Class Title: Sustainable Agriculture Introduction
Class Book: “Sustainable Agriculture”, Second Edition, Ian J. Mason (Author)
Class Periods: 1 ½ hour class periods conducted weekly.
Class overview: The technological revolution in farming practices has allowed us to clear and cultivate more land, grow plants and animals faster, and kill a greater variety of pests and diseases than ever before. Unfortunately, these efficiencies are proving to be unsustainable in the long term and have created problems such as soil structural decline, erosion, salinity, soil acidification, loss of fertility, nutrient loading of waterways, dams and a buildup of chemical residues. This class is about foreseeing and understanding such problems and addressing them before it is too late. The course will examine all these problems and explain the concepts and long-term benefits of sustainable farming systems such as permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, agroforestry, conservation tillage, and integrated hydroculture. Sustainable Agriculture also looks at important issues such as monoculture versus polyculture, the use of hybrids, selection criteria for plants and stock, integrated pest management and preparing a farm for droughts and floods. Other areas examined include diversifying into farm tourism and value adding before selling produce.
Class Fees: $250 plus books.