Anyone, with any amount of space, can grow food. Whether you want to build raised beds in your backyard or start a small-scale farm, this course will empower you to get the most food possible out of your space.
18 Reasons and the Bi-Rite Farm are delighted to offer the opportunity to get your hands dirty during this 8th annual immersion course, running May through October 2018.
FARM SCHOOL is geared for adults who want to learn about the life, economics, and labor of small scale organic farming practices. The course includes six lectures at 18 Reasons and six farming days at the Bi-Rite Farm, with additional excursions to surrounding farms and gardens. The Wednesday lectures will take you through the logistics and business of starting a rural or urban farm; the Saturday farm sessions will put you on-site digging, planting, weeding and harvesting - hands-on, experiential learning. While this is not a comprehensive, collegiate-level course, the 18 Reasons Farm School is perfect for folks who are interested in growing food and who desire to gain a deeper understanding of the politics and practicalities of small scale organic farming in the Bay Area.
ADDITIONAL PERKS: a free 18 Reasons membership (if you are already member, this can be applied when your current membership expires), farm treats following harvest on Saturdays, and a farm-to-table lunch cooked by Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market.
INSTRUCTORS: Simon Richards, Bi-Rite Market's head produce buyer and Layla Aguilar, Bi-Rite Farm's farmer; co-led with Janine Gee, 18 Reasons' coordinator and gardening educator. Guest lectures may include Martin Bournhonesque from Martin B Farms, educators from Sonoma Garden Park, Janet Nagamine of Hikari Farms, Ben Eichorn of Grow Your Lunch, Kristyn Leach from Namu Farm, and more.
Class size capped at 24.
If you are unable to attend all sessions, you must still pay full price. Tickets are not discounted or pro-rated for any reason. *If you would like to set up a payment plan, you can send us three post-dated checks, each made out to 18 Reasons for $217. We will deposit the checks on April 1, July 1, and September 1. If this is the route you’d like to take, please contact Janine at email@example.com.
DATES, TIMES, LOCATION
Wednesday lectures are 6:30-9:00 pm at 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St.
Saturdays off-site days are 8:00 am-2:00 pm at Bi-Rite Farm in Sonoma and other nearby farms (carpools will be organized during the first meeting).
Wednesday, May 2 | Reception, Dinner cooked by 18 Reasons Chef Mike Weller, Inspirational Lecture with a local farmer
*if you have dietary restrictions, please let us know ASAP
Saturday, May 5 | Hands-on learning including field preparation, soil management, and seed sowing
Wednesday, June 6
Saturday, June 9 | Hands-on learning including pollination, irrigation, and weed management
Wednesday, July 11
Saturday, July 14 | Hands-on learning including crop planning and transplanting
Wednesday, August 8
Saturday, August 11 | Farm tours
Wednesday, September 5
Saturday, September 8 | Harvesting at Bi-Rite Farm and a lunch prepared by Sam Mogannam
Wednesday, October 3
Saturday, October 6 | Hands-on learning/touring on biodiversity and value-added products
*Topics are subject to change
TRANSPORTATION AND FOOD
18 Reasons will help organize carpooling logistics but will not offer transportation to Sonoma. Students are responsible for their own food and water. Snacks and water are provided during Wednesday evening lectures.
This promises to be a extremely fun and in-depth introduction to farming!
Recommended Reading before beginning Farm School
Reads + Resources
Suzanne Ashworth, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
Brian Capon, Botany for Gardeners
Eliot Coleman, The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener
Eliot Coleman, Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming
Robert Kourik, Roots Demystified: Change Your Gardening Habits to Help Roots Thrive
Pam Pierce, Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Rodale, Encyclopedia of Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener
Don’t have a plot of your own? Volunteer Possibilities
(Photo courtesy of Janine Gee)