Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

OFFERED BY:  The Women’s Environmental Institute                                                                 

Adult education/college level course/preparation for farming  



This 9-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 plan, develop the systems you need to manage farm, organize the materials you need for the coming year, and create a business 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.  The class is appropriate for small-scale urban and rural farmers, and all kinds of market or family gardeners. 

  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 farming justice,
  2. To create a coordinated farm management and farm planning systems
  3. To acquire skills and techniques for seed selection, tray seeding, transplanting, direct seeding, harvesting, and storing produce guided by your farm plan 
  4. To learn the basic principles of soil health management through the use of cover crops, compost and other organic and mineral amendments,
  5. To acquire an understanding of organic methods for pest and weed control
  6. To acquire basic knowledge of nutrient deficiencies and plant diseases, and organic treatment options
  7. To create helpful strategies and knowledge for post-harvest food handling and storage and layout for washing and packing
  8. To provide an overview of information on organic certification, the new Farm Safety Modernization Act, Cottage Production Regulations, and GAP Certification
  9. To explore the options of four-season farming, extending the season and aquaponics  
  10. To know what you should do next after this class is completed and until the end of the 2018 season


  • February 5
  • February 12
  • February 19
  • February 26
  • March 5
  • March 12
  • March 19
  • March 26
  • April 2 


READINGS: sent via pdf or books on loan for WEI library.

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: 
University Parking Ramps