Urban Agriculture

Instructor: Dr. Rachel Surls, Sustainable Food Systems Advisor, Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County

Website: https://ucanr.edu/?facultyid=2208

Email: ramabie@ucanr.edu

Week Topic Content Assignments at beginning of week Due by end of week
Week 1:

July 8

Overview of Urban Agriculture What does urban agriculture look like around the US? (Perhaps also a quick look at urban agriculture globally as a point of comparison). How does urban agriculture benefit communities?Who are urban farmers and how are they different from “traditional” American farmers? What are the opportunities and challenges in urban agriculture? Review the course syllabus and discuss the course project, which will be a case study of an urban farm. Go over the rubric and expectations for the case study project and how to get started. 1) Students will write a blog post introducing themselves, their interest in urban agriculture, and what they hope to gain from the course. 2) Reading, video clips and lecture that provide a broad overview of urban agriculture in the US. Self-intro blog post. Complete any assigned reading, lecture, and review of video clips. Respond to and participate in discussion boards prompt(s).
Week 2:

July 15

Planning an Urban Farm Preparation for an urban farm, including business planning, selecting an urban farm enterprise, finding an urban farm site, opportunities with public and private land, and how local land use policies may impact planning. 1) Reading, lecture, and video clips that cover topics related to planning an urban farm. 2) One or more prompts on these topics will be presented in the class discussion board. 2) Students will research and select an urban farm for their case study. Students will share on the class discussion board which urban farm they’ve selected for their case study. Complete any assigned reading, lecture, and review of video clips. Respond to and participate in discussion boards prompt(s).
Week 3:

July 22

Production Considerations for Urban Farms Design and layout, soil, water, and pest management for urban farms. Food safety considerations and best practices. 1) Readings, lecture, and video clips related to production considerations for urban agriculture 2) One or more prompts on these topics will be presented in the class discussion board. 3) Students will select and research a production topic that’s of interest to them, and write a blog post including relevant links and references. Urban ag production blog post. Complete any assigned reading, lecture, and review of video clips. Respond to and participate in discussion boards prompt(s).
Week 4:

July 29

Emerging Urban Farm Systems Aquaponics, vertical farming, rooftop farming, edible insect farming, & controlled environment systems that are emerging in urban agriculture around the U.S. 1) Readings, lecture, and video clips related to emerging systems in urban agriculture 2) One or more prompts on these topics will be presented in the class discussion board. Complete any assigned reading, lecture, and review of video clips. Respond to and participate in discussion boards prompt(s).
Week 5: August 5 Animals and Bees in Urban Agriculture How to incorporate animals in an urban farm: considerations and practice including poultry and goats, plus beekeeping. 1) Readings, lecture, and video clips related to animals and bees in urban agriculture 2) One or more prompts on these topics will be presented in the class discussion board. Urban Agriculture Case study due. Post in virtual case study gallery. (Perhaps using Blackboard Blog or Journal Function, TBD). Complete any assigned reading, lecture, and review of video clips. Respond to and participate in discussion boards prompt(s).
Week 6: August 12 Urban Farm Showcase Students will view different urban farms around the U.S. through the eyes of their classmates as they explore varied content and resources presented in student case studies. Virtually visit and explore your cohort’s urban agriculture case studies. Develop a personal resource library of materials you hope to use or refer to in the future as you develop your urban farm or pursue related goals. Personal Resource Library (format TBD).
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