Course DescriptionTheory and Principles of Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Horticulture focuses on the growth of healthy environments in an urban context. Explore the many ways to achieve a sustainable agricultural system whether a small backyard, rooftop garden or a small farm that can help build a local food secure community. There has been a fundamental change in how we think about food today; the consumer is ever more interested in how our food is produced, by who and where. It is important to recognize that the way that we grow food is interconnected to our water sources, the air we all breathe, and what we eat. Food sovereignty, global food systems and food safety, soil health, seed saving, growing practices, market opportunities and business development strategies are all explored in this course.
Upon successful completion of this course students will:
- Expand their present understanding of sustainability and biological systems in urban agriculture and horticulture, locally and globally;
- Understand the relationships of soil, water, insects and weeds in horticulture and agriculture systems;
- Select best management practices and inputs to improve soil health and produce economically and ecologically viable products.
- Review common insect and disease pests, and integrated pest management to select sustainable pest management strategies.
- Compare marketing strategies, opportunities and requirements including Community Supported Agriculture, farm-gate marketing, and certification;
- Determine the best marketing option for their independent study project.
- Sustainability and the Global Food Crisis
- Application of Sustainability-Based Systems
- Geography and Bioregionalism
- Trends – Markets – Economics
- Production Values of Soil & Crops
- Soil Health & Management
- Beneficial Insects and Weeds
The assessment for this course is entirely an independent study project. The project is submitted in stages, allowing an opportunity for feedback and revisions. Students will research and design a sustainable urban agricultural or horticultural project of their choice (real or hypothetical). Through reading the course content, exploring and anaylzing case studies, students will produce a thoroughly researched report outlining all the aspects of their plan.
Assignment #1, Case Studies Comparison - 25%
Assignment #2, Project Mission and Goals - 10%
Assignment #3, Site Selection and Inventory- 20%
Assignment #4, Project Planning - 20%
Assignment #5, Site Planning and Cultural Practices - 25%
Total Independent Study Project = 100%