Thursday, July 19, 2012

EarthDance Apprenticeships

The EarthDance Organic Farming Apprenticeship is an opportunity to learn how to grow food on a productive farm, close to home. The program was designed to serve the needs of urban and suburban dwellers that are interested in learning to grow their own food or exploring careers in sustainable agriculture, but are not yet able to devote themselves to full-time farming. Through the apprenticeship program, aspiring farmers and garden leaders become part of a supportive community of engaged food citizens. EarthDance graduates have gone on to start their own farms, found community gardens, and to develop youth gardening programs.

Here’s what some members of last year's apprenticeship said about the program:

• “I wanted a great learning experience and this is exceeding my expectations. Each shift I learn something.”
• “The apprenticeship is a commitment, but well worth it!
• “What I’ve appreciated most is meeting so many amazing people. Truly enlivens what community farming is about.”

The 2013 apprenticeship is a commitment of 9.5 hours per week over the course of the growing season. EarthDance apprentices ("Freshman Farmies") engage in hands-on learning through farm and market work, weekly enrichment sessions, and field trips to other local farms. The program begins in mid-February, with seeding in the greenhouse. Over the course of the season, apprentices learn techniques for building soil fertility, organic pest and disease control, marketing via farmers markets, and much more. Also, as members of EarthDance's Community Supported Agriculture program, apprentices take home a share of the harvest each week!

Tuition for the program is $750 for the year, and several full and partial scholarships are available. For more information, or to apply for the program, visit the EarthDance website.

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