For folks who are ready to walk their talk, grow their food, and learn how to be food independent in our cities. 815 program hours. Permaculture Design Certificate included. Learn with 25 city practitioners + 25 rural farmers + 50 community food leaders. Enrollment is open and filling fast. See application at the bottom of this page.
May 6 – November 13, 2013. M, T, W; 9am – 5pm + four independent project hours + a one-week learning Natural Building Extravaganza immersion. For information on 3-day workshops with the Urban Farm School.
Asheville, North Carolina. Half of the program will be hosted at the main campus, the Ashevillage Institute and Sanctuary. The other half will be hosted amongst 25 city practitioner sites and 25 rural farms.
Everyone needs to eat! With global food insecurity, urban food deserts, rising costs, GMO’s, health, obesity and and and myriad other issues, communities around the world are in need of cultivating food systems that work at a whole systems, deeply local scale. Our cities are no exception! Beyond systems that simply work, is the exciting opportunity to design and develop systems that THRIVE! Replicable solutions and real models already exist, from neighborhood food shed design to practical hands-on skills; micro-farms to CSA’s to farmers markets; relationship building to media storytelling. This full-season, food-centric School brings together the farmer, the site, the vision, the networks, the skills and the food producing enthusiasts to grow downtown Asheville’s first CSA, certify students in Permaculture, work and learn with 100 practitioners and/or community food leaders, and connect the dots on farming in the urban landscape. Based in one of the country’s hotbeds of local food culture, the Urban Farm School launches its first year in 2013 at the Ashevillage Institute and Sanctuary in Asheville, North Carolina.
“Urban farming is significant because it is 100% possible for us to collectively create truly local, long-lasting, integrated and vibrant culture within our cities. Addressing food means addressing all aspects of society…..From education to economics; water supply to seed supply; local governance to quality of life. None of these things are separate.” ~Janell Kapoor, Founder, Urban Farm School
URBAN FARM SCHOOL
The Urban Farm School is a comprehensive, 28-week, 815 hour program for students to learn the in’s and out’s of growing resilient food systems in urban environments. Optional 3-day workshops are also available. Main goal: To provide a living learning laboratory for students who aim to farm in urban environments. Campus: The Ashevillage micro-CSA gardens, plus urban homesteads, micro-nurseries, permaculture experiments, an edible park, aquaponics factory, nearby farms, woods and wild places. The School will accept 16 students who will work with a team of instructors to run a neighborhood CSA + gain a 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, including: permaculture design, seasonal success strategies, soil fertility, harvesting, preservation, value-added products, fermentation, aquaponics, chickening, animal husbandry, herbal medicine-making, forest gardens, entrepreneurship development, multimedia documentation, and more. The school’s main ‘campus’ is at the Ashevillage Institute, a one-acre living learning laboratory in downtown Asheville. Weekly field trips, activities and workshops will be hosted at other sites around Asheville. Please read the details below and fill out the application at the bottom of this page if you would like to be considered for a student position.
TOPICS & TECHNIQUES
|Planning an Urban Food System: Crops and crop planning • Site assessment • Soil testing • Site planning • Designing the yield
• Selecting seeds & plants •
Growing from seed • Effective
use of hand tools, equipment
& your body
Foundation of Fertility: Soil science • Nutrients and minerals • Understanding &
Creating a Farm Organism:
Crop Establishment and Maintenance: Soil preparation • Propagation • Irrigation • Mushrooms • Sheet Mulching • Polycultures • Pests, weed & disease control • Fruit trees & grafting • Season extension • Record keeping
Taking in the Harvest:
|The Bigger Picture:
Food Justice • Seed Saving • Understanding food deserts • Working models in action •
Wild Foods Market • Sharing
the story • Food solutionaries in action • Local food culture • Food Waste • Asheville, a hot spot: 1st Green Dining Destination in the country; 1st Bee City in the
country; #1 Beer City USA
INDEPENDENT LEARNING PROJECTS
“The Urban Farm School will help to generate community leaders with hands-in-the-dirt skills, coupled with big vision comprehension and connections to feed our urban bellies and souls!
Each student has four hours per week to focus on an independent learning project based on the following areas. These projects may take place at Ashevillage, with a mentor around town, or on your own property. Scheduling can be customized to fit each student’s schedule.
