Search This Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Modern Backyard Food Production

Course Number: BIOLOGY X 489.6

Instructor: David King
phone number redacted
I am at The Learning Garden reliably from 10 to 5, Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 to 5, Saturday and Sunday.

There are no prerequisites for this course, although some experience with gardening will prove useful.

All classes will meet at The Learning Garden on the Venice High School campus where it can be hot and cold by turns – but reliably MUCH COOLER than other parts of Los Angeles. For your own comfort, please bring a sweater or coat to every class meeting. We will have access to a classroom for any possible rain events; class will meet regardless of the weather.

The production, packaging, and transportation of food are large contributors to our global carbon emissions. Throughout the Los Angeles Basin, food gardens have sprung up to produce local healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables while contributing energy and financial savings in difficult economic times. Using the history of growing food in the city in times of need as a template, this course explores how homegrown food can reduce your food budget and address environmental concerns. Participants are each given a small plot for growing food where they can experiment with new ideas and enjoy their harvest. Topics include fruit trees, vegetables, and berries that do well in our climate as well as often overlooked food-producing perennials and how to grow food in modern city lots where the "back forty" describes square feet and not acres.

Textbook Required:
Title Sunset Western Garden Book
Author Brenzel, Kathleen Norris (Editor)
Edition Feb. 2007
Publisher Sunset Books
ISBN 978-0376039170

Textbooks, Recommended:
Title The Kitchen Garden
Author Thompson, Sylvia
Edition First
Publisher Bantam Books
ISBN 0-553-08138-1
*(She has a companion cookbook that is worth investigation too!)

Title Heirloom Vegetable Gardening
Author Weaver, William Woys
Edition First
Publisher Henry Holt
ISBN 0-8050-4025-0

Title Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs: An Integrated Pest Management Guide
Author Dreistadt, Steve H.
Edition 2nd
Publisher Univ of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
ISBN 978-1879906617

There will be no assigned reading from these books, however, as references, they will prove invaluable to any serious student in this field. There will be bibliographies describing other books as the quarter progresses, I am a ferocious reader and not at all shy about suggesting books I like.

Course Schedule:

04 October, 2009 Introduction/Garden Tour/ Garden journal/Garden layout/tools/Soils
11 October, 2009 Sowing from seed/Care of seedlings/Compost and mulch/ planting skills
18 October, 2009 Garden design and Planting Schedules
25 October, 2009 The Keys to Food Production in a small space
01 November, 2009 Supplies/Sources/Annuals
08 November, 2009 Annuals Continued
15 November, 2009 Perennials/Bulbs/Exceptional Eating/mycology*
22 November, 2009 Trees/Vines; The Modern Orchard
06 December, 2009 Irrigation/maintenance
13 December, 2009 Wrap Up and Eat! Credit Students turn in journals
(Syllabus may be changed liberally as needed to reflect reality.)

Point Assignment Structure

Class participation 30
Journal 30
Planting Project 40

All notes will be published at for your convenience. I hope to get the notes up in advance to allow you to print off the coming week's topic before you come to class - IF you feel you need it.

*This topic will be held in reserve as it works well on a rain out day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contents of this site, text and photography, are copyrighted 2009 through 2017 by David King - permission to use must be requested and given in writing.