Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Certificate Programs

Who can apply to farm school?

Farm School is great for people who are passionate about food justice, want to grown their own food and eat healthy, create more gardens & green spaces and share their knowledge with their communities.  All applicants must be 18 or older and can live anywhere within reach of NYC. 

What skills will I gain from Farm School courses?

Students will learn about urban agriculture growing techniques, community organizing and leadership skills, food based education, business planning and marketing.  Take a look at our Courses.

How much does it cost to attend?

We have a sliding tuition scale based on household income. For more information about this, be sure to visit the "Certificate in Urban Agriculture Fees and Payment Structure" section in our Application Guide.

How do I apply?

You can apply online here!  We also have paper applications available that you can download and mail to us.

I don't have any experience with farming, can I still apply?

Yes! Farm School is great for people going through a career change and just beginning to learn about farming.

How long does it take to complete the Farm Intensive versus the Citywide Certificate?

The Farm Intensive Certificate is designed to be completed in one year, and the Citywide Certificate in two years.

What's the difference between the Citywide Certificate and the Farm Intensive Certificate?

The Citywide Certificate includes 14 core courses to provide a foundation in urban agriculture and food justice, with advanced coursework, a student-led seminar, and 140 hour apprenticeship to complete in the second year.  This program is designed with a manageable pace for people who have full time jobs.

The Farm Intensive Certificate places an emphasis on hands-on training throughout a full season of farming in NYC on a 1-acre diversified production farm, the Youth Farm, from seed to harvest. This program includes hands-on work, weekly technical sit-down workshops, weekly instructional farm walk, training rotations in propagation, Irrigation, Flowers, Direct Marketing (CSA and Market),  Composting, and Farm Management, Direct Marketing & Community Supported Agriculture, in addition to working with youth and leading volunteer groups, urban and rural field trips, ergonomics & self-care for farmers.

How do I know which program is right for me?

When deciding, consider factors such as time commitment, financial resources and areas of interest.  For example, Farm Intensive Certificate students must be able to commit at least 22 hours per week minimum.  In terms of program content,  consider how the Farm Intensive Certificate Program takes place on one farm, allowing students a chance to cover many aspects of managing a farm through various rotations.  The Citywide Certificate Program takes place throughout NYC and covers a broader scope of topics, including Advanced Courses.

How do the two Certificate Programs overlap?

Students in the Farm Intensive Certificate Program will start off taking the same 3 courses as the Citywide Certificate Program students:  Training of Trainers, Food Justice and Botany.  Then, students diverge for 7 months before coming back together in November for a Seminar course where students deliver presentations on experiences of the past year.

What do people do after they graduate from the Citywide Certificate or Farm Intensive Certificate Programs?

Our alumni have gone on to launch their own farms, work as Farmer's Market managers, gotten jobs at urban and rural farms, started garden consulting practices, started food-based businesses, built gardens at their schools, and become farm educators.

Where and when do Farm School NYC classes take place? 

Classes are held at various farms and gardens throughout NYC.  Find out more about locations here. Each class week generally consists of seven hours:  a three-hour Wednesday night class from 6-9pm and a four-hour weekend class from 10am-2pm. On occasion, courses will have modified schedules.

What kind of courses are held at Farm School?

Farm School NYC hosts classes such as Botany, Food Justice, Training of Trainers, Propagation, Irrigation, Community Food Arts, and many more. For information about these courses, be sure to visit the "Farm School NYC Core Courses 2016-2017" and "Advanced Courses 2018" sections in our Application Guide.

Are there opportunities for hands on farm work with these programs?

Yes!  The Farm Intensive Certificate Program primarily takes place at The Youth Farm, an educational production farm.  For the Citywide Certificate Program, almost all of the courses include a chance to apply what you're learning in an actual project on a farm or community garden (e.g. building raised beds and cold frames, setting up an irrigation system, planting cover crop).

Who are Farm School's partners?

Farm School NYC is proud to partner with organizations such as Bronx Green Up, Brooklyn Grange, Black Urban Growers, Rise and Root Farm, and many more! Visit our Partnerships page for more information.