ENVS 253 - Sustainable Agriculture

Course Outline
Contacts & Directions

Course Information - Fall 2008

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the principles of sustainable agriculture through hands-on experience on local farms and through readings of current literature. The course thus combines fieldwork and seminar-style discussion. Work on the farm will be varied, determined by the seasons and farm projects under way. In addition, students will be taken to the local Producers Livestock Auction and other off-farm sites as the time and season allow. Students can expect to handle and feed animals, clean barns, harvest and plant crops, prepare farm products for market, build and repair fences, bale hay, and work with, repair, or clean equipment and buildings. Readings will be drawn from relevant books, current environmental literature, and the news media. Discussions will be student-led and combine readings and their experiences in the field. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, students must have available in their academic schedule five continuous hours one day per week to spend working at a local organic farm (travel time will be in addition to these five hours). In addition, students will participate in a weekly seminar discussion of assigned readings, lasting from an hour and a half to two hours. Participation is limited to 14 students, and permission of the instructor is required. Preference will be given to upperclass students.


Class Project

Possible Project topics :

The following is a list of possible topics for this class. No detail here, just the topics. The numbers imply no ranking.

We need to choose a topic that is a) doable in the time we have this fall and b) is important enough to us to spend our time on. Some ideas include:

  1. Art/Installation project - collaborative work to present at the Horn Gallery?
  2. Evaluate Local Foods in the new Pierce - what is the result at Kenyon? How is the new Pierce working??
  3. Plan/plant an apple orchard
  4. Biodiesel - what are the possibilities?
  5. Others?


Fall 2008 Weekly Assignments and Announcements


Required Clothes and Books: