06:00 to 08:00
From 02-06-17 to 04-03-17


WHERE:  University of Minnesota, Ford Hall 400  
WHEN:  Monday Evenings
                 from February 6- April 3 
OFFERED BY The Women’s Environmental Institute                                                                 
Adult education/college level course/preparation for farming  


This 10-week course is an in depth study designed to grow organic farmers and the knowledge needed for whole farm planning and management using the principles and practices of organic agro-ecological farming. The class will provide students an opportunity to design your own organic farm or garden (for this year or in the future), develop the knowledge you need to manage and organic farm or garden, and create a business and farm management plan for a full farming season.  The class is coordinated and taught by Professor Emerita Jacquelyn Zita, Farm Manager and Education Director for the Women’s Environmental Institute, and is part of the new curriculum for WEI’s  new school, DOWN TO EARTH:  SUSTAINABILITY and JUSTICE EDUCATION. 


1. To develop an understanding of the historical, biological and ecological basis for the principles of organic farming and WEI’s
     mission to grow food and food justice,
2. To learn the basic principles of soil health management through the use of cover crops, compost and other organic and
     mineral amendments,
3. To learn the basic principles of managing biodiversity, crop rotations, weed management, nutrient cycles for plant health,
4. To acquire an understanding of organic methods for pest and weed control and identification of nutrient deficiencies,
5. To create helpful strategies for food handling and storage
6. To develop an understanding the USDA National Organic Program rules and organic farming record keeping,
7. To acquire ability to knowledgeably discuss principles and practices of organic agriculture.
8. To create an overall farm management and business plan for your farm.


Short excerpts will be selected and made available to you from:

Coleman, Eliot, The New Organic Grower, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 1995.

Ben Hartman, The Lean Farm: How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015.

Lampkin, Nicolas, Organic Farming, Ipswich, UK, 2002

Gliessman, Stephen, Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2007.

Magdoff, Fred, Harold van Es, Building Soils for Better Crops , MN:    SARE   Outreach Publication, 2009.

Mohler, Charles and Sue Ellen Johnson, eds., Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual, Natural Resource, Agriculture and Engineering Service, Ithaca, NY, 2009.

Montgomery, David, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Newcomb, Duane, Growing Vegetables: The Big Yield/Small Space Way J.P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles, 1981.

Pears, Pauline and Sue Strickland, Organic Gardening, London: Octopus Publishing Ltd., 1999.

Theriault, Frederic and Daniel Birsebois, Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers, Canadian Organic Growers, Inc. 2010.


HOW TO FIND FORD HALL on the U of M Campus (class meets in Ford 400)

Bus Routes

  1. Go to Metro Transit’s website
  2. On the homepage, click on “Stops & Stations”
  3. Click on the “Landmark” tab
  4. Select “Colleges and Universities” from the drop down menu
  5. Select “University of Minnesota East Bank” from the drop down menu
  6. Click “Find It!”
Green Line
  • The Green Line stops about 2 blocks away from Ford Hall at the East Bank Station:

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University Parking Ramps