Urban Farmer Training 2018-2019 / by Carl Freeman

We are excited to offer this practical training program for aspiring market gardeners and homesteaders: ten weeks of hands-on learning alongside Farmer Carl on our Urban Farm. Is it time to get your hands dirty and start doing what you love?

This is the next step after you have read the theoretical books and watched the Youtube videos, we know that learning through doing, following the cycles of nature alongside someone with lived experience is the ultimate way to up-skill and start you growing on a serious scale.

During this training program you will learn how to sow from seed, plant out, care for, efficiently harvest and market vegetables and fruit for sale. We love what we do, and are excited to share this experience with you. 

The core aspects of the training program are:

  • Market Gardening
  • Homesteading
  • Small Scale Farming

Market Gardening

As we will be working together in the market garden you will get valuable insights about our urban farm. As the weeks go by, you will practice and become proficient in the fundamental aspects of market gardening: crop planning and rotation, bed preparation, plant propagation, transplanting & direct seeding, microgreens production, mushroom growing, crop care, weeding, watering, tool maintenance, harvesting a diversity of crops, post harvesting and sale of vegetables, salads, strawberries, mushrooms and herbs.

Homesteading

We are passionate about sustainable living. We love providing for ourselves from the abundance the farm has to offer. These are some of the things that you may be involved with during the training program:

  • Cultivating a home garden
  • Taking care of fruit trees, establishing a home orchard, grafting, espalier pruning
  • Gleaning, utilising free materials, upcycling
  • Composting, worm farming
  • Preparing organic fertilisers and teas
  • Small scale poultry and gardening with chickens
  • Cooking with farm produce, fermenting and preserving, making yogurt.

Small Scale Farming

Lots is involved in operating a small scale diverse farm. During the duration of the program you will gain experience in various farm tasks. From irrigation, mulching, working with crop covers, natural pest management, composting, applying organic fertilisers, worm farming, hot house production, we will work together in related farm tasks relevant to the season.

Personal Enterprise Project

During your time here we are happy to help you develop your business model of your potential future growing enterprise. This is an opportunity for you to delve deep, to experiment, and follow your passion. We will mentor you through design and implementation of your chosen project, and recommend marketing strategies and potential sales avenues and audiences. 

Time commitments:

Applications are now open for the training program, beginning any time from now. This will be a part time learning opportunity you can fit into your current life rhythm, or immerse into over the Summer. 

Limited spaces are available. Applications will close when all spaces are filled for the Spring/Summer growing season. 

We recognise that everyone's situation is different so we are keen to co-design the hours of commitment with you. Farmer Carl normally works on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings so we will need to create a learning opportunity for you around some or all of these days. We will get back to you within 10 days with a reply.  

Suitability:

While this program is primarily aimed for aspiring small scale market gardeners, it will also be highly beneficial for those who wish to be self-sufficient and grow most of their own food on a small block.

We take this training program seriously, as we open up our lives, livelihoods and skill-sets to you. You will gain skills that will escort you for the rest of your life. 

Before applying, please ensure you are:

1. Serious about growing food and are considering a livelihood in growing food for market; or

2. Wish to deepen your learning about sustainable living and homesteading skills.

3. Are physically fit, emotionally mature, independent, enjoy teamwork, and willing to get lots of dirt under your fingernails.

4. Are able to commit to the duration of the training. 

5. Enjoy kids as our 3 year old son loves to help.

Price

Program fees are $250 for the 10 week period and include;

  • A unique learning opportunity, experiencing all aspects of our market gardening operation
  • Mentorship for your own project
  • Free vegetables to the value of $300
  • Lunch on work days.

How to apply:
A written application is an opportunity, for both you and us, to determine if your expectations and this opportunity are a good match. Please briefly answer the questions below with honesty and clarity and email to farmercarlfreeman@gmail.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

1. Please tell us briefly about yourself. Passions, hobbies, things you love doing.

2. What interests you about our farm and this training program?

3. Have you ever had experience working on a farm? Please describe.

4. How do you see this program assisting you in your personal and professional development?

5. What experience are you bringing to the program, and what practical skills do you hope to acquire? What are your farming and personal super powers?

6. Farmer Carl normally works on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings. Are you able to commite to regularly working on some of these days? What other commitments would you be working around?

7. Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, physical limitations or mental illnesses that might affect your ability to do farm work and share meals with us?

8. What is your phone number? We will give you a call within 10 days to discuss your application.