Archive for the “Distance learning” Category

Solar powered pumping system, Pultney, NY

Solar powered pump system, Pultney, NY

From the Cornell Small Farms Program:

Are you looking to stabilize rising fuel and energy costs on your farm or homestead?  Are you seeking more sustainable sources of energy?  In this upcoming four-part webinar series, you’ll meet an organic vegetable farmer, grape grower & winemaker, sunflower & biodiesel producer, and pastured livestock farmer who will lead you through a virtual tour of their sustainable farm energy systems and ecological production techniques.

  • April 4: Organic Vegetable Farm Cools with the Earth: Warms with the Sun
    Noon – 1:00pm with Jay Armour of Four Winds Farm, Gardiner, NY
  • April 11: Family Vineyard Shrinks Carbon Footprint by 40%
    Noon – 1:00pm with Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport, NY
  • April 18: Sunflowers & Canola to Fuel: Dairy Becomes Biodiesel Production Facility
    Noon – 1:00pm with Roger Rainville of Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vermont
  • April 25: Thirsty Livestock? Use Sun or Wind to Power a Remote Watering System
    Noon – 1:00pm with Jonathan Barter of Barter Farm, Branchport NY

Preregistration required. More information, registration links.

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garden_designx300Introduction to Garden Design
March 31 to May 17, 2014.
Cost: $600.
Enrollment limited to 12 students.

About the course

  • Learn garden site analysis and apply the concepts to your personal space.
  • Gain proficiency in basic garden design principals.
  • Articulate your personal aesthetic — what appeals to you, and what you enjoy.
  • Lay out a rough site plan overview of your garden design.

You’ll do all that and more if you take this 6-week online course (plus the introduction days), which provides an opportunity for you to design your own garden. You will be studying and experimenting with the basic design procedures, learning about proper plant selection, and you will write and reflect on the process as you learn. The instructor will take an active role in this creative endeavor by providing feedback on your assignments and journal entries. You will also have the opportunity to learn from one another through an open forum in which you can share your ideas with others.

This course is designed to encourage your discovery of basic garden design techniques. It is a garden design course for the beginner. We teach an approach to gardening that is based on the principle of right plant, right place. In other words, we will consider the needs of the plant in addition to the needs of the gardener.

Course schedule:

  • Introduction Days: Welcome & Introductions
  • Week 1: Site Assessment Part 1
  • Week 2: Site Assessment Part 2 / Basic Design Principles: Personal Style, Garden Unity, and Maintenance
  • Week 3: Basic Design Principles: Scale & Proportion, Balance & Symmetry, Repetition, Movement
  • Week 4: Basic Design Principles: Color, Form & Texture
  • Week 5: Designing Your Garden: Choosing & Buying Plants
  • Week 6: Designing Your Garden: Final Project and Buying Plants

More information/registration.

Full syllabus.

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Raised bed vegetable gardenThe Department of Horticulture’s online Organic Gardening course is designed to help new gardeners get started and help experienced gardeners broaden their understanding of organic techniques for all kinds of gardens.

The course runs February 24 to April 24, and covers one topic during each of the 9 weeks. (See course outline below.) With a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, we then explore tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants including food plants, trees and shrubs and lawn.

Participants view recorded presentations, read assigned essays and book excerpts, participate in online group discussions with other students, complete reflective writing/design work and take part in some hands-on activities. 
Most students spend 3 to 4 hours each week with the content, though there are always ample resources and opportunity to do more.

Partial scholarships may be available for CCE, Cornell-affiliated people or students in need. Please contact the instructor, Liz Falk, for information: erf59@cornell.edu.

Course syllabus outline:

  1. Introduction: What is Organic Gardening?
  2. Your Garden Site
  3. Soil, Compost, and Mulch
  4. Managing Pests Organically
  5. Vegetables and Flowers: Planning and Early Season
  6. Vegetables and Flowers: Mid-Season and Harvest
  7. Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Perennials: The Long-Term Landscape
  8. Organic Lawn Care
  9. Advanced Topics for the Adventurous Gardener
More information:

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Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Registration is now open for the online course Permaculture Design: Fundamentals of Ecological Design, offered Jan. 6 to Feb. 20, 2014 through the Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program.

The study of permaculture helps gardeners, landowners, and farmers combine a knowledge of ecology combined with its application to supporting healthy soil, water conservation, and biodiversity.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.

The course provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of a design for a site of their choosing.

While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent interaction between instructors and students through forums and live video conferences. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.

View the full syllabus for the course and find registration information at the course website.

Steve Gabriel

Steve Gabriel

The instructor, Steve Gabriel, is an ecologist, extension educator, and forest farmer living and working in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York. He currently spends his time working for the Department of Horticulture’s Garden-Based Learning program and coordinating the Northeast Mushroom Growers Network. He also teaches for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast. He is currently co-authoring a book on forest farming with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, which is expected to be published in 2014.

Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program offers two other online permaculture design courses:

Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion from the Department of Horticulture and continuing education credits. Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. The fee for each class is $600, and registration opens about six weeks before courses begin.

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online courses for small farmersFrom Erica Frenay, Beginning Farmer Project, Cornell Small Farm Program (ejf5@cornell.edu):

Whether you are a seasoned, new, or aspiring farmer, there’s something for you in the 2013-2014 line-up of online courses presented by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

There are courses covering commercial production topics like raising veggies, berries, and poultry, and many more covering management of a successful farm, including business planning, holistic financial planning, marketing, and getting started in farming. (View all 12 courses at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses.) They are taught by experienced Cooperative Extension educators, farmers, and other specialists.

