Winter Online Classes in Sustaianble Food and Farming at UMass


The University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture online Certificate Program in Sustainable Food and Farming continues to expand its offerings.  This is the only fully online program in the rapidly growing subject matter area of sustainable agriculture that results in a university credential.  While it is not for everyone, many people have found the convenience of online learning works into their busy lives.

You are welcome to take individual courses or sign up to receive the 15-credit Certificate upon completion of 5 classes. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dr. John M. Gerber, Program Coordinator at [email protected].


Enrollment for the classes being offered during the winter term (December 16 – January 18) begins on October 16, 2013.  This winter we are offering:

STOCKSCH 100 – Botany for Gardeners – GenEd (BS) (4 cr)

This is a class on the science of plant growth, using world food production, our favorite foods, and backyard gardening as the framework for study whenever possible.  We will look at what plants are made of, how they work, how they interact with the environment, and where they came from.  Most important perhaps, we will think together about our relationship with plants in order to better understand our place in the world. (This class was formerly PLSOILIN 100).


STOCKSCH 197A – Backyard Homesteading (3 cr)

This course explores home-scale food production systems with a focus on permaculture, intensive mini-farming and urban homesteading. The course integrates both research and practical applications to create home-scale food systems that have the resiliency of natural ecosystems. The essential components of diverse garden systems will be discussed in detail, including edible ecosystem gardens, soil fertility, mini orchards, water management, tools and techniques and planting strategies.


STOCKSCH 397C – Community Food Systems (3cr) 

This course examines the movement of food from seed to table. Participants in the course explore local and global food systems, and specific food related issues that impact health of communities. Among the topics we’ll cover are: examining the economic and political decisions that frame our food chain, direct marketing, commercial agriculture, processing, food justice, hunger, health, food security, peak oil, school food systems and school gardens, Community Supported Agriculture, farmers’ markets, small scale farming and homesteading. At the center of this course is the examination of the opportunities and challenges required in making community food projects that create real lasting systems change.


And here are the classes that will be offered over the 14 week spring semester!

Spring 2014 – Scheduled Online Courses

STOCKSCH 197G – Introduction to Permaculture (3)

STOCKSCH 265 – Sustainable Agriculture (3)

STOCKSCH 390 U – Sustainable Site Planning and Design (3cr)

STOCKSCH 305 – Small Fruit Production (3cr)

For more information on the program, see Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming or contact Dr. John M. Gerber, Program Coordinator at [email protected]. Enrollment for the winter session, begins on October 16, 2013.


I’d appreciate it if you would share this post with your friends.  And for more ideas, videos and challenges, please join my Facebook Group; Just Food Now.   Go here for more of my posts.  To get a college degree see: UMass Sustainable Food and Farming.