In this very hands-on course you will be taught sustainable strategies for planning and designing an intensive food production system, based on your needs, goals, and resources, and suited to your own individual urban space. Starting with the basic principles of sustainable farming, the course will touch on soil fertility, nutrient and water management, crop plant families and crop rotation, and maximizing the use of urban resources and infrastructure. The course will also explore community composting, including a walk-through of the composting process. We will explore "recipes" for effective composting and compare different approaches to composting, particularly bins versus windrows. The course will cover incorporating worms into your compost system for a value-added product (worm castings). In addition, this course will provide practical experience for anyone interested in constructing hoophouses as a means to extend the growing season, grow year-round, or get a head start with seedlings. It will cover specific construction techniques, such as bending metal hoops, as well as techniques related to the use of the hoophouse, such as cover materials, ventilation and irrigation. This course will also examine existing ordinances related to the raising of small farm animals, focusing on chickens, bees, fish and worms, within urban/suburban neighborhoods and the important differences between keeping small livestock and pets. In this course you will also learn what you need to know to select, harvest, process, prepare and present your produce for sale. Strategies for selling to restaurants, retailers and food co-ops, as well as direct-market strategies such as farmers markets, pick-your-own and community supported agriculture will be discussed.
Continuing Education Level
Continuing Ed - Open Classes