Sustainability and Green Living

To register call 914-606-6830 and press option 1

Certificate in Sustainable Vegetable Production
Presented by Westchester Community College
and Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center

If you’re interested in becoming a vegetable farmer, have a passion for sustainable agriculture, or simply want to improve your own produce growing skills, this exciting new program is for you!

All classes take place at beautiful Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights. This 187-acre farm is owned by the County of Westchester, and includes a five-acre commercial crop farm, two greenhouses, and a composting facility that all highlight best practices in sustainable agriculture. Seasoned agricultural service providers and farming professionals make up the certificate faculty.

The certificate curriculum will prepare those who wish to develop agricultural and entrepreneurial skills, as well as those wishing to enhance their knowledge of vegetable production. Program focus is based on environmentally sound, community based, small-farm practices.

The program consists of 45 hours of core courses, 18 hours of electives, and 16 hours of community service at the farm, for a total of 79 hours. Coursework includes classroom study and hands-on field work highlighting practical farming skills and concepts. You may opt to complete the certificate program in 2 semesters or you may choose to take courses as stand-alone courses at your own pace.

All courses are held at Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center, located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights (www.hilltophanoverfarm.org)

 

Core Courses:

Sustainable Crop Production: Fall
Learn about fall and winter organic crop production practices, including vegetables, cut flowers, and culinary herbs. Topics include variety selection, production methods, record keeping, and extending the season using unheated hoop houses. Upon completion, you will have knowledge of crop production strategies for fall and winter.
CE-GRDN 2025, 4 Thurs., Sept. 8-29, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $300. #83796

Plant Disease Management
Examine the major pests and diseases that impact vegetable production with a focus on cultural, biological, and minimal toxicity methods of control. Different philosophies of pest control, and their merits, will be discussed. Upon completion, you will able to identify, recommend, and administer preventative controls for selected insects and diseases.
CE-GRDN 2020, 3 Mon., Sept. 12-26, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $225. #83797

Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture & Soil Science
Discover the “nuts and bolts” of our new agricultural program at Hilltop Hanover. Learn the basic principles and practices of sustainable agriculture. Topics covered include botany, composting, irrigation, and basic principles of crop production, rotation, and protection. Upon completion, you will have an enhanced understanding of how to manage the complex interrelationships of air, water, soil, plant, and human on a small sustainable farm.
CE-GRDN 2024, 4 Thurs., Oct. 6-27, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $300. #83798

Elective Courses: 

Advanced Soil Science
Sustainable agricultural relies on proper understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological components of soil. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of managing soils to promote biodiversity and balance trace elements to create a proper environment for healthy crops. Learn to interpret the results of a soil test and recommend amendments.
CE-GRDN 2052, 3 Thurs., Nov. 3-17, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $225. #83799

Hands-on-Volunteer Days
Work side-by-side our farmers and volunteer your time and get a practical hands-on learning experience. Work in the fields and/or greenhouses, planting, weeding, harvesting and vegetable preparation for sale at the farm stand. These are coordinated volunteer days with a special topic and/or focus each week related to real-world time and farm sensitive needs. All volunteers will need to fill out insurance waivers at Hilltop Hanover Farm. This fulfills the 16 hours of community service as required to obtain your certificate.
CE-GRDN 2079, 8 Sat., Oct. 22-Dec. 17 (skip 11/26), 10:00 am-12:00 noon, Barn F, $100. #83800