ESPM 117 (formerly "Urban Garden Ecosystems") provides a socio-ecosystemic approach to the study of urban food production, examining the forces driving it and the ways urban agriculture can aid in the enhancement of food security, biodiversity, energy conservation, job creation, human health and well-being. The course is interactive and hands-on, integrating theory & practice.
Lecture/classroom component: consists of lectures, videos, guest speakers, discussions of readings, and student presentations. Topics covered include:
• Extent and significance of urban agriculture in both US and developing world contexts
• Urban agriculture, community development and food security
• Fundamentals of horticulture, soil science, insect & soil ecology
• Agro-ecological production techniques for the urban environment
Weekly lab sessions: learning how to grow food. We will hold a series of practical training sessions (1x/week) on the basics of ecological horticulture and urban gardening. We will cover the following:
• Propagation techniques (greenhouse production, direct-seeding, transplanting, etc)
• Soil quality & fertility management
• Irrigation & water conservation
• Compost production
• Crop planning
• Pest/disease/weed management
Note: Each student will also be responsible for a final research project and involvement in various hands-on gardening initiatives on and off-campus.