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Course Information

Instructor Info:Brian Schultz
Office Extension x5486
TA Info:Lisabeth Kelly
Amy Hambidge
Hannah Haskell
Office Extension x4331
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Cole Science Center 333
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Cole Science Center 333
Description: This course is a broad introduction to the practices of sustainable agriculture and organic farming. It includes experience in the field, combined with study of the underlying science and technology of several key agricultural topics and methods, as well as some more economic/political aspects. We will focus on sustainable and/or organic methods that minimize the use of nonrenewable resources and the associated pros and cons. Coursework will include activities and assignments at the Hampshire College farm and nearby farms/groups, as well as short papers, problems, and options for independent work in particular areas. In-class topics also include readings, discussions, and assignments aimed at understanding sustainable practices in general. For example, we will study problems with pest control and how to manage pests sustainably/organically, given their life cycles and ecology, basic aspects of soil and fertility management, how animals fit into sustainable schemes of production, winter greenhouses, maple sugaring, crop and farm diversification, the concerns about buying local vs. imported and/or organic food, labor and energy issues, and more.