The Fundamentals of Organic Farming and Gardening Curriculum gives instructors lessons, experiments, and activities to teach the scientific basis for Organic Farming and Gardening.  This curriculum was developed by Alexander McGregor, Jerry Larson, and Lynn Pugh of Cane Creek Farm, pictured above, with funding from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

This curriculum can be used in its entirety as a full course or selected sections can be inserted as a supplement to a general course on agriculture or gardening. The design assumes that instructors will have access to curricula that cover general agricultural topics, such as tillage, cultivation equipment, and greenhouse management.  Information in these areas is limited in this curriculum to specific organic management techniques which may not be included in existing curricula.

1. Introduction: How to Use the Curriculum

This curriculum is designed as an instructors guide.  It is intended to give instructors in a variety of settings information on the scientific basis for Organic Farming and Gardening.

2. Preface – Why Teach Organics

New opportunities are emerging in Georgia for producers to grow for their own communities as demand for local, organic food rapidly expands. Georgia, as the 6th largest vegetable producing state in the nation, is well-poised to capitalize on these shifting markets. Georgia has an opportunity to be a bigger player in the organic and sustainably-produced market and reconfigure food chains to feed its own residents with fresh, seasonal Georgia grown products.

Unit 1: Soil

I. Introduction
II. Physical Properties of Soil
III. Soil Biology and Ecosystems
IV. Soil Nutrient Cycles
V. Unit Summary

Unit 2: Soil Management

I. Introduction
II. Soil Air Management
III. Soil Water Management
IV. Organic Matter Management
V. Soil Mineral Management
VI. Tillage and Cultivation
VII. Unit Summary

Unit 3: Plants

I. Introduction
II. Basics of Plant Anatomy
III. Basics of Plant Physiology
IV. Plant Nutrient Uptake
V. Plant/Soil Relationships
VI. Unit Summary

Unit 4: Plant Applications

I. Introduction
II. Seeds and Seed Starting Techniques
III. Propagation
IV. Plant Varieties and Selection
V. Unit Summary

Unit 5: Crop Management

I. Introduction
II. Pest Control
III. Disease Control
IV. Weed control
V. Companion Planting
VI. Unit Summary

Unit 6: Composting

I. Introduction
II. Biological Processes of Composting
III. Materials
IV. Composting Management
V. Using Compost
VI. Unit Summary

Unit 7: Organic Marketing and Certification

I. Introduction
II. Introduction to marketing
III. Marketing strategies
IV. Certification
V. Unit summary

Unit 8: Practical Applications

I. Introduction
II. Garden Site Selection and Design
III. Soil Preparation
IV. Planting and Maintenance
V. Detailed Crop Guides for Recommended crops
VI. Unit Summary


I. Store Wars video
II. Meatrix video
III. Georgia Organics Marketing video
IV. Georgia Organics public service announcement
V. Soils – short power point presentation
VI. Pest management – short power point presentation
VII. Composting – short power point presentation
VIII. Farmer Host/Speakers
IX. Feedback