• Permaculture: Develop a whole-systems design
• Bees: From beekeeping, to bee products, to the politics of bees
• Mushrooms: Set up an edible mushroom production operation
• Aquaponics: Catch and filter rainwater naturally to grow fish and plants
• Fermentation: Make mead, wine, kraut, kimchi, and other delectable goodies
• Herbs: Harvest and process medicinal herbs, make remedies, teas, tinctures, etc.
• Compost & Soil: From vermiculture to soldier fly larvae; biodynamic teas to humanure
• Natural Building: From adobe brick making, to cob & sculptural relief, to basic carpentry
• Multimedia storytelling: Capture foodie stories through blogging, social media & photography
• Marketing & Outreach: Connect with local restaurants and food buyers to direct market products
ASHEVILLAGE INSTITUTE & SANCTUARY
The Urban Farm School is a program of the Ashevillage Institute, a nonprofit that is host to an Nautral Building School, community resilience and leadership immersions, educational tours and special events. Ashevillage inspires participants to walk their talk in their own backyards, neighborhoods and communities. The School’s main campus is the Ashevillage Sanctuary LLC, a premier one-acre, eco-urban demonstration site, residence, guest house and living-learning laboratory that features a 20,000 gallon rainwater catchment system with five recirculating ponds and aquaponic greenhouse; beautiful edible, medicinal, and flowered landscape; natural building projects, including two naturally renovated houses, earthen and timber-framed cottages, a recycled courtyard and wood-fired earthen ovens. The site is located a few blocks from downtown Asheville and borders 60 acres of wooded parkland and trails.
• May 6 – November 13, 2013, three days per week; M, T, W from 9am – 5pm.
• Monday & Tuesday mornings will be at Ashevillage Institute’s headquarters, with afternoons at urban and rural farm sites.
• Wednesdays will typically be at the Ashevillage Institute for CSA management, meeting with two visiting community food leaders, and an end-of-the-week multimedia wrap-up session.
• Students will select one week-long Ashevillage Immersion (Bee City USA, Local Food Culture, Natural Building)
• Four hours per week can be individually scheduled for independent learning projects
Weekly schedule: Aside from the one week-long Natural Building Extravaganza, the weekly schedule will be roughly based on:
• 3.5 hours: Projects & classes with Urban Practitioners
• 3.5 hours: Working field trips with Rural Farmers
• 2 hours: Meet with Community Food Leaders
• 2 hours: Multimedia storytelling
Total: 28 hours per week
“I spent two growing seasons and a winter on the farm that Sunil managed, and loved every minute of it.” ~ George K
CSA FARMER & INSTRUCTOR: Sunil Patel is the CSA Manager and Curriculum Coordinator. He has been farming biodynamically for eight years in various locales across the United States. Sunil managed a CSA with seven interns that produced 100 shares a season at Greenmoore Gardens. He facilitated farming internships at State College in Pennsylvania for the last four years. In addition, he is a skilled cook, baker, and cheese maker.
25 URBAN PRACTITIONERS: Each week, students will engage with an urban practitioner in a combined class and hands-on learning project. Here is a sampling of instructors: Andrew Goodheart, Anthony Coggiola, Debra Roberts, Dylan Ryals-Hamilton, E.V. von Seldeneck, Jamie Sparks, Joe Dofflemyer, Keri Evjy, Luke Cannon, Mateo Ryall, Mike Fortune, Steve Rice, Zev Friedman, with more to come. More about our instructors.
25 RURAL FARMERS: Each week, students will participate in a working field trip to a notable rural farm in exchange for hands-on learning, job training, as well as produce and products to add to the CSA. Details will be posted soon.
50 COMMUNITY FOOD LEADERS: Each week, students will learn about local initiatives, businesses, restaurants, and key community stakeholders that propel urban farm and food projects, and who may serve as future partners, clients and/or employers. Here is a sampling of who will be involved: Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, Bee City USA™, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, Center for Honeybee Research, City Farmer’s Market, Foodtopia, French Broad Food Coop, The Market Place, and many more.
