Organic crop production; production and use of compost for fertility, transplant media and water extracts (tea) for managing soil and plant health.
August 1, 1985
60% University General
20% Michigan AgBio Research
Ph.D., Horticultural Science, Michigan State University, 1985
M.S., Horticultural Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 1981
B.S., Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, 1979
I have taught an average of two courses per semester including 20 different courses and over 50 independent studies over 30 years.
For the academic year 2014-2015 I am teaching Greenhouse Structures and Operation (HRT 221, Fall), Organic Farming Principles and Practices (HRT 251, Spring), Compost Production and Use (HRT 253, Spring), Organic Transplant Production (HRT 243, Spring), and Passive Solar Greenhouses for Protected Cultivation (HRT 242, Spring). The last three are one credit each and taught consecutively for five week sessions with an on-line format.
HRT253 Syllabus 2014
HRT243 Syllabus/Schedule - 2013 Online
HRT242 Syllabus/Schedule - 2013 Online
HRT251 Syllabus 2014
HRT251 Schedule 2014
From 1998 to present I worked with undergraduate and graduate students to develop a vision, location, and funding for development and operation of a year-round, student operated, diversified, organic farm. The current site has 15 total acres with 20,000 square feet under cover and 5 acres in cultivation. Part of my role has been coordinating efforts to bring faculty and students from diverse academic departments together to build curriculum around the farm experience. Our emphasis is on both ecological farming and cultivating connections between the community and farmers. In addition to the courses mentioned above I previously taught Vegetable Production and Management (HRT 343, spring) for 5 years, a one credit course on organic certification (HRT 252, spring, 3 years) and a one credit course on culinary and medicinal herbs (HRT 244, summer, 3 years).
For more about the MSU Student Organic Farm please see: www.msuorganicfarm.org
From 1985 to 1998 I taught courses on: 1) Foliage Plant Production and Interior Plant Maintenance, 2) Bedding Plant Production, 3) Cut Flower Production, 4) Potted Plant Production, 5) Controlled Environments, 6) Principles of Horticulture Laboratory, and 7) Greenhouse Structures and Management. I served as faculty advisor to Horticulture Club for 5 years (1985-1990). I also participated in the Bailey Scholars Program and served as a convenor for the Senior Transitions course (8). I helped revise the undergraduate horticulture curriculum with conversion from a quarter to semester system and again to reduce the number of courses.
Since 1985 I have mentored four doctoral and seven masters students and served on 10 additional thesis committees.
From 2007 to present my focus has been on production and use of compost for fertility, transplant media and water extracts (tea) for managing soil and plant health. In 2010 I began work on vermicomposting of campus food residue in uheated hoophouses / passive solar greenhouses. In 2012 we started culinary herb production in a hoophouse on campus using food waste compost as the growing substrate.
From 1995 to 2007 my focus was on greenhouse production of edible flowers and culinary herbs; organic transplant production, and hoophouse/passive solar greenhouse winter production and harvesting of baby salad greens, year-round organic vegetable production.
To learn more about hoophouses please see: www.hoophouse.msu.edu
From 1985 to 1995, my research investigated the effect of irrigation method and water quality on nutrient management in peat-based media to develop fertilization methods for peat-based media that minimized fertilizer use and runoff from greenhouses while mainting crop quality.
My primary focus is providing educational programs and technical assistance for small-scale organic farmers through the MSU Student Organic Farm and MSU Extension. Key topic areas include season extension/hoophouses, compost production, organic transplants, intensive vegetable production including urban agriculture, and organic soil management.
Current affiliations and partners include Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA), Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), Keep Growing Detroit, Edible Flint, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) and the Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference (NMSFC).
Also participate in the organization of the Michigan Organic Agriculture Conference and Organic sessions for the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo. I serve as a member of the MOFFA Board of Directors and as the education committee chair.
I am an affiliate of the MSU Center for Regional Food System. Information about the Center's programs and activities can be found at www.foodsystems.msu.edu
Starting in 2013 I am working as a partner in the development of a year-round teaching and outreach farm at the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center. To learn about the Center visit the website at: http://agbioresearch.msu.edu/centers/uprc
From 1985 to 1995 our outreach helped reduce water and fertilizer runoff by over 50% in the greenhouse industry through improved fertilization, use of recirculating subirrigation system, management of peat-based root media; I presented invited grower presentations in 19 states over a five-year period.
Important: These materials are intended for use by students, educators, farmers and gardeners. They are not intended for publication or distribution without permission of the author.
Recommendations for Worm Composting for small scale intensive farming and gardening based on five years of research (2010-2014) with vermicomposting kitchen preparation residue in a passive solar greenhouse or high tunnel.
Launching a new teaching and incubator farm at the UPREC North Farm has been an important new effort for 2014. Hiring a farm manager and assistant farm manager, developing a starting farm plan, and ordering and construction a hoophouse were completed by June 1. The crew at the farm has made great progress since then.
Greenhouse production of organic vegetable transplants, edible flowers and culinary herbs.
Organic transplant production, winter production and harvesting of baby salad greens, year-round organic vegetable production. Production and use of compost for fertility, transplant media and water extracts (tea) for managing soil and plant health. Effect of irrigation method and water quality on nutrient management in peat-based media; fertilization methods for peat-based media.