urban agriculture

Registration Open: Urban Farming Course

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green vegetables growing in raised bed garden
Photo: Sigmund on Unsplash

Join us for an Urban Farmer Training Course. We’re coordinating with @GVInitiative to offer this course from May through October. Details: s.uconn.edu/urbanfarmingcourse

This program is funded in part by USDA NIFA.

Jacqueline Kowalski Hired as Urban Agriculture Educator

Jacqueline KowalskiUrban agriculture in Connecticut is growing! Urban farms, community gardens, and innovative practices such as hydroponics are all a part of the urban agriculture landscape. To help meet the needs of the urban agriculture community, Jacqueline Kowalski recently joined the UConn Extension team. She is based at the Fairfield County Extension Center in Bethel.

Identified as a land reuse strategy, community and economic development vehicle, and means to help address food insecurity, urban agriculture production has many benefits, including mitigating the effects of climate change. Climate change continues to affect all areas of food production including urban agriculture which could play a huge role to play in addressing food system stabilization.

While she grew up in a rural community, her first professional position took her to St. Croix, Virgin Islands working for the University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station where she developed her career-long passions of increasing specialty crop production and providing technical support to historically underserved farmers.  Jacqueline’s most recent work has been with Ohio State University Extension in Cleveland and Akron in the areas of beginning farmer education, seasonal high tunnel production, community garden leadership training, and volunteer management.

The position at UConn appealed to her for many reasons which include the growing number of urban farmers and those interested in the benefits of urban agriculture, the increasing participation of BIPOC farmers engaging in the food system, and UConn’s commitment to partnering with urban communities and working toward undoing structural racism that prevented many from participating the food system.

She will be offering a beginning urban farmer training program in collaboration with the Green Village Initiative starting in May 2022. For more information visit s.uconn.edu/urbanfarmingcourse.

Prior to her work with Ohio State, she was the Director of Horticulture and Agronomy for the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture. She received her formal education from Michigan State University and the University of the Virgin Islands.

Urban Agriculture Webinar – January 19th

hydroponic lettuce in a greenhouseJoin us on January 19th at 7 PM for a webinar on Urban Agriculture Opportunities in Connecticut. Dean Indrajeet Chaubey from the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, and Extension educators Jacqueline Kowalski and Jiff Martin are presenting along with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, USDA, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Full details and registration are available at https://s.uconn.edu/urbanagwebinar

Urban Agriculture Community Advisory Board

Attention New Haven Residents:
Do you want to create an environment that supports all residents so that they can benefit from urban agriculture and its positive impacts on health, social, economic and environmental?
Apply to the Urban Agriculture Community Advisory Council and help create a community-led vision and a plan for urban agriculture in New Haven! To learn more and to apply, visit: bit.ly/nhvagcab. High or official experience in urban agriculture and food systems are not required to participate!
Urban Agriculture Advisory Board Flyer with picture of garden, people gardening and a woman picking out a pumpkin

Job Opening: Urban Agriculture Assistant/Associate Extension Educator

farmers market
Urban agriculture students at the Danbury Farmers Market.

Job Opening: Urban Agriculture Assistant/Associate Extension Educator

 
The Department of Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11 month), non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator, primarily based at the Fairfield County Extension Office in Bethel, CT. Extension Educators are community-based faculty who make a difference in communities by connecting community needs with University resources. Position level/rank will be commensurate with experience working with Extension. Anticipated start date is July 2021.
 

Urban Agriculture in Bridgeport

Blumenthal and urban ag students

Extension works on urban agriculture projects in cities including Danbury, Stamford and Bridgeport. We are collaborating with food accessibility and food justice organizations in Bridgeport to build capacity growing fresh vegetables.

Growing sites include schools, community centers and capped brown fields. Partners provide healthy food and train underserved, diverse audiences in farming.

UConn Extension offered two urban agriculture courses in Bridgeport, collaborating with Green Village Initiative. We implemented a year-round urban agriculture program in both English and Spanish. Fifteen urban residents from Bridgeport completed the 2018 program.

The Food Justice AmeriCorps VISTA Project service program built organizational capacity in community food security and food justice. Food justice helps communities grow, market, and eat healthy foods. Our partners empowered their communities through food programs and services. Host sites shared best practices and learned new skills in engaging people through participatory decision-making. We had four VISTA service members in Bridgeport. Host organizations were: the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative, CTCORE— Organize Now!, Green Village Initiative, and at Housatonic Community College.

