Organic Farming Summer Program

We are increasingly disconnected from nature, and in particular, from the sources of our food. Today, many of the foods that characterize a typical Western diet come from a global supply chain, which has produced devastating effects on our economy, our health, and the environment.

In this Sustainable Summer program…

  • You’ll learn fascinating facts, like why many of the foods we eat are really just processed corn and why the earthworm may be the most important organism on the planet.
  • You’ll learn practical skills like, how to plant and maintain a garden and how to compost your food waste at home.
  • You’ll consider political challenges to agricultural sustainability in a global context, like how government subsidies and biofuel programs have put 1.5 million farmers in Latin America out of work, many of whom are now working illegally in meat packing plants in the US.
  • You’ll examine the ecological impacts of our global food system, which accounts for substantial greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy usage, land degradation, pollution, and public health issues.

Your Sustainable Summer experience will span from the shimmering Pacific to the majestic Andes.  The first segment of the program will be in the Tumbaco Valley, learning from local artisans and food producers who are pioneering new models of sustainable production and consumption, and meeting with leaders of a grassroots effort to reform agricultural production in the Andean nations.

Next, we will venture into the backroads of the Andean highlands, where we’ll spend a few days at the Black Sheep Inn, a world renowned eco-lodge focused on ‘permaculture’ and community-owned tourism.

The middle of the program will be based at the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm, near the coastal town of Canoa. Sustainable Summer and Rio Muchacho, one of Ecuador’s leading organizations for agricultural sustainability and eco-tourism, have developed a customized, 8-day organic farming program for our participants that combines a broad-based sustainability curriculum with theoretical and practical investigation of food and agriculture. Learn more about Rio Muchacho and our sustainable agriculture course instructors here.

Finally, we will head down the coast to Machalilla National Park and Isla de la Plata (the ‘mini-Galapagos) for reflection and program closing.

We’ll make sure there’s ample time for fun and adventure in between and alongside the educational components. A few examples include whale watching at Isla de la Plata, hiking around the iconic Laguna Quilatoa, surfing, horseback-riding, and much more.

Not sure if this is the right option for you? Use our Compare Programs page to help you assess which Sustainable Summer is the best fit for your interests and comfort zone.