Agricultural Science Class: Principles of Ecological Food Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $7,441.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Henning Sehmsdorf
S&S Homestead Farm


  • Agronomic: potatoes
  • Vegetables: beans, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces)


  • Crop Production: cover crops
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, row covers (for pests)
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: composting, soil analysis, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, social networks, social psychological indicators, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    This project seeks to educate high school students on Lopez Island – where most food consumed by the 3,000 residents must take the 50-minute ferry ride from the mainland – about the principles of ecological food production. Project coordinator Henning Sehmsdorf and Jennifer McFarland, the high school math and science teacher, will teach a four-month elective class at Sehmsdorf’s S&S Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Homestead Farm, a half mile from the school. The goals are to teach the students how to produce nutritious vegetables year round using low-cost, environmentally friendly techniques; develop school menus with the school chef that use island produce year round and to teach students how to prepare the food; and to provide the students with hands-on learning in ag science for credit.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.