Urban Farming

Free One-on-One Consultations for CT Farmers

Hey Farmers! 

For those of you that are growing commercially, aka are a farm businesses, it’s time for you to sign up for a FREE consultations with some of the experts in the state surrounding a wide variety of topics!

Check it out here: https://newfarms.uconn.edu/consultations/

These are free one on one consultations for Connecticut Farmers, with specialists in certain fields of knowledge. These consultations are intended for those who have been farming for 10 years or less, but folks can apply if they have been farming for a longer period of time.

Sign up for an consultation with an expert on the topics of

  • Vegetable Production
  • Livestock (available in September)
  • Conservation and Land use
  • Urban Farming
  • Hemp production

The consultations will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis and are subject to the consultant’s availability. If all spots are filled, we will maintain a waiting list. Deadlines for sign ups are dependent on each consultant.

Here’s what some farmers had to say about how helpful the consultations are:

 “I appreciated that flexibility, being able to walk our fields with Joe who is full of both theoretical and practical knowledge, have him be able to notice things, comment on what he saw, that turned out to be really helpful for us. We changed our grazing plan for the rest of the season and it will impact the way we will graze this upcoming season as well.”

“We learned a lot about the history and how our land was formed. Particularly, we learned about the pingos (small ponds) we have in the woodland area. Also – taking a profile of the soil out and being able to touch/feel it and compare the colors was very memorable.”

“I like the one on one time that the farmer gets, especially for a newer farmer, who doesn’t have a mentor, having the time to pick someone’s brain was great.”

Please note: These consultations are intended for Commercial Farmers and Farm businesses. If you are homesteading, have a hobby farm, or simply love gardening, please access the UConn Home and Garden Education Center.

Again, sign up here: https://newfarms.uconn.edu/consultations/

Urban Farmer Training Course

shovel in soilUConn Extension, in partnership with CPEN, the Community Placemaking Engagement Network, is offering an urban farmer training course in New Haven scheduled to run from April to October. The course, taught by Jacqueline Kowalski, a UConn urban agriculture educator, will train locals to produce fresh food, manage a marketplace and develop as agricultural entrepreneurs and vendors.

It meets Thursday nights and rotating Saturdays and the cost is $300. Scholarships are available.

For information, call or text (475) 455-9957.

 

Urban Farming Program in Hartford

 

Live in the Hartford area and interested in growing your Urban Farming Experience?

Running from March through November for 3 years, this program offers all participants both in-class and hands-on training and education on multiple farming techniques.  All participants become active farmers working together to supply produce to the Hartford Public Schools and individually based upon their own interests.  Program created for Hartford residents.

The program consists of 3 Levels of support for entrepreneurs with a farm-based business including:

  • level 1 – farm training, skill building and hands-on experience and space for your own farming
  • level 2 – establishing your own farm-based business with training, access to multiple partners for production and insurance coverage, and space for farming
  • level 3 – support and resources for participants as they gain further independence before graduation at the end of the year

More info and application:

KNOX Urban Farming Program Brochure (pdf)

KNOX Urban Farming Application (pdf)

Seeking to Contract an Urban Farmer Trainer

soil on shovelUConn Extension is actively seeking to contract with an expert to coordinate and lead learning events over 3 years (2021-2024) for urban farmers in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven. By deepening skills through knowledge sharing and immersive day-long events, our vision is to build a network of urban farmers and urban agriculture service providers within and between
Connecticut’s urban centers.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who is passionate about the interconnected issues of food, health, land, equity, and justice, dependable, enjoys connecting and working with people with diverse backgrounds, and demonstrates an array of skills and knowledge related to both urban farming and event organization.

This is a grant-funded opportunity. UConn will contract an individual/entity for urban farming training services for one year, with opportunity for renewal in 2022 and 2023 based on performance.

With funding from USDA, UConn Extension coordinates Solid Ground Trainings for new and beginning farmers across Connecticut. As an element of Solid Ground programming, UConn Extension aims to address the need for tailored and specific urban farming training.

Urban Farming Trainings: The project will deliver two full day learning events in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, for a total of 6 learning events per year. Learning events will be implemented in partnership with community-based organizations (including Green Village Initiative, Park City Harvest, and Keney Park Sustainability Project).

Each learning event will center farming systems in urban settings, which may include soil-based systems under natural light, as well as soil-less growing systems that are climate controlled. Skills training may include topics such as community organizing and outreach, marketing, food justice, and how to access more land for growing.

Intended Audience: We aim to reach anyone with 10 years or less of farming experience, including aspiring farmers in urban areas of Connecticut.

Timeline: Planning for these learning events will be conducted via Zoom with community-based partners in early spring, and implemented in-person between April and October. The exact timing of each learning event will depend on the preferences of community-based partners. The planning and implementation of learning events will be supported by UConn Extension educators, per availability and where needed.

Project Director – Jiff Martin, UConn Extension Educator in Sustainable Food Systems.

Responsibilities:
● Lead 2 planning meetings with all partners from all 3 cities, in order to cross-pollinate ideas. Each planning meeting will focus on identifying training topics that community- based partners have identified are needed by urban farmers in their network/programming. Jiff Martin and Shuresh Ghimire (UConn Extension Commercial Vegetable Crops Educator) will participate in planning meetings.
● Develop a plan for delivering 6 all-day trainings (2 each in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven). Community-based partners are responsible for venue and the trainer is responsible for teaching. Each training may be unique, although we envision substantial
similarity between the three communities and learning priorities.
● Create curriculum materials as needed to support learning events and participants
● Implement 6 all-day trainings, includes a day-long schedule of learning, networking, ensuring materials are procured and available for participants, incorporating networking time into the day, scheduling guest trainers if needed/possible (community partners will be willing to assist if needed and Extension educators may also be available if needed, there is no funding for guest trainers)
● Support the communication and evaluation needs of UConn Extension in supporting this project. This responsibility is likely to include:
o Assist and provide input on graphic content for program materials
o Assist and provide input on outreach strategies to ensure broad access
o Ensure program materials are consistent and clear, and available online as appropriate
o Assist with evaluation of the trainings, in accordance with requirements of USDA

To Submit – Send a proposal detailing experience, approach, and fees by February 26th to
jiff.martin@uconn.edu

People of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.