The Urban Farm School is a comprehensive, 30-week program for students to learn the ins and outs of how to be a successful urban farmer. Students will work with a team of instructors to run a neighborhood CSA + gain a 72-hour Permaculture certification + work with 25 practitioners and sites around the city of Asheville + 25 rural farmers + 50 community food leaders, including owners of businesses, directors of nonprofits, and city and county officials related to urban food and farming. The curriculum will include a full range of topics, from design and budgeting, to soil fertility, harvesting and preservation, to aquaponics and animal husbandry, to herbal medicine and forest gardens, and more. The school’s main ‘campus’ is at the Ashevillage Institute, a one-acre living learning laboratory in downtown Asheville. Several field trips, activities and workshops will be hosted at other sites around Asheville each week.
The Urban Farm School will run May 6 – November 13; Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9am – 5pm + four independent learning hours. In its first year, the school will accept 12 students. Applications are being accepted now on a first come, first served basis.
Students will also attend a one-week learning immersion hosted by Ashevillage Institute For more information on the Immersion courses, visit: Bee City USA, Local Food Culture, or Natural Building. A database of potential employers, community mentors and educational resources will be shared with each student. Multimedia storytelling and documentation will be included in each week’s activities so that students gain skills in how to tell their stories on what they are doing, and why it’s important to them, their communities, and in today’s world.
The goal of the Urban Farm School is to train people who can help establish neighborhood CSA’s, green schoolyards, community gardens, farm-to-restaurant projects, and overall urban food security. Students will learn how to 1) maximize yields in minimal space, 2) diversify farm production, 3) connect the dots between farming and potential partners, clients, community collaborators, and stakeholders, 4) demonstrate what is possible in one backyard, and 5) further the meaning of food security in our cities. This food-centric school brings together enthusiastic farm- and food-growing students with the practitioners, the projects, the networks, the skills, and the visions to effectively farm in the city.
About Jason Sandford: Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville. View author profile.