HORT 91A: COMPOSTING THEORY & TECHNIQUES
Foothill College Course Outline of Record
|Hours:||12 lecture per quarter (12 total per quarter)|
|Degree & Credit Status:||Degree-Applicable Credit Course|
|Grade Type:||Letter Grade Only|
Student Learning Outcomes
- Student will be able to construct a hot compost pile.
- Student will be able to identify different methods of composting
The student will be able to:
A. discuss the benefits of healthy soils and the contribution composting makes to plant nutrition.
B. demonstrate an understanding of the theory, techniques, and maintenance practices used in composting and vermicomposting.
C. list the steps of the composting process and what products can be used for compost.
D. demonstrate the ability to construct and maintain a variety of composting and vermicomposting systems.
E. compare and describe the various harvesting methods utilized in composting.
F. describe how composting is used by different cultures in agricultural and garden settings.
A. Overview of soils and plant nutrition
1. Soil content (organic and inorganic)
2. Soil texture
3. Benefits of healthy soils
B. Composting and vermicomposting theory, techniques, and maintenance practices
1. Composting and vermicomposting systems
2. Benefits of composting
3. Ingredients (ratios of organics, water, oxygen, and other nutrients)
5. Micro-organisms (fungi and bacteria)
6. Macro-organisms (worms, beetles, etc.)
7. Compost turning
8. Vermicomposting (storage bins, worms, food, maintenance, and harvesting)
C. The composting process
1. Aerobic decomposition of organic materials
2. Which organic materials to utilize (and which not to)
3. Procedures for starting and maintaining a compost pile
D. Construction and maintenance of composting and vermicomposting systems
1. Build or assemble compost bins, piles and related systems
2. Tools utilized in composting
3. Select materials and begin a compost system
4. Troubleshooting (identifying problems and solutions)
E. Harvesting methods
1. Evaluation of compost quality
2. Applications for finished composts
F. Composting systems in different cultural settings
3. Food production
Special Facilities and/or Equipment
Method(s) of Evaluation
A. Practical skills tests.
B. Field test on composting techniques.
Method(s) of Instruction
A. Discussions on the benefits of healthy soils.
B. Field installations which demonstrate composting and vermicomposting practices.
C. Discussions of organic materials and the composting process.
D. Presentations and discussions on harvesting methods.
E. Discussions of cultural impacts of composting.
Representative Text(s) and Other Materials
Gardner, Kevin. Garden Compost: Home Composting. Seattle, WA: Amazon (self-published), 2015.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments
A. Reading assignments include weekly reviews of concepts pertaining to the theory, practice, maintenance, and compost harvesting techniques presented in each specific class (approx. 20 pages per week).