Courses are 6 weeks long, cost $200, and include both real-time meetings (online webinars) and on-your-own time reading and activities. There’s no academic credit, but those who successfully complete a course receive a certificate and are also eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrower training credit, which can improve your eligibility to receive a low-interest FSA loan.

Courses often fill very quickly, so don’t miss your chance to sign up today!

Full course descriptions, instructor biographies, course logistics and more can be found at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses. Questions? Contact: Erica Frenay at 607-255-9911 or ejf5@cornell.edu

For more small farm services, visit www.smallfarms.cornell.edu

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Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Registration is now open for the online course Permaculture Design: Fundamentals of Ecological Design, offered September 9 to October 24, 2013 through the Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program.

The study of permaculture helps gardeners, landowners, and farmers combine a knowledge of ecology combined with its application to supporting healthy soil, water conservation, and biodiversity.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.

The course is 6.5 weeks long and provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of a design for a site of their choosing.

While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent interaction between instructors and students through forums and live video conferences. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.

View the full syllabus for the course and find registration information at the course website.

Steve Gabriel

Steve Gabriel

The instructor, Steve Gabriel, is an ecologist, extension educator, and forest farmer living and working in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York. He currently spends his time working for the Department of Horticulture’s Garden-Based Learning program and coordinating the Northeast Mushroom Growers Network. He also teaches for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast. He is currently co-authoring a book on forest farming with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, which is expected to be published in 2014.

Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program offers two other online permaculture design courses:

Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion from the Department of Horticulture and continuing education credits. Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.  The fee for each class is $600, and registration opens about six weeks before courses begin.

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For the hundreds of students and others who pass through and congregate on the ‘Garden Floor’ of Plant Science Building, the hallways just got cheerier: Three 5- by 7-foot acrylic on canvas murals by Ithaca artist Kellie Cox-Brady now adorn the walls.

Already an established artist, Cox-Brady honed her horticultural art skills by taking online botanical illustration courses developed by Marcia Eames-Sheavly. And she helped Eames-Sheavly create a third advanced course.

“Gardens surround our building. The whole idea was to bring some of that color and inspiration we get from plants indoors, year-round,” says Eames-Sheavly. “I think Kellie did just that.”

A new round of online botanical illustration courses starts June 3.

Larger view.

Cox-Brady's three paintings hang in the halls of the 'Garden Floor' of the Plant Science Building.

Cox-Brady’s three paintings hang in the halls of the ‘Garden Floor’ of the Plant Science Building.

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Hellebore watercolor by Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Learn botanical illustration online.  Three courses taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly start June 3, 2013:

You can view works by students in previous classes on display in the cases in the west wing of the first floor of Plant Science Building.

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garden_designx300Introduction to Garden Design
March 25 to May 9, 2013.
Cost: $600.
Enrollment limited to 12 students.

About the course

  • Learn garden site analysis and apply the concepts to your personal space.
  • Gain proficiency in basic garden design principals.
  • Articulate your personal aesthetic — what appeals to you, and what you enjoy.
  • Lay out a rough site plan overview of your garden design.

You’ll do all that and more if you take this 6-week online course (plus the introduction days), which provides an opportunity for you to design your own garden. You will be studying and experimenting with the basic design procedures, learning about proper plant selection, and you will write and reflect on the process as you learn. The instructor will take an active role in this creative endeavor by providing feedback on your assignments and journal entries. You will also have the opportunity to learn from one another through an open forum in which you can share your ideas with others.

This course is designed to encourage your discovery of basic garden design techniques. It is a garden design course for the beginner. We teach an approach to gardening that is based on the principle of right plant, right place. In other words, we will consider the needs of the plant in addition to the needs of the gardener.

Course schedule:

  • Introduction Days: Welcome & Introductions
  • Week 1: Site Assessment Part 1
  • Week 2: Site Assessment Part 2 / Basic Design Principles: Personal Style, Garden Unity, and Maintenance
  • Week 3: Basic Design Principles: Scale & Proportion, Balance & Symmetry, Repetition, Movement
  • Week 4: Basic Design Principles: Color, Form & Texture
  • Week 5: Designing Your Garden: Choosing & Buying Plants
  • Week 6: Designing Your Garden: Final Project and Buying Plants

View more information/registration.

Full syllabus.

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NE Beginning Farmers ProjectFrom Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program

Demystifying Organic Certification: Get Help Navigating the Certification Process

If you’ve been thinking about getting your farm certified as organic but aren’t sure whether it’s worth it, and find all the paperwork and requirements overwhelming, this course is for you. This 6-week online course is facilitated by Laura Biasillo of Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County and taught by representatives from NOFA-NY LLC (Northeast Organic Farming Association’s certification arm), and designed to demystify the certification process. The course is appropriate for total newbies as well as experienced growers contemplating the transition to organic. It won’t teach you organic production techniques, but will help you understand the National Organic Program requirements, learn who the certifiers are, evaluate whether certification is right for your operation, and walk you through the paperwork.

Join weekly live webinars on Tues. nights from the comfort of your living room, and participate in homework and discussions in the course’s online classroom between webinars. You’ll learn from successful organic farmers about why they’ve chosen certification and what considerations might be most important for your farm.

The course begins Tues. Feb 12 and runs for 6 weeks. It costs $200 and registration is only open until the first day of the course, or until it fills, whichever happens first. View Frequently Asked Questions about our online courses.

View the syllabus and learning objectives or register for BF 106: Organic Certification.

This course is just one of many offered by the Cornell Small Farms Program in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Registration is still open for BF 202: Business Planning (starts Feb 21) and BF 103: Taking Care of Business (starts March 4). Read more about these and other online courses.

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