Online Courses

Head Start Healthy Start Curriculum: My First Garden

School gardens are an excellent way to teach young children about where their food comes from and help kids start learning healthy eating habits young! But where do you start? Rodale Institute, the birthplace of the organic movement, has put together this resource "My First Garden," to help teachers integrate school gardens into their classroom curriculum. Use these 5 lesson plans, including "Where Food Comes From," "How Seeds Grow," "Planting a Garden," "Harvesting and Tasting," and "Visit a Farm." Each lesson comes with a video tutorial, activities, printable resources, books to read, crafts, and snacks to get all the senses involved in learning!

This curriculum is designed for preschool or kindergarten children, but could be adapted to suit early elementary school needs.

Organic Transition Course

Rodale Institute partnered with the USDA Risk Management Agency a few years ago to develop an intensive online course specifically aimed at the transitioning farmer. The Organic Transition Course has proved to be an invaluable resource for not only established growers, but beginning farmers, extension agents, professors and students of sustainable agriculture alike. Available for free wherever you have access to a computer.

The Rodale Institute's Organic Transition Course is a 15-hour online program designed to help you understand the National Organic Standards and use them as your framework for making the transition to organic production.

It's perfect for farmers who are ready to make the complete transition to certified organic, and for those interested in simply integrating more sustainable methods into their current farming system. Just want to learn more about how certified organic farming works? The course can help there, too.

Your online host will be the Rodale Institute's farm manager, Jeff Moyer. Jeff's been farming organically for more than 30 years and has spent countless hours visiting and consulting with farmers from all over the United States. Jeff will walk you through the course, touching on everything you need to know to grow and sell certified organic products, including:

• The fundamental principles of organic agriculture
• Practical details about organic crop and livestock production
• Marketing opportunities available to organic producers
• Recordkeeping and other specific requirements of organic certification

The Organic Transition Course can be taken anywhere you have access to a computer connected to the Internet. There are no set course hours, registration fees or tests to take. So if you're ready to learn more about organic farming, let's get started...