The Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy – FAQ’s

Applications for our 2022 cohort will be open January 11- February 11 2022.

What is the Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy (BBUFA)?
Launched in 2021, this 9 month training program focuses on sustainable agriculture methods and farm business planning through classroom sessions, on-farm work and field days. It is designed to provide micro-scaled urban farm training to people who live and/or work in Baltimore City, preferably those who are socially disadvantaged. (see USDA 2501 definition)

The Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy is a project of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore and is funded through a grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

What will we be learning?
Sustainable agriculture methodology such as: cover cropping, composting and low till methods. Introductory farming techniques: crop planning, bed prep, irrigation, planting, pest and weed management, harvesting, post harvest handling and storage. Marketing, business planning and management.

How many trainees will be accepted?
10 trainees

What is the time frame?
March – October

How many hours?
24 classroom hours (2hr sessions for 12 weeks)
144 on-farm work hours (4 hours per week from March through October)
At least 12 hours visiting other farms via field days and farm visits.
You can expect a weekly hourly commitment of 10-12 hours that will include all the above listed activities AND up to 2 hours of homework (reading, watching videos and responding to the assignments).

Is there compensation?
Yes, there will be a stipend of $2000 per trainee, provided in two payments.

Is transportation provided?
Transportation will be provided to field days and classroom workshops as needed.

What is the mentor farm?
The mentor farm will be our very own teaching and demonstration farm in Farring-Baybrook Park in south Baltimore located at 3901 West Bay Avenue. The farm at West Bay will provide multiple training opportunities in production methods and scale, post-harvest handling, plant propagation, apiculture and site development.

Will we be visiting other farms?
Yes, there will be at least 10 scheduled field days throughout the year. These are training workshops that will be hosted at other farms in our network. The BBUFA trainees are required to attend 8 field days over the course of the season. In addition, there will be field days scheduled by Future Harvest’s Beginning Farmer Training Program; the BBUFA trainees are welcome to attend any of those as well. 

Will I get to do any farming?
Yes! You will get to work directly with the mentor farmers at the farm at West Bay for a total of 144 hours.  We will be managing a small market garden plot and growing Baltimore’s Fish Pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes and greens on the Farm Alliance teaching farm.

What will trainees receive upon completion?
Trainees will complete a reflection essay, a final exit interview and evaluation to receive a certificate of completion, Urban Farmer Starter Tool Kit and free membership in the Farm Alliance of Baltimore.

Additional questions contact: Denzel Mitchell