Sustainability and Green Living


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 take place at Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights (

Core Courses:

Sustainable Crop Production: Spring
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 Sat., 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Barn F, $300.
Sec. A: Feb. 7-28. M Zanke. #12794
Sec. B: Apr. 11-May 2. M Fedison. #12795

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 Tues., Feb. 24-Mar. 17, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $300. W Chang. #12792

Elective Courses:

Agriculture Business and Marketing
Explore basic business and marketing principals for agricultural products. Topics covered include: buying, selling, processing, grading, storing and marketing of agricultural products. Small scale business practices will introduce students to hands-on techniques and procedures for planning and starting a small business. Emphasis will be on market research, finance, time management and day-to-day activities owning/operating a small business. Upon completion, students should be able to write and implement a viable business plan.
CE-BUS 2040, 3 Tues., Jan. 13-27, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $225. M Fedison. #12793

Food Justice
Discuss historical and current concepts regarding food justice, including the ideals that all people should have the opportunity to purchase affordable and nutritious food, inequalities in food access should be eliminated, food production systems should be transparent, and that government food policy should seek to benefit all people. Topics include changes in the American diet, emergence of food deserts, movements to bring living wages to farm workers, impact of genetically modified organisms, and actions to promote food justice in our own communities.
CE-NUTR 2007, 3 Tues., Feb. 3-17, 5:30-8:30 pm, Barn F, $225. W Chang. #12791

Basic Farm Maintenance
Learn about fundamental maintenance and repair of farm facilities and equipment. Topics include safe use of hand tools and farm machinery, carpentry, concrete work, painting, plumbing and calculating costs and materials needed. Upon completion, students should be able to answer theoretical questions and topics covered and assist with maintenance and repair of farm facilities and equipment.
CE-GRDN 2028, 3 Sat., Mar. 7-21, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Barn F, $225. M Zanke #12796

Energy Efficient Lighting for Buildings
Learn about lighting’s energy efficiency and costs and discover how to approach and perform a lighting audit in order to understand the current state of a building. Learn the basic nomenclature about lighting and the different types of lighting fixtures available along with their advantages and disadvantages. Understand basic energy usage calculations and energy bill analysis as well as the factors and information necessary to determine whether a lighting upgrade is necessary and several potential options with technical and economic pros and cons. Identify strategies available to minimize energy consumption and cost.
CE-GREEN 2014, 2 W/Th, Mar. 11 & 12, 6:00-9:00 pm, Room TBD, $75. B Hagen. #12990