The Urban Farming Institute of Boston (UFI) offers a series of urban farming courses as part of their 2019 Farming Training Program. The program trains residents from Boston neighborhoods in the basics of small scale urban farming in the city, food systems, and business planning basics.
The first nine-week class will cover urban farming basics, exploring various aspects of urban farming such as: food systems, soil quality, environmental challenges and opportunities, crop planning, organic agriculture, farm-business planning, and engage in dialogue around building strong food systems. The classroom is aimed to assist participants in becoming future farmers by developing the necessary competency to manage a successful urban farm and positively impact a healthier, more sustainable food system and environment. The course costs $100 per person.
The second course – Summer Hands-On Learning – is hands-on and intensive and lasts for 20 weeks. It is only available for a select group of candidates after completing the Urban Farming Basics course. It gives students the opportunity to experience real-life urban farming. Participants receive a monthly stipend.
The Urban Farming Institute also offers volunteer opportunities on the farm throughout the year. Individuals and groups with all types of skills and experience can volunteer for tasks such as planting, weeding, composting, watering, and more.
In the last five years UFI has graduated five teams of urban farmers, developed the first as-of right-urban farm under Boston’s new zoning amendment, and founded and co-sponsored three statewide urban farming conferences. To date, 80% of the graduates of UFI’s training program work in farm and food related businesses in the region and two more farm sites are in development with a third expected in the near future.