Graduate project

Environmental horticulture curriculum

The Monterey county economy is built around the agriculture sector. Top crops produced require knowledge and skill in the horticulture industry. This particular industry provides job opportunities, making it essential for the Everett Alvarez FFA program to retain students in the plant science pathway and more specifically, the environmental horticulture class. This project creates a resource to aid horticulture teachers with an updated curriculum and recommendations procedures to build a shade house and garden/planter boxes to allow students hands on experience in the horticulture industry. Research revealed limited resources for horticulture curriculum. Most resources included very traditional lesson plans with lectures and focus questions. Lesson plans needed to be updated and a laboratory component added to be used in the multiple facets of horticulture industry. This will also align with the current trends in American education, including next generation education, which emphasizes true learning and inquiry. The areas of study for the curriculum were identified along with targeted research on students and the learning process. Next, materials were gathered and collected from former classes, online resources and other horticulture teachers. Materials were compiled and placed into one document divided into subdivisions/ units. The shade house and planter/garden boxes were built by the horticulture class. The shade house was purchased as a do it yourself kit. Students constructed the shade house by leveling the ground, cementing, and leveling the poles into the ground and attaching the shade cloth. Students also constructed 10' X 12' planter boxes by leveling the ground, using power drills and construction screws. In conclusion, recommendations should be the inclusion of technology or web based learning into the curriculum. Recommendations for the shade house included adding pea gravel to for drainage as well as an automatic watering system.

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