2015 Core Courses Recap:

Small Farm Planning & Design

October - November 2015
This course is the capstone to our core classes series, building on skills and knowledge gained in the dozen proceeding courses.  Many students were planning farm projects, some in interesting places -- from hospital rooftops to Costa Rican coastlines.  Teachers Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange and Bee Ayers challenged them to think through every element of their project, including crop planning, labor management, organizational structure and budgeting.  We can't wait to hear how they are progressing with their projects and bringing their vision to life.

Preparing for Winter

September 2015
Taqwa Community Farm in the Bronx was home for this course, which has more on-site, in-the-field learning hours than almost any other course we offer.  Teachers Ursula Chanse and Sara Katz shared important techniques and concepts to help urban gardeners make the most of their plots' winter rest. Students planted garlic, turned in summer cover crop, broadcasted rye and hairy vetch for winter cover cropping, and pickled grapes in a food preservation class.

Season Extension

August 2015
Wielding power tools on the Arsenal Rooftop, bending metal at Earth Matter on Governor's Island, clearing rows for fall planting at Rise and Root farm in Chester, NY,  Season Extension students studied techniques at sites all over New York for this two-week course.  Rise and Root's Karen Washington and Earth Matter's Marisa Dedominicis bring over 50 years of combined growing experience to their classes.

Plant Health

July - August 2015
With instructor Peggy Conte's two decades of community gardening and teaching experience to guide them, this year's Plant Health students went hunting for formidable fungi, insects, bacteria, nematodes and other pests that damage crops.  Visits to Hogshead Ranch in Long Island City and the Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn.

Crop Management

June - July 2015
Lise Lorimer and Chris Bolden-Newsome led this mid-summer exploration of core techniques for crop production in our region.  Guest teacher Uli Lorimer and Lise filled a classroom full of cuttings for a weed ID class, and Chris invited Owen Taylor to show off his homemade vacuum-powered seed cleaning machine at a class held in Hattie Carthan Community Garden.

Growing Soils

April - May 2015
In Molly Culver's five-week deep dive into soil health, students criss-crossed the city learning about cations, mycorrhizae, nematodes and the like at Brooklyn Grange's Long Island City farm, Earth Matter Compost Learning Center on Governor's Island, Snug Harbor Heritage Farm on Staten Island, and of course, Molly's own Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service. 


April - March 2015
Returning Prop teachers Molly Culver and Onika Abraham increased the focus on justice and equity issues embedded in propagation practices in this year's course, inspiring students to share inspiring reflections on seed sovereignty, cultural traditions and biodiversity.  See their food justice and propagation reading list and read some student essay excerpts here. 

Carpentry and Building Skills

March 2015
March showers got in the way a few times, but the students in Sandy Nurse and Logan Price's course this year built professional raised beds and
beautiful benches and a table at Hope Gardens Community Center in Brooklyn.


February - March 2015
Uli Lorimer's legendary Botany final elicited familiar cries of fatigue and gratitude from this year's class.  The test may take some students hours to complete, but many expressed how grateful they were to have a chance to review all they had learned in this comprehensive four-week course. 

Food Justice

January 2015
This foundational course for Farm School NYC drew a diverse and dedicated group of students this year.  The course was led once again by Yonnette Fleming, urban farmer, social change catalyst and founder of Hattie Carthan Herban Farm & Markets, who developed the course with Kolu Zigby, program office at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. Students' work exploring social justice and racial equity in our nation and its food system extended beyond the class, inspiring a three-part film screening and discussion group for the PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion.

Training of Trainers

December 2014

Longtime teachers Owen Taylor and Greg Anderson kicked off the 2015 course calendar with a sold-out Training of Trainers course in December.  For those of you who on the waiting list, we are working on a session for fall.  Stay tuned!