Greenfield Community College

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Farm & Food Systems

(Liberal Arts Option)

Classes


For availability and official course descriptions, please see our online course guide.  

EVS 101: Issues in Sustainability – 3 credits
An introduction to basic concepts and principles in ecology including ecosystems, population, food production, energy, pollution, technology, and resource depletion. Focus is on people’s impact on the natural environment emphasizing current problems and alternative solutions to them. (Prerequisite: Placement beyond or satisfactory completion of COL 090 and ENG 090).

EVS 118: Introduction to Food Systems – 3 credits
An introduction to the current state of the global food system and its implications for people, the environment, and our future. Topics include the benefits and drawbacks of the industrial agricultural model; food justice, food security and public health; the real-life challenges to creating a local food system; and innovative responses to meet those challenges. Students undertake research projects that follow food study models and assess the capacity of a municipality to develop a local food system. (Prerequisite: ENG 090 and ENG 094 (COL 090) or satisfactory placement test scores).

SCI 137: Permaculture Design – 4 credits
An introduction to permaculture: a practice of designing systems, modeled from ecological relationships, that respects the land while serving its inhabitants. Topics include permaculture theory, innovative  techniques, systems-thinking, and site assessment and analysis (e.g. patterns of sun/shade, drainage, vegetation). Lab components include hands-on learning and technical skills through field work on campus, field trips, and design studio. Students apply these skills to a real design project and recommend appropriate permaculture applications such as perennial food production, soil regeneration, and integrated water management. (Prereq: ENG 090 and ENG 094 (COL 090), and MAT 090, or satisfactory placement test scores)

SCI 138: Soil Science – 4 credits
An introduction to the basic principles of soil science.  Students study the physical, chemical and  biological properties of soil as they relate to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, landscaping and environmental science.  Topics include soil morphology, formation, fertility, chemistry, testing and conservation; ecological relationships; agricultural applications; plant nutrition and fertilization; environmental and water resource  management (Prerequisite: MAT 090, COL 090 and ENG 090 or satisfactory placement test scores)

BIO 102: Botany – 4 credits
An introduction to the study of plants through exploring the structure and function of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Students study the processes of reproduction, respiration, photosynthesis, and inheritance. In the laboratory, students study the structure and function of live and preserved plant materials as they relate to lecture subjects.

BIO 124: Introductory Horticulture – 4 credits
Provides knowledge on how to propagate and care for plants through experiences with soils, seeds, bulbs, potting, watering, pruning, dividing, terrariums, and fertilizers. Students learn how to design and manage a vegetable garden for maximum harvest. The laboratory sessions provide experiences with plants, such as mixing soil, planting seeds, taking cuttings, potting up plants, fertilizing plants, plant growth, constructing terrariums, and a trip to a local plant growing business. (Prereq: ENG 090 and ENG 094 (COL 090), or satisfactory placement test scores)

AGR 110: Beekeeping – 1 credit
Provides strategies and techniques for the beginner beekeeper. Topics include: hive  construction, life cycle of the honey bee, hive management through the seasons, threats to the health and wellness of bees, diverse approaches and the joys of beekeeping. Note: Students work with bees. (No prerequisites)

AGR 111: Four Season Farming – 1 credit
Explores strategies for extending growing seasons into the fall and winter. Topics include: hoophouses, coldframes, raised beds, mulch, managing seasonal crops, frost proofing, cold hardy crops, early spring greenhouse management, winter snow removal, and seed germination under unheated conditions. (No prerequisites)

AGR 113: Mushroom Foraging & Cultivation – 1 credit
Applies permaculture principles in the foraging and cultivation of wild fungi. Field activities include collection, identification, and cultivation of fungi for culinary purposes. Students learn to identify, cook, and preserve safe-to-eat mushrooms using field guides. Students acquire cultivation skills for shiitake, reishi, and/or oyster mushrooms and understand how to integrate mushroom logs into homescale gardens.

AGR 114: Creating a Cooperative Food Economy – 1 credit
Explores cooperative member-owned business models (co-ops) and their various forms of democratic ownership with a focus on the local food economy. Students form groups and receive mentorship in creating their own co-op enterprise with the goals of strengthening food security, sustainability, and/or food access. Interactive workshops and hands-on field trips to co-ops inform students’ understanding of the local food economy in the Pioneer Valley.

EVS 152: Organic Gardening – 1 credit
Provides instruction in a natural gardening program and practical “hands-on” introduction to the basic philosophy, content, and methods of organic gardening and permaculture design. Using a model garden site, participants plan and design a garden, prepare the soil, plant the seeds, and prepare for harvesting and storage. Topics include compost, soil improvement, seed selection, crop rotation, and pest management. (No prerequisites)

AGR 112: Food Preservation and Storage – 1 credit
Provides strategies and techniques for preserving and storing food.  Topics include: kitchen safety, rules for food safety, canning basics, dehydration, cold storage and freezing, food selection, choosing and maintaining equipment, and awareness of local food resources. (No prerequisites)

AGR 115: Permaculture Landscape Installation and Management – 1 credit
Offers students hands-on permaculture skills for productive landscapes. Students gain applied skills through direct observation of and interaction with permaculture systems, including an edible forest garden, stormwater irrigation system, greenhouse, constructed pond, earth-bermed root cellar, and living roof. This course combines on-site lectures describing landscape management procedures and hands-on installation activities such as mulching, planting, pruning and light-construction.

We are proud to offer some of our credit classes on a non-credit basis through our Office of Community Education. These are educational experiences in applied skills that are necessary to increase individual self-sufficiency and contribute to the re-skilling and resilience of our communities, local economies, and social fabric.

Classes are listed below when available.

  • Wild Foods
    773694_white_mushroom_WildFoodA basic introduction to observing, identifying, harvesting and preserving native plants, herbs and weeds for edible and nutritional purposes. Topics also include how common weeds, including invasive species, can be turned in to value-added products-improving the productivity of farms, gardens...
  • Food Preservation and Storage
    CanningProvides strategies and techniques for preserving and storing food. Topics include: kitchen safety, rules for food safety, canning basics, dehydration, cold storage and freezing, food selection, choosing and maintaining equipment, and awareness of local food resources. Special Requirement: Must possess...
  • Organic Gardening
    Organic Gardening (150x97)Provides instruction in a natural gardening program and practical “hands-on” introduction to the basic philosophy, content, and methods of organic gardening and permaculture design. Using a model garden site, participants plan and design a garden, prepare the soil, plant the...
  • Beekeeping
    Beekeeping (150x118)Provides strategies and techniques for the beginner beekeeper. Topics include: hive construction, life cycle of the honey bee, hive management through the seasons, threats to the health and wellness of bees, diverse approaches and the joys of beekeeping. This is...
  • Four Season Farming
    Four Season ShopcartExplores strategies for extending growing seasons into the fall and winter. Includes such topics as: hoophouses, coldframes, raised beds, mulch, managing seasonal crops, frost proofing, cold hardy crops, early spring greenhouse management, winter snow removal, and seed germination under unheated...

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