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Summer courses to feature OU's Campus Student Organic Farm

Monday, March 26, 2012
Summer courses to feature OU's Campus Student Organic Farm
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

The summer 2012 semester will feature innovative courses that utilize Oakland University’s own Campus Student Organic Farm as a living classroom. 

The two courses – Fundamentals of Organic Farming in an Urban Setting and Permaculture: Theory and Practice – are offered through Oakland’s Biological Sciences and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies programs. Course numbers are Biology 491 and Liberal Studies 514. 

In these four-credit courses, students learn about and practice sustainable, eco-friendly farming techniques. Organic farming uses methods such as crop rotation, compost, green manure and biological pest control in order to achieve a variety of long-term benefits, including water conservation, soil fertility and crop nutrition. Permaculture draws on organic farming principles to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems and has been described as “a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature.”  

In addition, paid employment opportunities are available through Oakland’s Summer Student Campus Corp. Students can apply for the positions of “farm manager” or “farm assistant” through OUCareerLink.com. Each job runs from Monday, April 30, through Sunday, Aug. 26, with possible extension to the fall semester.

Responsibilities include managing Oakland’s Campus Student Organic Farm, participating in special events and assisting at community engagement sites, including the Baldwin Center Gardens in Pontiac. For more information, contact Dr. Fay Hansen in the Department of Biological Sciences at (248) 370-3574, or hansensm@oakland.edu.

Founded in 2010, Student Organic Farmers at OU is a student organization dedicated to nourishing the local community through education, service-learning programs and healthy foods. Along with monthly meetings, the group hosts a number of campus events. A planting demonstration will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, in the Oakland Center.

The community is also invited to a screening of the documentary film “Food, Inc.” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge. Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner, the film examines the dark side of America’s corporate-controlled food industry. 

For additional information, e-mail studentorganicfarmersou@gmail.com or visit the group's Facebook page at facebook.com/StudentOrganicFarmersatOU. For more information about summer programs, courses and camps available through Oakland, view the website at oakland.edu/summer