CULTIVATING INDIGENOUS MICROORGANISMS (JANUARY) How to Cultivate Indigenous Microorganisms: Past trends in conventional western agriculture, including monoculture without crop rotation, overuse of inorganic fertilizers, and wide-scale applications of broad-spectrum organophosphate pesticides have hindered the role of naturally occurring microorganisms in promoting biological nitrogen fixation and decomposition of organic matter, microbiologically enhanced plant nutrient uptake, and other natural soil processes that depend on active soil microbe populations.                                 PLANT FUEL (FEBRUARY - MARCH) Study the plants and learn alternative low cost fertilizer methods. Learn how to use FAA (Fish Amino Acids) hands-on. Commercially available fertilizers are a cost-effective means of supplementing soil with nitrogen 👎 for plant growth and high crop yields; however, improper or excessive use of N fertilizer can lead to nitrate pollution of ground or surface water (Foley et al. 2012). Producers can minimize this predicament by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for fertilizer use that reduce nutrient losses and avert runoff and leaching from agricultural lands. Natural Farming incorporates the use of indigenous microorganisms (IMO) (Park and DuPonte 2008) and fish amino acid (FAA) to increase N availability in soils and improve crop yields while sustaining water quality.                                      PLANT MEDICINE (MARCH - APRIL) This course will cover various different methods of creating low cost micronutrient supplements for plant animal and fungi health. This course will also include a hands-on approach to creating tinctures, balms and salves as alternative health options.                         GROWING SOILS (APRIL - MAY) In order to grow healthy plants, it's very important to grow healthy soil. This course will cover everything from basic soil science, soil remediation and the current East Coast soil to soil fertility, proper irrigation and cultivation, and compost (biology and system construction). CARPENTRY AND BUILDING INTRO (MAY) Learn carpentry basics: reading and drawing building designs relevant to urban agriculture (raised beds, compost bins, chicken coops, cold frames, greenhouses and hoop houses, rainwater harvest systems). Outdoor building classes will cover tool safety and maintenance as well as provide hands-on building experience. LEARNING THE LAND (JUNE) This course will provide an overview of the forces which shape our ecosystem, both natural and man-made. We will discuss geology, hydrology, vegetation patterns, wildlife, Indigenous American History, and disturbance. Students will leave the course with an understanding of how to apply these concepts in an agricultural setting.                                                            IRRIGATION (JULY) We'll cover the role of irrigation in farm systems, types of irrigation, how to set up these systems and where to source equipment.                                                                         CROP MANAGEMENT (AUGUST) This course will explore the best crops for different grow zones, climate, weed management, succession planning and planting, inter-planting, harvesting and post-harvest handling techniques, review of common crop plant families and their specific needs including vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit, and summer pruning. PREPARING FOR WINTER (SEPTEMBER) Learn about seed saving, garlic planting and varieties, garden clean-up and tool storage, cover-cropping basics (varieties, sowing methods and planting calendar) as well as food preservation techniques to make sure you're all set before cold settles in.                    SMALL FARM PLANNING AND DESIGN                              (OCTOBER - NOVEMBER) This course examines the essential elements of designing small to mid scale scale growing spaces. Learn practical record keeping for urban farms and gardens, business planning 101, beginner marketing concepts and spatial design. Utilize the theory and practice of asset-based community mapping to turn your dream into a reality.                            NATURAL FARMING : PLANT FOOD (DECEMBER) This dynamic course explores plant food, what to feed plants at the different stages of growth and what nutrients are needed at different stages of growth and development with an introduction to microorganisms.