Curriculum | Urban Farming Business Course

Plant It Forward’s (PIF) Urban Farming Training Course is an immersive educational experience designed for refugees in Houston, Texas who want to become self-sufficient through meaningful work. The training program lasts for one year with classes held once a week for three hours each. Successful trainees will be given an urban farm plot to launch their farming business. The schedule that follows is tentative and subject to change. Ask us about scholarship opportunities. Apply here:¬†www.bit.ly/PIFFapplication

Module 1 (October 2017, 4 weeks): Introduction to Plant It Forward & Farming in Houston. Cost = $0

  • Program goals, requirements, rules, and costs
  • Farming and sales vocabulary
  • Farmer assessments & goal setting
  • Urban farm site visit & panel w/ PIF Master Farmers

Module 2 (November 2017, 4 weeks): Farm Planning & Management, Cost = $20

  • Choosing crops
  • Seasons & weather in Houston
  • Farming smarter, not harder (i.e. mechanization)
  • Introduction to organic crop production

Module 3 (December РJanuary 2018, 6 weeks):   Business & Financial Management, Cost = $30

  • Banking and budgeting
  • Record-keeping
  • Marketing & customer service

Module 4 (January – April 2018, 12 weeks): Crop Production, Cost = $60

  • Organic crop production
  • Annual & biennial crops versus perennial crops
  • Planting
  • Soil preparation & management
  • Crop rotation
  • Compost production &¬†maintenance
  • Crop fertilization
  • Water management (drainage, irrigation)
  • Weed identification & management
  • Pest & disease management
  • Harvesting
  • Plot recovery

Module 4 (May 2018, 4 weeks): PIF Revenue-Producing Programs, Cost = $0

  • Community supported agriculture (farm share) subscription
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Farm Stands
  • Wholesale

Module 5 (June 2018, 4 weeks): Crops, Cost = $20

  • Warm season
  • Cool season
  • Fruits
  • Flowers

Module 6 (July 2018, 4 weeks): Planning an Urban Farm, Cost = $20

  • Crop planning

PRACTICUM: Urban Farming (September 12 weeks), Cost = $0

>GRADUATION<

Module 7 (6 weeks): Becoming Your Own Boss, Cost = $30

  • Independent contractor basics
  • Forming a business entity
  • Creating a business plan
  • Insurance requirements
  • Self-employed taxes
  • Hiring employees and independent contractors

Module 8: Alumni Consulting, Cost = $0