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While the U.S. has seen an increase in the demand for locally grown foods by consumers, restaurants and retailers, there has be a decrease in the number of Americans who grow up on farms and have the necessary skills to pursue a career in farming.
ECO City Farms, located in Edmonston, Md., offers a local solution through its Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture training program, presented in partnership with Prince George’s Community College, in Largo, Md. A first of its kind in the region, the program provides a comprehensive introduction to urban farming.
“The local food movement emphasizes the benefits of growing food close to where people live,” says Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, CEO of ECO City Farms. “For heavily populated areas like Prince George’s County, we’ll need a mix of rural and urban farms to provide a variety of local food options. We are working to demonstrate the possibilities of fresh food production inside the Beltway, and these courses let us share our knowledge — to empower others to start urban farms.”
The Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture program consists of six courses, which total 28 hours of instruction. Taught at ECO City Farms, the courses may be taken individually, but students are required to complete all six courses in order to receive the Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture.
AGR-301 Urban Farming: The New Frontier
Tuesday, September 6; 6:00-8:00 pm
AGR-311 Starting Your Urban Farm
Tuesday, September 13 and Tuesday, September 20; 6:00-9:00 pm
AGR-320 Composting for Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Landscaping
Tuesday, September 27 and Tuesday, October 4; 6:00-9:00 pm
AGR-330 High Tunnel Construction & Applications
Tuesday, October 11 and Tuesday, October 18; 6:00-9:00 pm
AGR-321 Introducing Urban Livestock on Your Farm
Tuesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 27; 5:30-7:30 pm
AGR-312 Post-Harvest Processing and Marketing
Tuesday, November 1 and Thursday, November 3; 5:30-7:30 pm