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. It 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 and cultivation equipment, and greenhouse management as information in these areas is limited in this course.
The Table of Contents is an overall outline of the curriculum. It lists the units and shows the major breakdown of topics. Within each unit is another outline of the individual topics. This organization into topics will allow instructors to customize the course to meet individual needs.
Each unit has a title page which lists all the resources available in the curriculum to teach that unit. Resources include:
- Student experiments and activities
- Teacher demonstrations
- Videos with focus questions
- 3-5 minute case study videos of organic farmers, which tell a brief story about each farmer, including their marketing strategies. Marketing is often a weak area for many beginner growers, so it is good to encourage students to think about marketing from the very beginning.
- PowerPoint presentation of each unit
- PowerPoint presentations of specific topics
- Short PowerPoint presentation on soil, pests, and composting for 1-2 hour focused classes
- Lesson plans which lay out a strategy for incorporating the various curricula elements into a student-focused, interactive experience. These lesson plans can be modified based on the level of student, length of class time, or depth of class.
Meeting farmers who are currently engaged in the practice of growing organically can inspire and enlighten students. These opportunities are facilitated by the farmer hosts who have agreed to be available to host a farm tour of students of the curriculum, or be a guest speaker. Please be respectful of these farmers’ time and make arrangements with them in advance. If funds are available, an honorarium is appropriate.
Short videos on organics can be accessed from the Appendix. There are a variety of videos from a 30-second public service announcement promoting organics to animated organic spoofs on popular movies. The videos can be used to spark discussion at any point in the curriculum.
Feedback from those who use the curriculum is of vital importance to Georgia Organics and we sincerely solicit your opinion. Please send us feedback if you use the curriculum. This Feedback Form can be used to send us information about what you found useful, or not, and any other comments you would like to make. We would like to continue to revise this curriculum, and your comments and suggestions will guide us in making it more helpful.