Detailed Information on Specific ENVS Courses

ENVS 10400: Gardening Principles and Practices: Creating Foodscapes

Instructor: Karryn Olson-Ramanujan email:
1 credit, Fridays from 10am-12pm, with one additional hour weekly on a small group project


Enrollment: Open to all majors and grade levels! You can get instructor permission by completing on-line override/permission to enroll form and emailing it to the instructor along with a few compelling sentences about why you want to take the course—How does it fit in with your studies? What experience or expertise might you bring to this highly self-directed and collaborative course? Gardening experience is not required, but if you have some, describe it!


Learning outdoors in the student-run organic and permaculture gardens, this hands-on course will enable you to work with soil and plants, and to learn about the conscious design of landscapes and social networks that care for them.


Both gardens are student-led endeavors to reconnect people with their foodshed, and to demonstrate campus activism around food and sustainability.  Students serving as Course Assistants (CAs) are key parts of the teaching team. Students with some gardening experience (regardless of major) are encouraged to apply to be a CA to get teaching experience and credit—contact the instructor if you are interested.


Since we will only meet for half of a semester, this course will offer you an introduction to many topics that you can explore in-depth as your time and passion allow. You will be expected to work enthusiastically on at least one project (some projects are more time-intensive than others, so some students will work on more than one project).

Our overarching goal in this course is to help you connect to the soil, growing food, ecological design, and how to communicate your enthusiasm to others.

Possible Block II Spring projects:

  • starting seedlings indoors and directly into the garden
  • bed preparation
  • documentation and record-keeping
  • ongoing outreach and education strategies
    • photos, video, etc documenting our work and the evolution of the gardens
    • update brochures and outreach materials
    • blogging, FaceBook, etc
    • developing high-end signage (graphics skills required) and fundraising for it
    • creating a self-guided tour
  • documenting and communicating the “business case” for the permaculture garden

Possible Block I Fall projects:

  • harvesting and outreach using garden produce
  • season extension crops and methods
  • seed saving
  • end-of season bed and perennial preparation
  • developing care and maintenance logs and manuals
  • recruiting a new crop of garden and on-campus "really local" food enthusiasts
  • ongoing outreach and education strategies


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing