Urban Farming Series
Grow where you are! Don't let limited space keep you from enjoying an abundant and healthy harvest.
Delta College LifeLong Learning offers workshops geared toward the fledgling farmer, the backyard gardener, the chicken enthusiast, and for those who understand the value of cultivating awareness of good, clean local foods. Sessions are presented in a casual learning, sharing environment by individuals with hands-on involvement in local farming, sustainability, and food collectives. You will learn about innovative, practical, economical, easy-on-the-earth methods and critical social, economic, and environmental dimensions of modern day urban agriculture. Presenters will offer visual aids, handouts, and online resources. You will have opportunity for interactive discussion and experience sharing.
What is Urban Farming?
Urban Farming is a growing movement in the U.S. that seeks to decentralize the food system by creating small, local food producing centers in areas that haven't traditionally been dedicated to food production. It refers to the practice of growing food of all sorts - fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, meat, and honey. Urban farming can take place in yards, vacant lots, community gardens, and other open spaces. What makes urban farming different from traditional gardening is both the addition of some kind of livestock - most commonly chickens, bees, or rabbits - as well as some level of selling, bartering, or otherwise providing food beyond the immediate household or the grower.
What are the benefits of Urban Farming?
• Make your food as local as possible by growing what you need, where you live.
• Decrease the food miles associated with long-distance transportation allowing your family the freshest produce possible.
• Encourage you and your family to eat in season.
• Gain a greater appreciation for where your food comes from.
Urban Farmer I
Till the soil, plant the seed, grow the food, and prepare your harvest! This 4-week interactive course will lead you to understand essential soil structure including determining texture, water holding capacity, pest deterrents, and simple at-home testing. Once you’ve mastered your soil, you’ll learn to source natural, non-treated seeds, the benefits of growing heirloom varieties, and the supplies needed to get started. You’ll discover economical ways to grow in small spaces through crop rotation, raised beds, layer plots, and square foot gardens. To extend your growing season, we’ll share practical, simple season-extending tips on structures and techniques so you can enjoy fresh produce sooner and longer. We’ll also focus on permaculture, emphasizing popular culinary herbs and native plants that will add color and texture to your garden landscape. And because a successful growing season results in a high yield of produce, you’ll need a plan for getting your goods to the market! You’ll be taught the economics, presentation, and logistics of selling your product. To wrap it all up, you’ll learn the lost art of preserving your harvest. We’ll visit a local café kitchen for a hands-on demonstration of practical tips for preparing your harvest, food safety, equipment, cooking methods, and recipes.
Date: February 1 - February 22, 2017
Time: Wednesday; 6pm - 8pm (except February 15, 2017 which is 5:30pm - 8:30pm)
Location: Delta College Main Campus EXCEPT last session is off campus at 3rd & Johnson Market & Eatery, Bay City
Course Number: CVL-1130
Urban Farmer II
Farming impacts the landscape and affects vegetation creating challenges for our natural resources. Holistic management has its roots in environmental decision-making. It ensures healthy land stewardship to reap sustainable environmental, economic, and social benefit. You’ll explore behavior modification and rotational grazing for livestock to reduce vegetation degradation, increase land fertility, maximize output, and to sequester carbon. Discover the rewards of raising chickens for healthy meats, tasty eggs, and valuable compost. Learn how to choose a breed, build a coop, start and care for a flock, and collect and store eggs. Gain the confidence and know-how to butcher using the proper equipment, processes, ethical culling, parting and bagging. We’ll share best practices for horticulture, a mix of art with science, by translating plant growth into growing for food, pleasure, and social need. You’ll learn to rely on nature’s system to enrich soil, to control bugs, pests, and disease, and to create a wholesome harvest without applying synthetic fertilizers or pesticides that may pollute the environment and eventually prove unsustainable. We’ll share affordable and effective crop management strategies, organic applications, handy tools, and methods to diagnosis common growing problems. You can also look forward to a healthy harvest and a strong foundation of planning, soil types and improvement, pruning, weed control, economics, and design by learning the essential steps for growing common fruits such as berries, apples, and cherries. Learn a common sense approach of working in tandem with the environment!
Date: March 1 - March 22, 2017
Time: Wednesdays; 6pm - 8pm (except March 15, 2017 which is 5:30pm - 8:30pm)
Location: Delta College Main Campus
Course Number: CVL-1131
Farm to Table Travel Experience
Leave the classroom behind and travel from the farm to table in the Urban Farming Farm to Table Travel Experience! This is your invitation to experience the operation of small farm production through conversations with farmers and interactions regarding soil, crops, weeding, harvesting, herbs and flowers, free-ranging chickens, fresh eggs, and preparing for the market. This urban farming travel experience explores the link between the farm and our food by including lunch at a fresh, locally-grown, seasonal, full-service, kitchen. You will enjoy a first-hand experience with environmentally-friendly farming practices and sustainable, local food production.
Date: June 7, 2017
Time: Wednesday; 8am - 2:30pm
Depart from Delta College Main Campus
Course Number: CVL-1110
Goss Farms is a small-scale, family owned farm, run by Jordan and Kayli Goss in Kawkawlin, Michigan. They pride themselves on being completely natural, meeting and even exceeding organic standards. They are committed to building a relationship with the community by providing transparency in our methods. Their poultry is fed certified organic grains, vegetables, and have access to green pastures. Their produce and flowers are non-gmo, never given synthetic fertilizers, and never treated with synthetic pesticides or herbicides. Most produce items on their farm are heirloom varieties, and may not resemble some of the shapes and colors you’re familiar with, but we have chosen those with the highest nutrient values and richest flavors.
Started in 2011 and located in Alma, Monroe Family Organics is a certified organic farm producing mostly vegetables along with some fruits, pastured pigs, and pastured chickens. Before this Fred raised vegetables for some of the local farmers' markets while in high school. After this he attended Michigan State University to study horticulture and agribusiness. After graduating, Fred and Michele moved to Northern Ohio where Fred worked as a manager growing vegetables for high end restaurants for six seasons. In 2010 Fred decided to move his family back home to the Alma area to start our own farm and be closer to family.
Linda Petee is the Sustainability Coordinator at Delta College. As part of the Facilities Management team she has experience in project planning, utility management, sustainability strategic planning, waste stream analysis, and carbon accounting. Her contribution to community partnerships include community garden growing, producing Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action, and curating Off The Wall, an exhibit of environmental art. With Linda’s lead, Delta College has garnered state-wide award acknowledgement for responsible waste management and was recognized nationally for its green cleaning program and community engagement for workforce development (SEED). As a LEED GA, she was involved in the green learning aspects of our campus Health Professions Building renovation. She serves on the AASHE Advisory Council, ACUPCC Implementation Liaison Committee, and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Economic Development Board. Linda has presented on sustainability initiatives locally, regionally, and nationally. Linda is a backyard grower with four raised beds, a healthy compost pile, and an egg-producing brood of chickens.
Laura is the sole proprietor or The Dancing Rabbit, LLC. She grows and sells fresh culinary herbs, the highest quality artisan bakery products, and artistic garden goods. In the past few years Laura has developed a very strong affinity for simple, healthy, delicious food and subsequently started growing all of her own herbs. She grows naturally, without pesticides or herbicides and is committed to growing all of her herbs and produce without chemical fertilizers. Additionally, she is committed to sourcing all ingredients for her baked goods as locally as possible.