Applications open for 2019 Apprenticeship, scholarship support available

Applications are open for the 2019 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, with expanded scholarship support available to cover course fees.

June 15, 2018

By , Principal Editor 

Apprenticeship instructor Kellee Matsushita and course member Sarah Cousins in the UCSC Farm's greenhouse.
Apprenticeship training takes place in the fields, gardens, orchards, and greenhouses at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz.

Aspiring organic farmers and gardeners are invited to apply for the 2019 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Now in its 51st year, the Apprenticeship is the longest running university-based organic farming training program in the U.S.

The six-month, full-time residential program takes place at the 30-acre organic farm and 3-acre Alan Chadwick Garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The Apprenticeship blends experiential learning with traditional classroom studies on topics that include soil management, composting, pest and weed control, crop planning, irrigation, farm equipment, direct marketing techniques, business planning, and social and environmental issues in the food system.

The 39 apprentices accepted into the program each year come from all regions of the U.S. and abroad, and represent a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and interests.

Program graduates have established their own commercial farms and market gardens, developed farm- and garden-based educational programs, run urban garden programs, and more. You can read more about Apprenticeship alumni’s work on the Graduates at Work page of the CASFS website, and see a map of graduates’ farms and projects.

Information on the 2019 Apprenticeship

The upcoming six-month program runs from April 8 through October 11, 2019. Scholarship support at different levels is available, including the Food Justice and Equity Scholarship, Matthew Raiford Scholarship for Veterans, and the Simply Organic Scholarship. AmeriCorps vouchers are also accepted.

The Apprenticeship is managed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC. It is open to all participants 21 years or older, regardless of educational background.

Program information, application materials, details on scholarship support, and a list of dates for upcoming orientation tours are available online. Application deadlines for the 2018 program are August 15, 2018 for international applicants, and September 30, 2018 for U.S. applicants.

For examples of the Apprenticeship curriculum, see Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors, and Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors. Both manuals are produced by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, and are available for free download from the CASFS website.

For more information about the Apprenticeship, please contact the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at 831.459-3240, or at Learn more about CASFS at

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