Catamount Farm Summer Experience

Learn to Farm and Earn College Credit at the University of Vermont


Dig deep with your education this summer and immerse yourself in the vibrant learning environment of Catamount Education Farm at the University of Vermont. Use your hands and head in these farm-based courses that are simultaneously experiential, innovative and rigorous. Start with the Sustainable Farm Practicum and add up to three more classes for a summer of learning that could earn you a semester’s worth of credit.

PSS 209 – Sustainable Farm Practicum 

Instructors: Susie Walsh Daloz and Terry Bradshaw
Credits: 4
Dates: May 23 – August 12 (Online portion is May 23 – June 2 and August 8 – 10. On farm practicum is June 6 – August 3)
Time: M,W,9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: The Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center

Course Description: In this hands-on, experiential course, students will learn principles and practices of sustainable, diversified vegetable production at the Catamount Educational Farm (part of the UVM Horticultural Research Center).  Topics to be covered over this twelve-week course include: vegetable crop families, soil management, composting, organic weed, pest and disease control, propagation and planting, crop planning, irrigation and marketing techniques.

The class format will consist of a combination of lectures, hands-on fieldwork, and visits to local vegetable farms. Concepts and skills taught will immediately be applied through participation in Catamount Educational Farm’s five acre vegetable operation that supplies produce to the community through a CSA, a farm stand and multiple wholesale accounts. Students will also have the opportunity to work with participants in the UVM Farmer Training Program. The Sustainable Farm Practicum is open to UVM undergraduates as well as to students from other colleges and universities who are interested in an on-farm for-credit training experience.  This course also fulfills credits for the UVM Food Systems minor.

“Awesome summer course, hands on experience is unparalleled especially in agriculture, learned a lot of valuable information.” – 2014 Sustainable Farm Practicum student

PSS 154 – Compost Ecology and Management

Instructor: Thomas Herlihy
Credits: 3
Dates: T,Th, July 5 – August 12
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: The Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center

Course Description: This course explores ecological, physical and chemical principles behind composting, the practical management of the composting process, and benefits of using compost in plant and soil ecosystems. Prerequisite: Three credits in basic biological or ecological science or Instructor permission.

PSS 161 – Fundamentals of Soil Science

Instructor: Josef Gorres
Credits: 4
Dates: T,Th, July 5 – August 12
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Jeffords 118 and The Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center

Course Description: Biological, chemical, and physical properties of the dynamic soil system as related to plant growth and environmental problems. The class will explore soil horizons, current issues in soil science, soil fertility questions, solutions to some of the world’s most urgent problems, invasive earthworms, urban soils, cracks in clay soils and other fascinating topics. We will also develop a nutrient management plan for the University’s Horticultural Research Center. For teachers who want to take the class, we will map the class content on the most recent science standards. Prerequisite: Inorganic chemistry or permission.

PSS 212 – Advanced Agroecology

Instructor: Ernesto Mendez
Credits: 4
Dates: T,W,Th, May 23 – July 1
Time: 9:00 am -12:15 pm
Location: On campus and the Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center

Course Description: This course presents an in-depth overview of research and applications in the field of agroecology, including current ecological and social dynamics in agricultural landscapes in Vermont and abroad. Pre/co-requisites: PSS 021 and one semester ecology at the 100-level or above or Instructor permission. Cross-listed with: ENVS 212