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, culinary arts, personal body care, crafting, and construction. AgriCulture students should be prepared to work together in teams and enjoy getting their hands and shoes dirty. Students will:
- Work toward earning an Industry Certificate in the foundations of agriculture.
- 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 second week of class, all AgriCulture students must bring:
- A lined composition book (NO SPIRALS!).
This “LogBook” will be used to record daily TaskLists, design projects, and take notes. LogBooks remain in the classroom for open note LogBook and pop quizzes that count as assessment grades each nine weeks. They can be taken home at the end of the year.
- 2 (TWO) size H or (5mm) crochet hooks
- 1-2 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 at school AND one to keep at home for practice and project extensions.
- A pocket folderto keep in students' binders for take-home assignments, homework, permission forms, announcement, etc..
- A pencil,every day:)
Suggested materials: most students prefer to use gardening gloves. Some students appreciate keeping a hat, slip-on garden crocs, and an apron in the classroom … all labelled with their name in permanent ink.