Article by Bonnie Burr and Jiff Martin

Where can we get healthy food? #AskUConnExtension

Where can we get healthy food? Dr. German Cutz, one of our Extension educators, discusses urban agriculture as one option as we use innovative technology and new methods to grow food for our families and communities.

vegetables with two hands picking some up and question: Where can we get healthy food?

#AskUConnExtension

Video: Mike Zaritheny

Urban Agriculture Graduation

2018 Urban Agriculture graduates from the UConn Extension program
Standing (left-right): Dr. German Cutz, Ecuadorian Consulate Representative, Franzel Ansah, Farron Harvey, Dr. Michael O’Neil (Associate Dean UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources), Angela Cusicanqui, Christopher Cane, Chef Mona Jackson (Cook and Grow), Diana Chacon, Olga Peralta, Cristina Sandolo (Executive Director of Green Village Initiate), Cornelia Olsen, Zonia Menendez, Marcial Menendez. Front (left-right): Richard Brana, Jane Jacobus, Renita Crawford, Fidelina Linares, I Messiah

UConn Extension in collaboration with Green Village Initiative offered the Urban Agriculture Program in Bridgeport, Connecticut from November 2017 to November 2018. A new group of urban farmers graduated on December 7, 2018. The UConn Extension urban agriculture program consists of three components: classroom instruction, hands-on vegetable production, and entrepreneurship. To complete the program students need to pass five modules including botany, soils, entomology, vegetable production, and Integrated Pest Management, with 70% or higher grade. Congratulations to the new Urban Farmers!!!

 

The urban agriculture program will be offered as follows:

Bridgeport: Starts on January 10, 2019

Bethel: Starts on January 8, 2019.

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La Extensión de la Universidad de Connecticut en colaboración con Green Village Initiative ofrecieron el programa de Agricultura Urbana en Bridgeport, Connecticut de Noviembre 2017 a Noviembre 2018. Un nuevo grupo de agricultores urbanos se graduaron el 7 de Diciembre, 2018. El programa de agricultura urbana de la Extensión de UConn consiste de tres componentes: clases teóricas, producción de vegetales, y negocios. Para completar el programa los estudiantes necesitan pasar cada modulo, que incluye botánica, suelos, entomología, producción de vegetales, y Manejo Integrado de Plagas con 70 puntos o más. Felicitaciones a los nuevos Agricultores Urbanos!!!

 

El programa de Agricultura Urbana se ofrece como sigue:

Bridgeport: Inicia el 10 de Enero, 2019

Bethel: Inicia el 8 de Enero, 2019

Urban Agriculture Graduates

German Cutz, UConn Extension educator and urban agriculture program coordinator urban agriculture graduate speaks at graduation ceremony in UConn Extension office in Bethel

UConn Extension Urban Agriculture Program – Graduation Ceremony. On January 16, 2018 UConn Extension graduated 9 new urban farmers who completed a year-long training. To be able to graduate, students needed to complete five modules: botany, soils, entomology, vegetable production, and integrated pest management (30-40 hours each) and pass each with at least 70% or higher grade. Extension educator German Cutz, and all of Extension, is very proud of graduates and hope many more join us this year. Congratulations!
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Ceremonia de graduación del Programa de Agricultura Urbana de la Extensión de UConn. El 16 de Enero del 2018 La Extensión de UConn graduó 9 nuevos agricultores urbanos quienes completaron un entrenamiento de un año. Para graduarse, los estudiantes necesitaron completar cinco módulos: botánica, suelos, entomología, producción de vegetales y manejo integrado de plagas (30-40 horas cada uno) y pasar cada módulo con una calificación de 70% o más. Estoy muy orgulloso de los graduados y espero que muchos más se unan este año. Felicitaciones!

Urban Agriculture Extension Program

farmers market
Urban agriculture students at the Danbury Farmers Market.

German Cutz is our Extension Educator for Sustainable Families and Communities. Here is a quick snapshot of a few of his programs for this fall:

  • Nine out of 11 participants completed the year-round urban agriculture training in Bethel. They graduation ceremony is being planned for January 16th, 2018.
  • Bethel urban agriculture program is currently recruiting new participants for the 2017-2018 course. There are six participants for the new round.
  • Bridgeport urban agriculture program started on November 16th. Green Village Initiative (GVI) is collaborating with UConn Extension providing classroom and garden space. Thus far, 15 people are enrolled in the program.
  • Knox Farms in Hartford has agreed to start the urban agriculture program in spring 2018. No date confirmed yet.