13 April, 2009

Sustainable Gardens - Syllabus

Instructor: David King
Email: greenteach@roadrunner.com

COURSE TITLE AND NUMBER: Sustainable Gardens; BIOLOGY X498.5

There are no prerequisites for this course. We will meet from April 13 through May 09 for 6 meetings. There are two field trips as indicated in our schedule (below); one to the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona (May 9) and I am working out the final details to get us to the Los Angeles Dept. of Sanitation composting facility in Sunland. These trips are scheduled for Saturdays, 1:00 to 4:00 PM. All other class meetings occur 7:00 PM in Boelter Hall, Room 2760 on Tuesday evenings.

Course Purpose

This course will enable students to understand and appreciate the changes we will need to make in our gardens to achieve ‘sustainability.’ A multitude of differing strategies will be presented allowing students to choose the extent of their involvement with more sustainable gardens and, ultimately, a more sustainable life style.

Course Objectives
1.Understand the concept of sustainability and its relevance to the modern garden.
2.The reasons to consider sustainability.
3.Be able to use the concept of sustainability in the creation of a garden and its maintenance.
4.Understand and be able to present to others the concepts and ideas of sustainability and the myriad of alternatives to an overtly consumptive garden style.

This course is designed to be applicable. Upon completion, students will be able to employ many different strategies to reduce consumption of water and oil-produced products and create beautiful and productive gardens that comprise a much smaller carbon footprint than most contemporary gardens.

Text for this course:
This course will not have a text. There will be an extensive bibliography from which the material presented has been gleaned; some books will be practical, some books theoretical, while others will present an overview of our current situation and the problems that affect our daily lives and the gardens we grow.

Class Schedule: Please note the change between meeting 2 and 4, they have switched.
Date Mtg TOPIC
04/13 1 Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, objectives. What is Sustainability and Why Does It Matter? What is it’s place in our gardens?
04/20 2 Lecture: Plants and Planting Design for Conservation of Resources (other than water)
04/25 3 Field Trip to Los Angeles Department of Sanitation, Composting Project (pending confirmation)*
04/27 4 Lecture: Water, It’s Place in Our Lives and Gardens – Guest speaker: Orchid Black on Water Conservation
05/06 5 Lecture: Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose
05/09 6 Field Trip to John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona Final Requirements for Credit Students to be submitted

* The LA Dept of Sanitation has not confirmed for this date, but it will be 25 April or 02 May, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Your grade will be predicated on class participation and a paper of no less than 5 pages on one aspect of sustainability, topics will be discussed in class. I encourage students to use their own area of interests when choosing their topic.

Office Hours
I have no set office hours, however, I am available by phone (the number above is my cell phone) and by email. I am willing to meet with students almost any day of the week at my office at The Learning Garden or a mutually convenient coffee bar. It is my most sincere desire that you learn and you will find me very approachable. If we are not covering material that you think is essential, or if you are not learning what you suppose you would learn in this course, it is incumbent on you to bring that to my attention. It is my intention that the students learn what they need to learn and have the opportunity to tell me BEFORE the course is concluded.

After class is usually not a very good time because that’s when all students vie for answers and we are all tired after a long day. You can net a more thoughtful answer by contacting me another time.

Updates and Handouts
For this course I will utilize my personal blog page (lagarden.blogspot.com) to post handouts and extra material to the class. There is an RSS feed through which each posting is automatically forwarded to your email so you can have access to handouts whenever they are posted. This approach is most handy when dealing with field trips because links to maps can be posted and any last minute updates are easily available. If this technology is new to you, another classmate or I will guide you through it. It is not difficult.

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