Learning to Farm: Resources
CLASSES & RESOURCES IN NYC
GrowNYC’s Farm Beginnings — a comprehensive agricultural training program developed for new farmers by the people who run the Greenmarket. Designed for a people looking to start farm enterprises, including urban farmers looking to scale-up and second career farm entrepreneurs.
Brooklyn Grange hosts a whole range of workshops and classes for rooftop farmers. If a full roof installation process is more than you want to take on, their Design and Installation arm will build you your very own backyard or terrace garden, rooftop farm, or green wall.
Just Food’s Farm School NYC — urban agriculture training through a certificate program and a wide range of individual courses from social justice to urban farming to grassroots community organizing. Mission: to build self-reliant communities and inspire positive local action around food access and social, economic, and racial justice issues.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities — training towards certification in green roof and wall installation.
Eagle Street Farm — Greenpoint. This rooftop farm welcomes visitors from second graders to graduate students to learn about sky-high agriculture.
Cornell Cooperative Extension — free gardening and farming support run by NYS with offices in every single county – including Manhattan. Offering everything from soil testing to 20c processing licenses.
HUDSON VALLEY INTERNSHIPS AND INCUBATORS
Stone Barns’ Growing Farmers Initiative — Westchester. Comprehensive program to help beginning farmers get the training, resources and guidance to create economically and ecologically resilient farm enterprises. Offers apprenticeships, a virtual grange, workshops on everything from beekeeping to seed saving, and an annual Young Farmers Conference which draws hundreds of beginning farmers from across the country and beyond.
Glynwood’s Farm Incubator — Cold Spring. Provides the tools and resources aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs need to develop and manage viable farm enterprises in the Hudson Valley. Provides access to land, housing, shared equipment, infrastructure, low-interest capital, business mentoring and training in sustainable farming practices.
RESOURCES & NON-PROFITS SUPPORTING NEW FARMERS
Cornell’s Beginning Farmers Program — a comprehensive clearing house of resources, internships, job postings and land opportunities.
Northeast Organic Farming Association — This seven-state non-profit teaches, certifies and supports organic farms. Their semi-annual conferences offer sessions on everything from raw milk to fermentation to homesteading, complete with contra dancing and camping.
The Greenhorns — A unique resource helping young people make the transition into a career of farming. Provides information about everything from where to find an apprenticeship to how to repair a tractor. Complete with mentor matchmaker.
National Young Farmers Coalition — represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers. Supports practices and policies to sustain young, independent and prosperous farmers now and in the future. Co-founded by an ex-Manhattanite who now grows organic vegetables in the Hudson.
Richard Wiswall’s The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook — widely-prized bible on the business end of running a farm. Expert advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient and how to better manage your employees and finances.
The USDA’s (great) new website for new farmers — Yes, even the USDA is focusing on new farmers. This site offers in-depth information on how to increase access to land and capital, build new market opportunities, participate in conservation opportunities, select and use risk management tools, and access USDA education and technical-support
American Farmland Trust: Transitioning Farmland to a New Generation — This longtime, stalwart non-profit is bringing its forces to bear for new farmers, offering everything from training to land links as well as targeted offerings for women landowners and conversation.