Urban Agriculture program to debut at Edmonds Community College for winter quarter

Will Allen and Edmonds CC’s Zsofia Pasztor tour Edmonds CC’s community garden during an event recognizing the college’s new Urban Agriculture program.
(Photo courtesy of Edmonds Community College)

Edmonds Community College will launch its Urban Agriculture program with four classes this winter.

Urban Agriculture classes include Agroecology, Soil and Plant Nutrition, Vegetable Production I, Fruit Production I, and Horticultural Careers.

Will Allen, one of the country’s most respected leaders in sustainable urban farming, recently visited Edmonds Community College to tour the college’s student-run garden and learn about the new Urban Agriculture program. Allen is the founder and CEO of Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based organization that operates an in-city farm and provides outreach, demonstrations, technical assistance, and hands-on training.

“Urban Agriculture students will be using cutting-edge science and technology to learn and manage small-scale and urban agriculture,” said Horticulture instructor Zsofia Pasztor, who graduated from Allen’s training program. Edmonds Community College plans to incorporate many of Allen’s methods into its own program.

“What Edmonds Community College is doing here is so important. As I travel the country, I don’t see grade schools, high schools, or colleges doing this,” Allen said. “We need to help our students understand where they’re going to get their good food from. And the only way to do that is hands-on. Students need to learn how to grow their own food and develop the infrastructure for sustainable food systems.”

The new program is part of a Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAgE) Collaborative, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. The collaborative is led by Edmonds Community College in partnership with Skagit Valley College, Seattle Central Community College and Washington State University.

The goal is to increase the number of sustainable urban and small-farm agriculture technicians who have the education and training to meet current and projected workforce demand in Puget Sound and beyond.

The quarter runs Jan. 6-March 21. For more information, go to www.edcc.edu/sustainable-agriculture.

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