Adult Education

Become a Farmer

Sustainable Agriculture Certificate

Offered through Westchester Community College and Hilltop Hanover Farm

Call 914.606.6830 press 1 to register

Hilltop Hanover Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Certificate was designed with all growing enthusiasts in mind. The certificate program offers in-depth classes and hands-on learning about organic food, sustainable agriculture, and improving soil health.

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. The program focuses on environmentally sound and community-based small farm practices.

Onsite classes are held at Hilltop Hanover Farm, a 187-acre farm owned by the County of Westchester that includes a five-acre diversified vegetable 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 can be completed in 2-3 semesters and requires 4 core courses (48 hours), 2 elective courses (18 hours), and 16 hours of community service at the farm, for a total of 82 credit hours.

Fall 2018 Class Schedule

All fall 2018 courses are offered partially online. Students are required to participate in an online weekly discussion board, to attend a 2-hour weekly live lecture on Monday evenings (sessions will be recorded for those who miss the lecture), and to review course material throughout the week. The final 3 hours of each course will be taught at Hilltop Hanover Farm and will consist of a hands-on activity relevant to the coursework leading up to the final class.


Core Courses

Soil Health

This hybrid online/on-site course covers the importance of soil health in sustainable agriculture as well as practices to ensure soil health in gardening. Topics include basic soil science, tillage vs. no-till, composting systems, soil testing, crop rotation, and soil amendments. Upon completion of the course, students will have a basic understanding of soil science and be able to complete and analyze a soil test.

CE-GRDN 2094, 4 Mon., Oct 1-22, 6:30-8:30pm online and 1 Sat., Oct 27, 9:00am-1:00pm onsite at HHF-Barn F. $300. Instructor: S. Patel. #83263


Elective Courses

Greenhouse Growing

This hybrid online/onsite course covers various greenhouse structures and how to operate a greenhouse. Topics include types of greenhouses, greenhouse design and construction, plant propagation, winter planting, and season extension. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to plan their own greenhouse operation and have an in-depth knowledge of plant propagation.

CE-GRDN 2095, 3 Mon., Nov. 5-19, 6:30-8:30pm online and 1 Sat., Nov. 24, 9:00am-12:00pm onsite at HHF-Barn F. $225. Instructor: S. Patel #83361


Spring 2019 Class Schedule

All Spring 2019 classes are held onsite at Hilltop Hanover Farm.


Core Courses

Introduction to Organic Growing 

This course covers the basics of organic gardening and farming, highlighting topics ranging from seed selection to harvesting techniques. Includes planting methods, types of soil, plant protection, irrigation, hand tools, processing, and proper storage. Upon completion of the course, students will have an understanding of how to properly plant, care for, and harvest organic vegetables.
Dates to be announced; Onsite at HHF-Barn F.

Weeds and Pests

This course will cover how to manage weeds and pests for a bountiful vegetable harvest. Topics include natural weed management, pest management, companion planting, cover cropping methods, organic pesticides, and animal prevention techniques. Upon completion, you’ll be familiar with common pests and weeds and sustainable methods of garden weed and pest management.
Dates to be announced; Onsite at HHF-Barn


Summer Internship Program

Summer 2019 Community Service Learning


Hilltop Hanover Farm’s 8-week summer internship program can be one of the most important aspects of the certificate because it brings the sustainable agriculture curriculum to life. You will work side by side with Hilltop Hanover's farm staff to learn about weeding, pest management, crop production, and more.

Dates to be announced in 2019, Onsite at HHF- Field.


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