Curriculum

Hoop Raising!

OUR GENERAL PHILOSOPHY

The internship/apprenticeship is, at its core, a working/learning experience.  The primary method for learning about farming is hands-on learning.  All work assignments are made within the context of working as a team, and as part of the overall farm operations.  Our farm depends on mutual cooperation and willingness to help one another accomplish the overall goals of a successful season and demonstration urban farm.

 

OUR FARM WORK ETHIC

Farming is a mix of working hard and smart.  Each individual should continually strive to find a balance between speed and efficiency, and balancing an eye for details while maintaining a grasp of the greater vision of the farm, the staff, and the season as a whole.  There are a finite number of days and hours in the season the get our work done, so a positive attitude, enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and endurance for long hours in all types of weather, communication, and a serious interest in sustainable agriculture are all very important qualities.

 

WORK AGREEMENT

Apprentices and interns work in all aspects of the farm’s production, from seeding, transplanting, nursery propagation, irrigation, bed preparation and cultivation, composting, harvesting, post-harvest processing, and marketing.  During the course of the season, apprentices and interns are given the information and time to learn about farming’s many skills and topics.

 

LEARNING BENCHMARKS

Month 1-        March/September          

Nursery Seeding and Management

  • Making the Potting Mix
  • Watering, Thinning and Feeding
  • Potting Up

Utilizing Recordkeeping

  • Recording Nursery and Field Work

Direct Seeding, Transplanting, & Field Management pt.1

  •   Bed Preparation
  •   Using the 4-Row Seeder and Earthway Seeder
  •   Using Transplanting Jig

Harvest and Marketing pt. 1

  • Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling
  • Farmers Market/CSA

 

Month 2-        April/October

Direct Seeding, Transplanting, & Field Management pt 2

  •  Seeders…
  • Weeding
  • Feeding: Compost Tea, Fish and Kelp, Sidedressing
  • Pests and Dis-ease

Harvest and Marketing pt 2

  • DIY Farmers Marketing/CSA

Compost pt 1

  • The Basics: Windrows vs Worms
  • Making a Windrow
  • Making Worm Feed: Bokashi
  • Feeding the Worms

Beds On Contour for Water Conservation @ Bladensburg

 

Month 3-        May/November

Crop Planning pt 1

  • Analyzing Crop Profitability

Compost pt 2

  • Maintaining a Windrow
  • Maintaining the Worms
  • Harvesting Compost

 

Month 4-        June/December

Season Extension

  • Principles of Season Extension
  • Appropriate Technologies for Winter Farming

Crop Planning pt 1

  • Planning for Next Season and Making a Crop Plan

The Cold Frame as a Low-Cost DIY Nursery

Month 5         July/January

Farm Business Planning pt 1

  • Planning for Next Season
  • Basic Business Plan Outline and AgPlan UMN
  • Mission Statement
  • SWOT Analysis

Month 6-        August/February

Farm Business Planning pt 2

  • Financials: Budgets, Cash Flow