2014 Urban Farming Certification Program: January - September, 2014
The Urban Farming Certification Program is a permaculture-based, comprehensive 9 month training program that weaves together classroom work, individual mentoring, and hands-on practical farming experience that help create abundant urban spaces, skilled farmers, and community leaders in the local foods movement. Our approach is both holistic and community-based, encouraging a new generation of urban farmers to gain the knowledge, skills, and community needed to successfully grow and maintain healthy and productive habitats where they live. With customized learning opportunities and yearlong support from professional permaculture designers, local urban farmers, and mentors in our region, 2014 trainees have the rare opportunity of entering into a supportive community of peers and professionals as they learn from a range of local wisdom throughout the season. With over 70 workshops and classes to choose from, you have the opportunity to custom design a schedule that fits your lifestyle and needs. Interested? Apply today!
In these times, we see the importance of reclaiming our connection to the land, to our communities, to our health, and to our food. We believe that a holistic approach to urban farming provides an uplifting and healing process important for deepening these connections, reskilling our communities, and transforming the world around us. That is why, in 2011, PRI Cold Climate created the Twin Cities’ first Urban Farming Certification Program with a mission to certify a new generation of urban farmers working towards a more just, restorative, and economically viable local food system in our cold climate.
With over a decade of experience in building healthy urban soils, water systems, permaculture design, and high-yielding urban food production, PRI Cold Climate has brought together a comprehensive curriculum designed to strengthen community efforts while building confidence, knowledge, skills, and connections for rising leaders in the local foods movement.
In 2014, PRI will train over 25 community members as certified urban farmers. Whether you’re ready to start your own urban CSA or small business, hoping to teach or become a community leader, or simply looking to ensure healthy food to your neighbors and family, we invite you to join us today by applying today!
Permaculture is an ecological design system for living sustainably on our planet. Simply put, it teaches us to work with nature rather than against it in order to live healthy, vibrant, and abundant lifestyles. From growing our own food, restoring landscapes and ecosystems, catching rainwater, building community, and much more, permaculture provides a useful framework for how to live and grow efficiently and intentionally in our cold climate. With three main ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share of surplus, permaculture serves as an important backbone to our urban farming programming here in the Twin Cities. Under these ethics, our goal is to train farmers to design efficiently for high production of healthy local food in small, urban spaces that can benefit our markets, communities, land and ecosystems. Interested in learning more about permaculture? Feel free to check out some of our upcoming events and workshops!
The 2014 Urban Farming Certification Program will be accepting applications until November, 2013. Our early bird deadline is October 15th (applicants before this deadline get $100 discount), and our final deadline is November 15th. Applications are reviewed by a panel of experienced Urban Farming Designers and Teachers. In addition to submitting an application, all applicants will also be invited to an in person interview with Education Director, Maggie McKenna, to ensure a best fit in our programming. Individuals accepted into the certification program will be expected to create a design and production schedule for their growing space and complete one growing season in addition to the core courses and evaluation standards listed below. To apply to our 2014 Urban Farming Certification Program today click HERE.
The permaculture principles tell us to use and value diversity, and we are working to incorporate food justice as much as possible into our curriculum, programs and community so that we can build a stronger food system and permaculture movement that benefits all those who live and eat in our home communities. We are looking for a diverse class of individuals full of people of all ages, abilities, races, genders and experiences, and will prioritize this diversity when creating the 2014 class of Urban Farmers.
After being accepted into the Urban Farming Certification Program, applicants are expected to complete at least 5 core classes in addition to managing a growing plot throughout the growing season. Each farmer will be matched with a mentor during the program and will be placed in a cohort of 3-5 peer farmers for support throughout the program. Mentors will provide feedback on each individual design and production schedule as well as complete two on-site walk throughs of their farm during the growing season. Optional farm tours are also organized to provide real-world examples of successful urban farms.
Core Course Topics Include:
• Introduction to Permaculture
• Building Healthy Urban Soils
• Integrated Pest Management
• Water Systems
• High Production Polyculture Design
Additional Course Topics Include:
• Business, Marketing, & Production Skills
• Seed Starting
• Rooftop Farming
• Urban Bees & Chickens
• Harvesting and Handling Produce
• Seed Saving and more
After completing the certification program, all attendees will receive an official Urban Farming Certificate through PRI Cold Climate and will attend a graduation ceremony honoring the Twin Cities' new generation of Urban Farmers.
At PRI Cold Climate, it is our goal to make sure our programming is accessible to anyone and everyone interested in becoming certified in urban farming. To ensure all applicants are given an equal opportunity to partake in our certification program, we have provided a variety of options to fit your needs.
There are three program levels for farmers to choose from for the Urban Farming Certification Program. Check out the options below and determine what level will best fit your farming needs.
1) Basic Program: $900 Early Bird/$1000 Final Deadline
2) Full Program: $1400 Early Bird/$1500 Final Deadline
3) Intensive Program: $2000 Early Bird/$2100 Final Deadline
You should not have to go into the program alone. There are a number of different ways that PRI and community sponsors can assist you in paying for the program. Please let us know any and all barriers to joining us this season.
Pay as You Go
For most farmers, program fees are important to space out during the season, so we have created a “pay as you go” process available to all farmers.
We have created multiple work exchange opportunities available to applicants looking to become more involved in the program while partaking the certification program.
We are honored to have the opportunity to provide partial scholarships to youth, low income, and immigrant farmers in our area! Thanks to the Seward Co-op, our ability to expand this year’s program accessibility now allows more communities and farmers the opportunity to gain deeper training and certification in the field.
Throughout the season PRI will continue to look for scholarship opportunities for low-income students.
In order to have the program available to all sectors of the community, we need partners like you. Please become a sponsor today! We are working to create a mutually beneficial relationship between farmers and sponsors. Any type of sponsorship is appreciated, whether land-based or financial. Details of the contract will be worked out at the drafting table prior to the growing season.
Joining UCFP is a 9 month commitment and as such we expect full participation from all farmers to ensure participants gain as much as possible from the experience. However, we understand that there are some circumstances that are out of anyone's control. Below is PRI's Program Cancellation and Reimbursement Policy.
*We encourage your continued education through PRI. If you find you are interested in more classes than your UFCP track provides, please contact the Program Director to upgrade your program. Participants are also always welcome to register for additional classes individually at full price.