Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors

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Over the past 48 years, instructors at the University of California, Santa Cruz have taught organic farming and gardening skills to more than 1,500 apprentices through the UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program. Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors, 3rd Edition draws on those four-plus decades of experience to offer teaching resources based on many of the skills and concepts taught during the six-month Apprenticeship training program.

Newly updated and expanded in 2015, this 700-page manual covers practical aspects of organic farming and gardening, applied soil science, and social and environmental issues in agriculture. Units contain lecture outlines, field and laboratory demonstrations, assessment questions, and annotated resource lists. Although much of the material has been developed for field or garden demonstrations and skill building, most of the units can also be tailored to a classroom setting.

The training manual is designed for a wide audience of those involved in teaching farming and gardening, including colleges and universities with programs in sustainable agriculture, student farms or gardens, and on-farm education programs; urban agriculture, community garden, and farm training programs; farms with internships or apprenticeships; agriculture extension stations; school gardening programs; organizations such as the Peace Corps, US AID, and other groups that provide international training in food growing and ecological growing methods; and master gardener programs.

Updated features include –

  • Revised and expanded lecture outlines
  • New demonstrations and exercises
  • New appendices and illustrations
  • Detailed narrative supplements to support lecture topics
  • Online Powerpoint and video links 

Generous support from the Gaia Fund, the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation, and the Eucalyptus Foundation funded the resource guide’s development.

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