This fall, students at the University of Maine at Fort Kent are learning about four-season organic growing in a course being taught by local organic grower, Julie Trudel. The course, Dynamics of Small Scale Organic Food Production (ENV240) is a two-credit course that introduces fundamental concepts of organic growing in a mobile, unheated greenhouse environment.
In Dynamics of Small Scale Organic Food Production, students will learn about the characteristics and development of healthy soil; predatory insect and disease prevention and control; appropriate seed selection for climate and location; composting; and much more. Students also will develop an understanding of how to grow vegetables and herbs in a mobile greenhouse, including planning for multiple harvests using intensive cropping techniques.
Students will apply the knowledge they learn in Dynamics of Small Scale Organic Food Production to develop a year-round planting and harvesting plan for the UMFK greenhouse. Students will consider appropriate cold-hardy crop choices, and at which times the planting and harvesting will be done in order to be in harmony with the seasons. The greenhouse will provide fresh produce to the UMFK dining hall during the academic year.
A field trip to the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine in September is a highlight of the course.
For more information about the course, please contact UMFK Professor Kim Borges at (207) 834-7612.