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EarthDance to add home gardening to apprenticeship program

January 14th 05:01pm, 2014



EarthDance’s organic farming apprenticeship program begins its sixth year with an added twist: home gardening. For the last five years, EarthDance has equipped its apprentices with the practical skills and business savvy to start organic farming ventures of their own. This year students will leave with added skills they can use in their home gardens.

Program director Rachel Levi said the new home gardening element offers urban dwelling apprentices the chance to start farming in their own yards, without having to leave the city. “We have observed that many apprentices have commitments that make it difficult to start farming in the immediate future,” Levi said. “So we wanted to add more to the program for them.”

One new feature is Seven Generations Garden, a smaller space that apprentices will work on in addition to the traditional program of fieldwork, classes and visits to local farms. The garden will give apprentices the opportunity to learn about garden-scale agriculture through techniques like companion planting, sheet mulching and space-saving methods. These classes this year also will include home garden design and edible landscaping, so urban and suburban farmers can put their coursework to use in their own backyards.

Those interested in organic farming and home gardening who can’t commit to a full apprenticeship can attend individual classes Tuesday evenings starting in May. Individual classes are $20 each; apprenticeship tuition is $750. More information and a class schedule will be available online.



By Kate Essig

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