SRJC Course Outlines

5/25/2024 2:02:46 PMSUSAG 110 Course Outline as of Fall 2004

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  SUSAG 110Title:  ORG GRDING & FOOD PROD  
Full Title:  Organic Gardening and Food Production
Last Reviewed:4/19/2004

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum4.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum4.00Lab Scheduled2.0017 min.Lab Scheduled35.00
 Contact DHR1.00 Contact DHR17.50
 Contact Total6.00 Contact Total105.00
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 210.00 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  AG 121

Catalog Description:
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Introduction to sustainable food systems with emphasis on certified organic production methods. Application of hands-on techniques for locally appropriate production, focusing on vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. Includes field trips and guest speakers. Class meets at Shone Farm, SRJC's 365-acre diversified farm in Forestville, where students will maintain their own garden plots.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Introduction to sustainable food systems with emphasis on certified organic production methods. Hands-on techniques, focusing on vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. Meets at SJRC's Shone Farm in Forestville.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1.  Discuss the benefits of sustainable food production.
2.  Describe the primary strategies for achieving a sustainable operation.
3.  Summarize the series of step involved in the organic certification
   process, according to national guidelines.
4.  Describe methods for building soil fertility.
5.  Test and analyze characteristics of representative soil samples.
6.  Compare and contrast the major types of composting and their methods
   of production.
7.  Assess the needs for and timing of compost applications in various
8.  Develop a companion planting plan for a crop or garden.
9.  Define and discuss the role of crop rotations.
10. Design effective crop rotations for vegetables, fruits and herbs.
11. List and discuss major vegetables, fruits, flower, and herbs
   produced organically.
12. Determine pest pressure and apply appropriate integrated pest
   management (IPM) treatments.
13. Outline simple steps every gardener can take to increase beneficial
   insect populations.
14. Summarize direct and indirect marketing approaches to organic crop
15. Analyze and discuss the economic and career outlook for organic food

Topics and Scope
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I.  Introduction to Organic Gardening and Sustainable Food Production
 A. Overview
   1. Purpose and philosophy
   2. Principles
   3. Sustainable practices
 B. Comparative food systems
    1. Sustainable food systems
    2. Traditional systems
    3. Industrial systems
    4. Organic systems
 C. Benefits of sustainable food systems
   1. Locally appropriate production
   2. Enhanced bio-Diversity
   3. Improved soil fertility
   4. Environmental health
   5. Social equity
   6. Economic viability
 D. Organic certification basics
   1. The National Organic Program (NOP)
   2. Accredited certifying agencies
II. Sustainable Soil Fertility
 A. Physical characteristics of soil
   1. Texture
   2. Structure
   3. Organic matter
   4. pH
 B. Soil fertility
   1. Plant Nutrition
     a. Macro-Nutrients
     b. Micro-Nutrients
     c. Availability of nutrients
   2. The Role of Microorganisms
 C. Building soil fertility
   1. Composting
     a. Define compost
     b. Purpose of composting
     c. Key ingredients in composting
     d. Evaluation of raw materials
     e. Factors influencing decomposition
     f. Composting systems
       1. hot
       2. cold
       3. warm composting
       4. worm composting
     g. Composting resources
  2. Compost application
     a. methods
     b. rates
     c. sources
 D. Amending the soil
   1. When
   2. How
 E. Cover crops
   1. Seed in cover crops
   2. Cover crops for annual systems
 F. Green manures
 G. Foliar sprays
III. Garden Bed Preparation
 A. Cultivation
 B. Tillage
 C. Bed preparation
 D Irrigation
   1. Soil and water relationships
   2. Comparison of various irrigation systems
IV. Garden Designs
 A. Planning and designing a garden
   1. Crop selection
   2. Site selection
   3. Site Maps
   4. Soil Surveys
   5. Water
   6. Light, Sun and Warmth
   7. General Climate / microclimates
   8. Growing Season
   9. Frost Dates
 B. Companion plants
   1. Benefits
   2. Examples of effective companion planting
 C. Size and layout
   1. Raised beds
   2. Tunnels and trellises
 D. Planning and Production
   1. Crop Data Sheets
     a. purpose
     b. contents
       1). history
       2). use
       3). cultural methods
       4). special growing conditions
   2. Estimated Harvests
   3. Seed Sources
   4. Timing and Scheduling
   5. Labor
   6. Equipment
 E. Planting Techniques
   1. Greenhouse, cold frames and other season extenders
   2. Soil temperature germination
   3. Nutrient availability for germination
   4. Field conditions
   5. Bed making
   6. Broadcasting
   7. Drilling
   8. Direct sow
   9. Transplanting
 F. Starting Plants
   1. Seeds
   2. Transplants
 G. Maintenance
   1. Mulching
   2. Thinning
   3. Weeding
 H. Crop Rotation
V. Integrated Pest Management
 A. Overview
   1. Biological control versus chemical control
   2. Preventative versus acute remediation
   3. Broad spectrum versus targeted
   4. Least toxic solutions
   5. Beneficial insects
   5. Biologicals
   7. Microbiologicals
 B. Common Pests and Weeds
     1. Insects
     2. Mites
     3. Mollusks
 C. Common Weeds of Sonoma County
 D. Natural Methods of Common Pest and Weed Prevention
 E. Comparative Methods of Pest Control
VI. Crops
 A. Fruit
 B. Medicinal and culinary herbs
 C. Edible and cut flowers
VII. Harvesting the Crop
 A. When to harvest
 B. How to harvest
 C. Sequence of harvest
 D. Post harvest crop storage
VIII. Marketing
 A. Contract marketing (community support agriculture)
 B. Farm Trails
 C. Advertising
 D. Industry partnerships
 E. Other
IX. Economics and Careers
 A. Current economic outlook for organic production
   1. USDA Outlook
   2. California Developments
   3. Sonoma County
 B. Career outlook
 C. Marketing and Sales

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Assignments may include:
1. Specific reading and study assignments from texts and handouts (20 to
  30 pages a week).
2. Work in student garden plot.
3. Binder of lecture notes and handouts.
4. Field Notebook/journal logging field/lab activities, including work in
  student garden plot, general garden observations, and field trip notes.
5. Seasonal garden design plan.
6. Mid-term oral presentation of garden design.
7. Final exam.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 30%
Field notes/journal.
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
10 - 20%
Garden design.
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
15 - 30%
Field work, Performance exams
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
10 - 20%
Multiple choice, True/false, Completion
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 30%
Attendance and participation.

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 3382, 2002.
GARDENER'S TABLE. Merrill, Richard and Ortiz, Joe. Ten Speed Press, 2000.
Vernon P. NRAES, 1999.
GOLDEN GATE GARDENING. Peirce, Pam. Sasquatch Books, 1998.

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