Rationale and objectives:
There is a battle going on in food production. One side seeks to further intensify agriculture based on external inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides. The other side acknowledges the need for intensification, but this should be based primarily on better understanding and application of agro-ecological principles and local knowledge – and across to resource base such as soil quality and biodiversity.
A common way to grow crops is by monocultures – where only one kind of plant, crop or livestock is produced in the field or farming system. Continuous monoculture can lead to a quicker spread in diseases, and the widespread use of monocultures has resulted in a serious decline in biodiversity in many places of the world. At the same time we are often transporting crops and livestock over long distances leading to emission of CO2 and other harmful substances.
In the class we will deal with the following themes:
- Urban gardening
- Organic gardening
- Gardening and biodiversity
- Introduction to Life – Cycle – Assessment (LCA)
- Compost management (all climate zones)
- Management of invasive species
Lectures, films, outdoor work in our permaculture garden, the IPC park and the compost site, excursions.