Online Courses: Sustainable and Locally Grown

by Michelle Fach, Director OpenEd, University of Guelph

Have you ever thought about producing food in an urban environment? Have you
ever wondered what urban agriculture might have to do with online learning? In the last
ten years, while there has been an increased awareness of urban agriculture, there has also been an increased interest in online learning, and the two themes are ideally combined in the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certi cate at the University of Guelph.

Gavin Dandy, the co-founder of Everdale Organic Farm and Directing Coordinator of
a Guelph community food project called The SEED, is the Program instructor. He explains that people are hungry for locally grown food, and that urban agriculture – the practice of growing food in or around cities – is ourishing in Ontario, where innovative projects include hydroponics (growing in nutrient-enriched water), for example, and vertical growing (growing in vertically stacked layers).

Certificate program participants interested in producing food in an urban environment can learn both theory and practical skills that are environmentally sound and productive, and that have the potential of making a positive impact on their communities.

Moreover, online learning courses ‘allow for unique dialogue among students,’ says Dandy, and offer ‘fantastic networking opportunities.’

For individuals interested in exploring the possibilities of growing food in an urban setting, certificate courses being offered this fall include ‘Agricultural Plant Selection for Urban Gardeners’ and ‘Theory and Principles of Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Horticulture.’

For more information, see https://www. guelphhort.com/certi cates/sustainable- urban-agriculture