Advance your growing skills with a season-long training program: Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship Program (BUFA).

Grow Portland partners with Oregon State University Extension Service to offer the Community Farming Track of the BUFA program. The program uses hands-on and classroom training with a focus on applying gardening skills through community service. Students gain basic skills in a variety of important areas including soils, pests, weeds, irrigation and crop planning. Participants can apply the skills they acquire in a variety of contexts including home, school, community and market gardens. The program can also be used as a starting point to begin developing skills for small scale agriculture operations.  


The program runs April through October. This track will include approximately ten participants.

Weekly hands-on training sessions occur at the Neighborhoods Community Garden on SE 162nd Ave, one of the largest community garden projects in Portland, and located in one of the most under-served areas. These sessions are instructed by Christopher LaRose, Grow Portland’s Community Educator: Thursdays, 4-7pm.

Special monthly sessions are focused on garden service work in communities of need around Portland. These provide the opportunity for applied learning, leadership and community building at school and community gardens, small farms and food security sites around the city: Third Saturdays of the month, 9am-1pm.

Classroom trainings occur in conjunction with the Market Farming Track of BUFA and Rogue Farm Corps. Classes are coordinated by Matt Gordon from Rogue Farm Corps and are held at various classroom and farm locations. In addition to formal learning, this is also a chance to build connections with other aspiring farmers and gardeners. Classes will be held approximately twice per month, generally on one weekday evening and one weekend afternoon/evening (exact dates to be confirmed).

In applying to the program, participants are expected to commit to consistent participation and should demonstrate an interest in applying their skills after program completion. The ability to arrive at the 162nd avenue location each Thursday by 4:00pm is of special importance. Participants should have an interest and openness to training with other aspiring gardeners and in diverse, low income communities.

The cost of the program is $1,300 and several 50% scholarships are available.

If you would like to apply to the program, please click on the 2017 BUFA Community Farming Track Application link. (Note: All application materials are kept confidential. All fields are required except where noted.)

Application deadline is January 31, 2017. Applicant selection will be completed in early-February, 2017. Thank you!