation system design, animal husbandry, maximizing market and value-added opportunities and regulatory issues. The fall quarter's focus will be on season extension techniques, production and business planning, the use and management of green and animal manures, cover crops, and crop storage techniques and physiology.

Additional topics will include record keeping for organic production systems, alternative crop production systems, apiculture, aquaponics, urban agriculture, small-scale grain-raising, mushroom cultivation, and techniques for adding value to farm and garden products. Students will learn how to use and maintain farm equipment, ranging from hand tools to tractors and implements. Students will have the opportunity to develop their personal agricultural interests through research projects. Topics will be explored through on-farm workshops, seminars, lectures, laboratory exercises, farm management groups, guest lectures, field experimentation and field trips to regional agricultural operations.

Books typically used in the program include Soul of the Soil by Gershuny, Crop Rotation on Organic Farms by Mohler and Johnson (eds.), The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook by Wiswall, Small-Scale Livestock Farming by Ekarius, Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies by Altieri, and The Winter Harvest Handbook by Coleman.

If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the instructor or the office of Access Services prior to the start of the quarter. Access Services, Library Bldg. Rm. 2153. Contact Program Coordinator Steve Schmidt, PH: 360.867.6348; TTY 360.867.6834; E-mail: schmidts@evergreen.edu. If you require accessible transportation for field trips, please contact the instructor 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 2011 to develop a financial aid plan that includes summer quarter 2012.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
Spring/Summer/Fall $200 per quarter for field trips to other NW farming regions, conference fees, and farm supplies.
May be offered again in
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 15th, 2012 Fee updated.
June 15th, 2011 This program description has been updated. It is now offered to Sophomores-Seniors.