Objective: this yearlong elective course introduces students to a variety of subjects that we collectively call “AgriCulture”. AgriCulture will cover many topics in agriscience including careers in agriculture (farming, animal sciences, food sciences, and natural resources) and the fundamentals of nutrition, health, marketing, research, and consumer education. Our students will participate in vegetable gardening, poultry farming, orchard management, fabric and culinary arts, personal body care, health, and nutrition, and construction projects. Students will:
- Work toward earning an Industry Certificate in Agriculture Systems.
- Learn how to take better care of themselves and the planet through sustainable gardening, animal husbandry, culinary arts, construction basics, personal care products, and handmade crafts such as canning and sewing.
- Research what plants and animals need in order to grow and become healthful foods.
- Plan, design, build, and maintain the class gardens, pathways, and enclosures.
- Process, store, and prepare recipes using garden and orchard harvests.
- Market their own produce and other products to teachers and families and keep a ledger of costs and proceeds in order to raise money for additional materials.
- Utilize local knowledge and the web to learn about ethnobotany, best management practices, and food and product safety in everyday products like sodas, fertilizers, and sunscreens.
- Get outside in all kinds of weather to dig, draw, measure, haul stuff around the schoolyard, and build, plant, weed, harvest, and maintain the gardens.
- Learn to identify native, invasive, and edible wild plants, and ID garden pests vs. protectors.
- Create safe and inviting spaces for welcome wild things.
- Enjoy the fun and empowerment of being both a seeker and a maker!
Students SHOULD take this class if they:
- Like to collaborate in teams to contribute to a positive, cooperative learning environment.
- Enjoy getting dirty in the garden and working physically hard.
- Can be counted on to work safely and independently while waiting their “turn at the wheel”.
Students should NOT take this class if they:
- Can’t stand getting their shoes, hands, or clothes dirty, or dislike sitting on the bare ground.
- Hate being around insects, sweat, pollen, and covering a lot of territory on foot.
- Do not like to clean, organize, carry, and keep careful inventory.
Special Safety Concerns: BEES, WASPS, ANTS, POLLEN, MOLD, EGGS, NUTS, GLUTEN, LATEX… please be SURE to email me directly with health concerns about allergies, so we can consider carefully the safety of your child in a classroom environment with many of these triggers unavoidably present.
Required Materials: by the end of the 2nd week of class, all AG students must provide:
- A lined composition book (NO SPIRALS!).
- This “LogBook” will be used to record daily TaskLists, design projects, take notes, and record garden observations.
- LogBooks remain in students' backpacks for open note LogBook and pop quizzes that count as assessment grades.
- A small sewing kit with scissors, sewing needles (easy threading, cotton darners, all purpose, sizes 8-9), straight pins, and one light and one dark spool of thread. Optional items: thimble, threader, tape measure... All items must be kept in a small, labelled, plastic pencil box.
- 2 size H (5mm) crochet hooks (one for school and one for home), and 2 skeins of 100% cotton, worsted (kitchen) weight yarn. We will be learning to crochet, a vertical integration of fiber product agriculture, and students will need a crochet hook and yarn at school AND at home for practice and project extensions.
- A pencil, everyday😊
Suggested Materials: additional materials students might appreciate keeping in the classroom in their assigned cubbies include the following. All items must be labelled with the student's name in permanent ink and kept in a 1 GALLON FREEZER BAG (except the shoes). There is a space in our classroom to store these items:
- gardening gloves (this should really be REQUIRED this year since we cannot share gloves anymore!)
- sun-hat and sun-shirt
- sun-screen and bug-repellent
- garden Crocs or rubber slip-on shoes that will dry quickly (we don’t have room for boots!)
- water bottlle
Requested Materials: the following is a Wish List of items sought for this year’s Simple Living classroom and gardening activities. They need NOT be new items: donations of used items (in good working condition) are encouraged, as well as shopping for the items at thrift stores and garage sales. Each student in our class is expected to bring at least ONE of the following items...
2020 Wish List Items:
(4-6) large wooden cutting boards (12" x 18" or larger)
(10) black granite "look" cutting boards 12' x 18' Walmart
large, strong-handled wicker baskets for gathering produce
5 gallon buckets
1-2 new wheel barrows
metal garden rakes (not leaf rakes!)
round point shovels
loppers, snippers, and pruning saws
size H crochet hooks
12 new sponges for our sinks
pint canning jars (1/2 pints and some quarts welcome too)
BLACK (preferred) or green, or blue milk crates (our new garden seating plan)
BLACK (or dark blue, dark brown, dark green...) wash cloths and hand towels
Fall vegetable seedlings (once we have our garden bed re-established): Fall Vegetable Seedling Drive
Fall annuals and perrinials (butterfly and nectar flowers): Fall Nectar Garden Drive
Volunteer Requests (please email Ms. Fain if this is your specialty and you have time!):
Creative Genius to convert my BAM lessons to DA?
Facebook Garden Club Manager
WishList Sign-Up Genius Manager
New Garden Construction Consultant (we will be makinging cinder block walls capped with PT lumber)
Media Specialist (to help us learn how to create videos/photos and also spaces to share our activites)