Farm Apprenticeship

The Farm Apprenticeship combines classroom learning with extensive hands-on learning on our 1.5-acre farm. Apprentices learn both the practical and business side of farming.

Farm Apprenticeship

We are very excited to announce that we will be offering our Small Farm Initiative Apprenticeship in 2021! We are confident that we can provide a safe learning environment outside on our farm during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Small Farm Initiative Apprenticeship teaches students how to grow organic and sustainable specialty vegetable crops in an urban setting. With a mixture of hands-on learning and classroom presentations, this program dives into teaching students how to apply intensive growing practices that also build the soil and farm ecosystem. Weekly classes supplement the hands-on learning and provide in-depth information and background knowledge of what we are doing in the field. 

Together, farm apprentices and experienced farm staff cultivate 1.5 acres of undeveloped land in South Salt Lake City. In addition to collectively farming this land, students are given a small plot of their own to cultivate and develop their personal skills and farming style (this only applies to students participating in the full course).

This training includes how to operate and run a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. All farm apprentices will receive a weekly CSA share for their participation in this program (June-October). 

Class topics include bio-intensive farming, no-till farming, crop and seed selection, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), organic weed control, planting plans, business planning and development, field trips, and more. At this time, classes will be held virtually through zoom while hand-on learning will take place outside on the farm using proper precautions. This may change as we have the opportunity to set up an outdoor classroom when the weather is warmer.

If you are interested, please fill out the application. If you have any questions, please email Katie at Sliding scale payment options and payment plans are available upon request. To learn about the Farm Stewardship, click here.

Participation Options

Full Course

  • February 22nd, 2021 – October 1, 21 (32 weeks)

  • Classes 1x/week for 2 hours (Monday or Wednesday)

  • 5hrs/week hands on learning during scheduled times

  • Cost: $1,200

Katie with Tomatoes

Seasonal Modules

Select one or two seasonal modules (listed below) to participate in. This option allows for shorter time commitments and the completion of this program to take place over more than one growing season.

  • Classes 1x/week for 2 hours (Monday or Wednesday)

  • 5hrs/week hands on learning during scheduled times

  • Cost: $500/module

Chickens on the Farm

Remote (full course only)

  • February 22nd, 2021 – October 1, 21 (32 weeks)

  • Classes (via Zoom) 1x/week for 2 hours (Monday or Wednesday)

  • No hands-on learning at our farm

  • Required: A small space to grow your own crops. This could be at a community garden, in your backyard, or on your patio with pots

  • Six, one hour, one-on-one online mentoring session with our Farm Manager

  • Cost: $600

What to Expect Each Season

Meet Your Instructors

Katie Nelson

Katie has been training the next generation of farmers in Back-Farms and our Small Farm Initiative program since 2012. She has grown over 50,000 pounds of veggies in the Salt Lake Valley and has taught over 100 people how to garden and farm. 

Executive Director/Farm Manager, The Green Urban Lunch Box

Jess Collette

Jessica has been interested in working at the junction of sustainable farming and food justice since spending a few years living in a rural midwestern community that was both a haven for organic farms and a food insecure region. She has worked in various settings, from a food pantry in northern Wisconsin to a homestead in mid-coast Maine to an educational garden in Moab, but her path eventually led her to Salt Lake City to work with the Green Urban Lunch Box. 

Back-Farms Coordinator, The Green Urban Lunch Box

James Loomis

A professional Organic grower, educator and small farm consultant, James Loomis has been a disciple of sustainability and permaculture for the past 20 years. A borderline fanatic when it comes to soil biology and regenerative ecosystems, his enthusiasm is contagious and his philosophies outrageous. Never afraid to try new things, rumor has it he is only 637 serious mistakes away from true wisdom. 

Green Team Farm Director, Wasatch Community Gardens


Celia Bell

Celia has been an organic gardener since 1998. After graduating from Weber State University in 1998 with a B.S. in zoology and minors in both botany and chemistry, Celia decided that she wanted a “PhD in practical knowledge,” joined a farm collective, and took on gardening leadership responsibilities. After returning home to Utah she began large scale backyard gardening, teaching gardening classes, and taking as many gardening classes as possible. Chickens were a natural part in the evolution of her urban garden, and they were integrated in spring 2004. Celia’s chickens have been working hard on garden bug patrol, soil fertilizing and preparation, and egg production ever since. 

Urban Homesteader

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