Adult Education

Become a Farmer

Sustainable Agriculture Certificate

Presented by Westchester Community College and Hilltop Hanover Farm

Call 914.606.6830 press 1 to register

Are you interested in organic food, sustainability, and improving soil health to help fight climate change?   A certificate in Sustainable Agriculture that is being offered by Westchester Community College and Hilltop Hanover Farm may be just what you are seeking.

Hilltop Hanover Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Certificate was designed with all growing enthusiasts in mind. We understand that most people have very busy schedules and that is why we built our certificate as an online and on-site program. All fall and spring courses are taught using Westchester Community College’s online blackboard platform. Students are required to participate in an online weekly discussion board, to attend a 2-hour weekly live lecture on Thursday 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.

This 187-acre farm is owned by the County of Westchester, and includes a five-acre commercial crop 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 curriculum will prepare those who wish to develop agricultural and entrepreneurial skills, as well as those wishing to enhance their knowledge of vegetable production. Program focus is based on environmentally sound, community based, small-farm practices.

The certificate consists of 66 hours offered over the spring and fall semesters and includes 48 hours of core courses, 18 hours of electives, and 16 hours of community service at the farm, for a total of 82 hours.

Summer Internship Program
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 the Farmers learning about weeding, pest management, crop production, and more.
8 Sun. July 8-Aug 26, 10:00am-12:00pm, Onsite in Field.

Core Courses:

Introduction to Organic Growing 
This hybrid online/on-site 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.
CE-GRDN 2093, 4 Mon., Jan. 8-29 online and 1 Sat., Feb. 3, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Onsite-Barn F, $300. #12979

New! Advanced Gardening - This course will cover advanced gardening topics ranging from leaf growth and structure to organic fertilizers. Course highlights include plant observation, propagation, seed saving, germination, pollination and microclimates. Upon completion, you’ll understand basic plant biology and be able to apply that knowledge to gardening techniques for a healthier garden.
CE-GRDN 2106, 4 Mon., Mar. 5-26 online and 1 Sat., Mar. 31, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Onsite-Barn F, $300. #13094

New! 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.
CE-GRDN 2108, 4 Mon., Apr. 2-23 online and 1 Sat., Apr. 28, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Onsite-Barn F, $300. #13011

Elective Courses:

NEW! Small Scale Livestock - Covers the basics of how to raise and manage chickens and goats. Topics include animal husbandry, feed, housing structures, and animal health. Upon completion, you’ll have an understanding of how to construct a chicken coop and the knowledge for managing a small-scale flock or herd.
CE-ANIML 2006, 3 Mon., March 5-19 online and 1 Sat., March 24, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Onsite-Barn F, $225. #13101

New! Garden Planning - This course will cover how to plan and execute a garden from seed selection to building a raised-bed garden. Topics include climate zones, soil selection, vegetable rotation, companion growing, vertical growing, container gardens, and square-foot gardens. Upon completion, you’ll be able to plan and execute a variety of garden types.
CE-GRDN 2105, 3 Mon., Apr. 23-May 7 online and 1 Sat., May 12, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, Onsite-Barn F, $225. #13093

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