Thursday, 31 January 2013

About the school of Urban Agriculture' curriculum!


Join our food security army, but first check out the course outline here: -

Agriculture Curriculum
Practicing sustainable agriculture in an urban area can be a powerful tool in supporting the health of social, economic, ecological and environmental systems. Through this series of classes Wadas Urban Agric learn teaches ways to grow, process, and distribute food within a whole-systems framework. This curriculum is designed to give clients foundation of knowledge and skills on a range of topics fundamental to starting and running a farm or food garden in an urban context. The curriculum will explore three broad questions:
How does one sustainably grow food in an urban setting?
Clients learn the basic science and techniques for successfully growing organic food in their backyard or open area, including necessary skills for starting and running a farm. Classes introduce them to a range of farming methods and design techniques, as well as methodologies for assessing and planning for the needs and yields of a particular climate and place. These classes also give them a taste of various animal husbandry practices. Students are trained through both formal/frontal and hands-on classes, and take increasing responsibility for managing the farm as the practical season progresses.

How does one understand food injustice within larger social, economic, racial and political contexts and movements?
Students learn the issues affecting access to fresh food in the Lagos area and explore the social, political, economic implications of the great food disparity of our time. Classes address local and global threats to food safety and sovereignty, as well as state-wide and national policies that shape our current food realities.
How can we build self-sufficiency in ourselves and in our communities?
Students learn essential skills for creating farm-based products to support the medicinal, nutritional, and functional needs of our communities. These classes may include any of the following hands-on workshops: cheese making, vegetable garden, horticulture, aquaponic, fish farming, herbal medicine, fermenting, basketry, bread making, soap making, and canning. We explore these skills as they relate to ideas of sovereignty, anti-consumerism, community-building, empowerment, and resource-sharing.
The followings are the complete farm curriculum for Wadas School of Urban Agriculture. Please note that the order of some classes may change based on schedule limitations, seasonal variability and guest availability. All classes are taught by our resource professionals with practical hands on experience.  We have adjunct faculty affiliated with a network of amazing grass-roots farming organisation and Colleges.



WEEK 1: ROOTING OURSELVES IN PLACE
Class one: Agri-Culture and Permaculture Principles
Goal: To understand our origins: climate, agriculture, type of population center, etc; To become introduced to the ecology of Lagos vegetable belt: its history, climate, agriculture, racial and socioeconomic make-up, and to the nuances of growing food here; To learn the basic principles of Permaculture (earth care, people care, fair share) and how to apply them in our urban environment.
Class two: Lagos city social- and food-justice
Goal: To understand the history and current realities of healthy food access in Lagos market, the phenomenon of food deserts and how it applies to our environment and our work; To understand the factors that contribute to diminished food security and sovereignty in the city learn about local acts of resistance and resilience.
WEEK 2: STARTING WITH SOIL
Class one: Soil science 101- Growing, feeding and healing your soil
Goal: To understand the components of soil, and how the right mix of sand, clay and silt is crucial for the health of plants and people; To learn how to use the tools of soil assessment including ribbon testing and the soil separation test, and the tools for soil improvement including mulching, nutrient cycling, and adding amendments (eg fish emulsion and seaweed); To understand the basic macro and micro nutrients of soil and organic matter.
Class two: Composting and Vermi-composting
Goal: To understand the role compost plays in creating and maintaining fertility in organic gardening; To acquire the skills to build and maintain healthy compost piles, including how to aerate and maintain correct ratios of inputs; To understand the essential elements of vermin-composting and its implications in gardens large and small. Over the course of the season, fellows take an increasingly larger role in operating Urban Worm, and worm casting business.
WEEK 3: PLANT PROPAGATION
Class one: Seed-Starting and Asexual Propagation Methods
Goal: To learn the biology of seeds, how to properly plant, what should be started in the ground vs. The need for greenhouse/nursery shed, and different techniques sometimes needed for propagation (i.e. stratification and scarification); To learn asexual methods of propagation such as starting plants from cuttings, runners, bulbs, division and grafting, and how to design particular types of potting mixes tailored to the needs of particular crops.
Class two: Mushroom Cultivation
Goal: To understand the role that mycelium and mycorestoration play in urban settings; To learn techniques for growing edible mushrooms on logs and in mulch piles.




