Plant It Forward

Our Model

OUR MODEL

Plant It Forward provides refugees with the tools, training, and business skills needed to become successful urban farmers and achieve economic self-sufficiency. Applicants must be able to prove their refugee/asylee status and legal authorization to work in the U.S. Our program has a competitive application process, with ideal applicants having agricultural experience, possessing entrepreneurial characteristics and professionalism, and having some (or being willing to learn) English-language skills.

Phase 1: Trainee

Successful Urban Farming Business Course applicants meet each Saturday for three hours for approximately eight months, learning the basics of sustainable urban farming in Houston’s climate, crop production management, marketing and sales skills, and business and financial management. Trainees are put through a practicum phase during training that allows them to demonstrate their farming abilities. Curriculum details here. The next cohort of trainees begins in October 2017.

Phase 2: Apprentice Farmer

Upon successful completion of the training phase, the prospective farmers are given a 2/3-acre plot of land to begin their farms. During this phase, the farmers are full-time employees of Plant It Forward and are mentored by our agriculture consultants and our more experienced Master Farmers as they get their farms up to sustainable production levels.

Phase 3: Master Farmer  

Farmers wishing to have greater control over their work schedules and entrepreneurial ambitions may transition from full-time employees to independent contractors. They earn income through the sale of their produce though our weekly farm share subscription program and our chef sales and wholesale program, and directly to customers at farm stands and farmers’ markets. Learn about our current Master Farmers.

Phase 4: Alumni

If/when a farmer is ready to take the leap to farm on their own land and under their own brand, we provide consulting services to ensure their entrepreneurial success as they move on. Learn about our Alumni.