Catamount Farm Summer Experience

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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.

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Catamount Farm Summer Experience

PSS 209 Sustainable Farm Practicum

Instructors: Susie Walsh Daloz and Terry Bradshaw
Dates: May 19-August 8, 2014 (On-line coursework is from May 19-27 and August 2-8; On-farm practicum is MWF from May 28-August 1.)
Time: 9:30am-3pm (MW) & 9:30am-noon (F)
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.

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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.

PSS 154 Compost Ecology & Management

Instructor: Lynn Fang
Dates: TR, July 14 – August 8, 2014
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm
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 195 Soil Fertility & Climate Change

Instructor: Josef Gorres
Dates: TR, June 16-July 11, 2014
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm
Location: The Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center
Course Description: Agricultural and silvicultural soils will likely experience climate related disturbances more frequently. Both drought and flooding can have important effects on soil fertility and quality. This class will review concepts of soil fertility and management and place them in the context of challenges to agriculture and forestry brought about by climate change as well as other current forms of soil quality degradation. Conventional and alternative, ecological soil management techniques will be explored that may mitigate these problems.

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PSS 195 Sustainable Orchard and Vineyard Management

Instructor: Terry Bradshaw
Dates: TR, June 16 – July 11, 2014
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm
Location: The Catamount Educational Farm at the UVM Horticultural Research Center
Course Description: Students will learn principles and practices of commercial orchard and vineyard crop production, including: site selection and preparation; cold hardiness development; varietal selection; tree and vine training and trellising systems; nutrient, water and pest management; harvest and postharvest considerations. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental and economic sustainability of fruit production systems.

CDAE 195 Sustainable Food Systems Marketing

Instructor: Kate Finley Woodruff
Dates: TR, May 19 – June 13, 2014
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm
Location: TBD
Course Description: This course will address marketing considerations for locally produced agricultural products and value-added specialty foods.  Evaluation of the market by studying the product competition, positioning, and definition of a target audience will be explored.  Variations in sales potential determined by place and price will be studied, and how growth of sales leads to both opportunities and challenges for the local food entrepreneur.   This course will address promotion through special events, PR, as well as product branding by telling the story through a visual and print context, customer service, and development of the product promise.    Collaborative partnerships that lead to socially responsible business practices and stronger communities will also be explored.