WEEK 4: SUPPORTING PLANT HEALTH
Class one: Plant Nutrition
Goal: To learn about the macro and micro nutrients plants need to grow, and learn different techniques for providing these nutrients to plants; To understand common Bay Area nutrient deficiencies that occur due to the nature of local soils, and be able to recognize and work with nutrient deficiencies and excesses in the soil.
Class two: Chicken Husbandry
Goal: To learn how to breed, raise and maintain a healthy flock of chickens in an urban area; To understand the nutritional benefits of home-raised eggs and meat compared to conventional farming; To understand and experience the multiple benefits chickens bring to organic gardening.
WEEK 5: CULTURALLY- AND CLIMATICALLY-APPROPRIATE FARMING
Class 1: How to Start a Farm
Goal: Student receives a thorough introduction to the issues that arise in starting an urban farm. These include: land acquisition, small farm business plan, farm-preneurship, budgeting, goal setting, crop plans and distribution. As part of this class we learn from other local farmers about the challenges and rewards of starting farms in the city.
WEEK 6: ENCOURAGING WHOLE FARM HEALTH
Class one: Integrated Pest Management/Pest and Disease management
Goal: To learn about plant resiliency, and the different ways of approaching pest control in an urban area; Student  gain experience with the most effective non-toxic pest control methods as they apply to the pests on our  Wemton farm site.  Students  also gain experience in identifying and remedying various plant diseases common in our area.
Class two: Urban Beekeeping
Goal: To learn the basics of how, where, and why to keep bees in the urban garden, and how to support the health of a hive. We discuss products derived from the hive, and the ethics of harvesting from honeybees.
WEEK 7: WATER
Class one: Retaining Water on the Farm
Goal: To explore and understand the crucially important issue of water for agriculture in City areas of scarcity; To learn about the benefits and drawbacks of drip irrigation, and learn how to assemble a drip system; To learn about water catchment on the farm, drought resistant crop choice, and mulching for water conservation.
Class two: Greywater Harvesting
Goal: To learn about the importance of greywater harvesting in an area where water is an insecure resource, and explore the potential for water recycling on an urban farm; To learn how to set up simple greywater harvesting systems.



WEEK 8: ALTERNATIVE FARMING METHODS AND DESIGN
Class one: Introduction to Biodynamic Gardening
Goal: Fellows are introduced to the basics of biodynamic gardening, an energetically-based farming system; We explore the role of planetary and seasonal cycles, symbolism, and ‘dynamic’ forces in nature to create self-regulating, diverse ecosystems.
WEEK 9: SOWING THE SEEDS OF CHANGE
Class one: Seed-Saving
Goal: To learn about flower anatomy, plant families, and the pollination process; To learn common techniques for saving seeds; To understand seed-saving as a revolutionary act, discuss  important global seed saving projects, and understand the crisis that commercial agriculture practices (i.e. monocropping, GMO’s, and hybridization) has created for ecological and cultural biodiversity.
Class two: Seed Security and GMOs
Goal: To understand how corporate influence in agribusiness affects organic and conventional farms of all sizes; To learn about threats to the practices of seed-saving and how this relates to issues of creating self-reliant communities.
Week 10: EXTENDING THE HARVEST
Class one: People’s Medicine (Optional)
Goal: To learn how to grow and use plants as medicine; understand how herbal medicine can empower people without access to health insurance, and communities in areas with many health issues due to air quality, food quality, etc. Students  make basic herbal preparations from the farm.
Class two: Fermentation and Food Preservation
Goal: Fellows learn about pickling and lactofermentation, how to increase the nutritional value of our foods, the historic importance of food preservation and how cultures all over the world promote the growth of culture in their food; Students prepare some delicious ferments of their own.
WEEK 11: LIVESTOCK AND LEGALITIES
Class one: Food Policy: City Farm rules and local goverment policies
Goal: To understand current local government environmental rules of city  agriculture, including a discussion of  effluent in the city To learn about current dept of environment rules on city  agriculture-related policies, as they relate to urban farming and gardening. Student gain an understanding of the challenges and resources available to organic farmers at many different levels, and how this affects issues of food sovereignty on local, national, and global scales.

Class two: Goats and Urban Livestock
Goal: Students  visit a local goat farm to learn about the ins and outs of raising goats and other livestock in the city;  student  learn about goats as a source of milk, cheese, meat, weed-control, and many other agricultural benefits.
WEEK 12: LOCAL AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS
Class one: Jovanah Farm tour
Goal: We visit various farms in Badagary/Epe/ Ikorodu to learn about different ways to start and manage a farm in the city. People  will learn how different farms address issues of food-justice in their local contexts.
Class two: Global Food Justice
Goal: Learn about issues of global economic flows as they relate to food access and food security around the world. Students examine how U.S/China/Europe zone markets, policies affect other countries, as well as how different countries react to food export.

Support Nigerian Food Security?

School of urban Agriculture is helping to improve lifestyle. If you think our effort to improve healthy living in Nigeria is valuable and wishes to express your appreciation for the time and resources we've expended developing and supporting it over the years, we do accept and appreciate monetary donations.
Your support will keep our work alive and powerful. If you wish to make one, please choose the amount below.
=N= 5,000.00 per month
=N= 50,000 for a year.
Generous donation of your choice!  and call us 2348060625527,8077175957,7031340119.
Thank you very much!
WADAS Food & Agric Team.