MUTLIMEDIA & DOCUMENTATION WITH JB MEDIA: Though not every urban farmer needs to know how to capture and share their story, use social media, and get the word out about what they are doing…and why, it sure doesn’t hurt! The Urban Farm School is partnered with JB Media, one of Asheville’s leading internet marketing firms. In addition, multiple professional photographers, videographers and bloggers will support the multimedia storytelling and documentation process. Our students will learn an often overlooked, but significant tool that can give a huge boost to any successful enterprise or initiative.
There are two fee options. For more information on 3-day workshops.
Option 1) Pay the entire fee before May 6th for a total of $4,600. A $1,300 deposit will be needed to reserve your space + a post-dated check of $3,300 by or before May 6th, or
Option 2) Pay a $1,300 deposit to reserve your space + monthly payment installments of $450 over an eight month period. In this option, the total fee will come to $4,900. If you would like tips on how to seek sponsors/financial support, contact us.
Please note: Students must make their own lodging and transportation arrangements. Ashevillage Institiute is an easy walk to downtown. We will be happy to connect you with local networks if you need a place to live. Students will need their own garden gloves, sturdy work shoes, a pocket knife, a trowel, and a few other basic tools, as well as several books. Expect to spend $100-$150. Carpooling on field trips will be a shared expense amongst students.
Certain interested participants who have diagnosed mental or physical disabilities may qualify for state vocational rehabilitation program funding for Ashevillage Institute programs. For more information contact your state’s Health and Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation office.
Registration is first come, first served. Because of overwhelming interest, the Urban Farm School has increased its staffing, thus has capacity to accept 16 applicants. Be in touch and send applications ASAP if you are interested! To register, follow these steps:
- Copy/paste and send the survey below to email@example.com with the questions included in the body of the text.
- We will get back to you within three business days to confirm availability.
- Once confirmed, a deposit will reserve your place based on one of the two following options. Your seat will not be reserved until we have received a deposit.
- If you prefer Option 1 (see Fee section above), please send a non-refundable deposit of $1,300 to reserve your place + a check of $3,300 (post-dated by, or before May 6th) in the same envelope to: “Ashevillage Institute,” 80 Buchanan Ave, Asheville, NC 28801. Memo: Your name + UFS.
- If you prefer Option 2 (payment plan), please send one envelope with your $1,300 non-refundable deposit to reserve your place + eight post-dated checks for $450 each (for the 1st of each month, starting with the month that follows your deposit, ie: $1,300 deposit paid in February, with $450 for May 1st, June 1st, July 1st, etc…all the way til October 1st. Checks will be deposited according to their dates. If you have any questions at all, contact us. Please see our cancellation policy below.
All deposits, payments and payment installments are 100% NON-REFUNDABLE. If you are on a payment plan and do not complete the program, your remaining checks will be deposited. We expect this non-refundable policy to be respected and implemented. If cancellation notification is given prior to May 6th, your fee will be transferable to another Ashevillage program within 12 months of notification, minus a non-transferable/non-refundable $800.
The intention of this survey is for our team to get a sense of your skills and background. Please copy, paste and answer the following questions. Send in the body of the email or attached as a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Name, date of birth, phone, email, home address.
2. How did you hear about the Urban Farm School? Please be as specific as you can. If you saw it on facebook, which facebook page? If on the internet, where exactly?
3. What do you hope to gain from participating?
4. How do you intend to integrate what you learn into your life? Are you partnering with a group, organization or business to do a follow up project? What project are you considering?
5. Please describe any related experience that you have to gardening, farming and/or permaculture.
6. If there are specific areas of learning that you are most interested in, please list them here.
7. Given you will be part of a working team, share a little about your background working with others.
8. Are you physically fit, able to walk on varied terrain for hours at a time, and/or lift full wheel barrows?
9. If there are opportunities during other days of the week to work for pay on related jobs in the area, would you be interested?
10. Please share three interesting things about your life.
11. If you did not participate in this program, what would you do instead?
12. Will you pay the fee up front or will you be on a payment plan?
13. Would you like tips on how to raise sponsorships to cover part of your fee?
14. Is there anything else that you would like us to know?
15. When you send in your application, please include one head shot (we like to put a face to the name), as well as contact info for one personal and one professional reference.