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Assignments and Grading

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Schedule  *  Assignments and Grading  *   Group Pages  *  Recipes and Food Preservation  *  Food News!  *  Events  * Resources


Assignments and Grading


Your grade for the class will be based on the following:

40%     Attendance & Participation

20%     Final Exam
20%     Book Review / Discussion
10%     Eat Local Assignment
5%     Group Assignments
5%       "Style points" (Teamwork, Effort and Enthusiasm)


Attendance and Participation

This is a hands-on class and attendance and participation are required. This includes participation in farm work, Saturday work sessions, field trips, and class discussion. There really is no substitute for getting your hands dirty!



As much as possible, we will try to incorporate discussions of the reader into our more practical work on the farm. You are not required to follow any particular timeline, but reading the materials throug the term will enrich your on-farm experience and will help you avoid a reading crunch come finals time. Everything in the reader is fair game as far as the final exam goes, as is anything your group leader discusses in class.


Book Review

Your assignment is to read one of the books listed below (one you haven't already read) and write a five page paper that 1) clearly explains the major thesis of the book and 2) provides a well thought-out response. Please try wherever possible to tie your review back to lessons you’re learning at the Urban Farm. The paper should be word processed and 1.5 or double spaced. Your paper should be carefully written, spell-checked and edited. Please hand in a polished, concise paper--not a first draft. Express your opinions thoughtfuly and courageously. Make a point. Take a stand. Make this a wonderful, sincere, fascinating paper to read. You will be evaluated on both the style and the content of the paper.


Most of the books are at the University bookstore, but you may need to look for some of the books at other bookstores. We recommend perusing the bookstore(s) early so you can make a good selection and so that you have ample time to read and think about what you have read. 


If you have not yet read them, we suggest one of the following two books:

  • Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. (2007)
  • Pollan, Michael. Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. (2006)


Other books in the Urban Farm canon can be found here. If you wish to read a book that is not on this list, please check in with your group leader first.


Eat Local Exercise

(See also handout distributed in class). The basic assignment is for you to eat only food/drinks/ingredients that have been grown and/or processed locally for two days.  Then, on a single 8.5"x11" sheet of paper (single spaced), address the following five questions:

  1. What is your definition of "local" food? Be geographically specific.
  2. How did you come to that definition?
  3. What EXACTLY did you eat for those two days? (Keep track of all ingredienta and where they came from. Be as specific as you can.)
  4. What was your experience? Discuss challenges, epiphones, questions, and deviations from your normal routine, etc. Please be thorough. We want to know what you learned, and whether or not you think you could do this on a regular basis.
  5. What were the cost implications? Site specific price differences, and let us know if these differences would alter the way you purchase food.


Successful Eat Local assignments will be those where you have demonstrated an expanded awareness about local food systems. For those whose eating habits are already consideribly "local", credit will be given to students who go beyond their usual habits and offer thoughtful reflection and information about local food. Topics such as nutritional benefits, cost analyses and societal impacts should be considered.


Group Assigments  

     TBA by your group leader. Will vary from group to group.


Final Exam

The test will be based on the Urban Farm Reader and other assigned readings, class discussion, field trips, panel discussions, plant identification, and field trips. We will have a review session before the test and a study guide will be available. The plant identification portion of the test may be held on a different date from the scheduled exam (we’ll let you know.) 




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