The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz offers the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, a full-time, 6-month program that trains adults in the concepts and practices of organic gardening and small-scale sustainable farming.
The apprenticeship blends the virtues of experiential learning with traditional classroom studies on topics that include soil management, composting, pest control, crop planning, irrigation, farm equipment, and direct marketing techniques. Graduates have established their own commercial farms and market gardens, run community gardens for inner city and prison populations, and work on international development projects. The 39 apprentices each year come from all regions of the US and abroad, and represent a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and interests. Scholarships are available.