Urban Agriculture


Urban Agriculture Curriculum – Urban Adamah Fellowship

Practicing sustainable agriculture in an urban area can be a powerful tool in supporting the health of social, economic, ecological and environmental systems. Through this series of classes Urban Adamah fellows learn ways to grow, process, and distribute food within a whole-systems framework. This curriculum is designed to give fellows a foundation of knowledge and skills on a range of topics fundamental to starting and running a farm in an urban context. The curriculum will explore five broad questions:

1. How does one sustainably grow food in an urban setting?
Fellows learn the science, skills, and techniques for successfully growing organic food in the Bay Area and in an urban setting. Classes introduce fellows to a range of farming methods and design techniques, as well as methodologies for assessing and planning for the needs and yields of a particular climate and place. These classes also give fellows a taste of various animal husbandry practices, as well as alternative farming techniques. Fellows are trained through both formal/frontal and hands-on classes, and take increasing responsibility for managing the farm as the fellowship season progresses.

2. How does one understand food injustice within larger social, economic, racial and political contexts and movements?
Fellows learn the issues affecting access to fresh food in the East Bay and explore the social, political, and economic implications of the disparities that exist.

3. How can we build self-sufficiency in ourselves and in our communities?
Fellows learn essential skills for creating farm-based products to support the medicinal, nutritional, and functional needs of our communities. These classes could include hands-on workshops in a variety of topics such as cheese making, herbal medicine, fermenting, bread making, or canning. We explore these skills as they relate to ideas of sovereignty, anti-consumerism, community-building and empowerment, and resource-sharing.

4. What are the spiritual underpinnings of agriculture?
In a weekly reading study group, fellows will explore a variety of perspectives on the spiritual nature of farming, including: Biodynamic agriculture, Fukuoka’s farming system, Permaculture, and Indigenous farming traditions. (Classes in Jewish farming law and practice are listed separately on the Jewish Core Curriculum sheet).

5. How is urban agriculture practiced in our Bay Area communities? Bay Area Urban Farm and Homestead Tours.
Through visits to local urban farms and gardens fellows will learn about different socially-minded urban farming projects in the area and how they address issues such as food security, food sovereignty, community empowerment and environmentalism in their communities. Fellows will also develop networks with other Bay Area urban farmers and projects and use their labor in service to those projects needs.


Urban Agriculture Curriculum

The following is the core curriculum included in each Fellowship. 

Starting with Soil: Soil science 101 – Growing, Feeding and Healing your Soil

Supporting Plant Health: Plant Nutrition

Compost: Getting Down and Dirty 

Plant Propagation: Seed-Starting and Asexual Propagation Methods

Water: Retaining Water on the Farm

Encouraging Whole Farm Health: Integrated Pest Management

Chicken Husbandry: Lovin’ our Mamas

Who’s Who in the Garden: Plant Family Identification

The People’s Medicine: Herbs

Cuttin’ to the Chase with Cheese: Small-Scale Cheese & Yogurt-Making

Permaculture: Rooting Ourselves in Place

Aquaponics: an Introduction

The History of Food Injustice in the East Bay


Complementary Classes Also Sometimes Offered During the Fellowship

Tool Safety and Self-Care on the Sadeh
Method behind the Madness: Crop Planning for Greater Yields
Goat Husbandry: Tending the horny, stinky herd
Discovering the Delicious Art of Beekeeping
Fermentation and Pickling: Gettin’ Funky with Lactobacilli
Earth, Air, Fire & Water: The Alchemy of Wood Fired Bread Baking
Seed-Saving

Learn more about our faculty.