Lessons and Reflections about our First BAFTP Cohort

After three months of learning and growing, our first cohort of the Bay Area Farmer Training Program is about to finish. Over the 12 weeks and 120 hours, our students gathered to reflect on and construct knowledge about the different aspects of the food system. In this journey, we have talked about many technical topics such as biological control, ecological management of soils, and sustainable food system design, as well as social topics such as gender, racism, social movements, and how and why to decolonize our diets.

During these sessions, we have also had the honor of inviting experts as guest lecturers on topics ranging from soil biology to the Black Lives Matters movement. In all of these sessions, our guests shared their experiences with the participants and stimulated discussions central to the root causes of oppression and how to confront it.

We also had 9 field trips to different farms and visits to organizations working in the food justice movement, strengthening our network and connecting students to the work they feel most passionate about. These were productive experiences that permitted the cohort to see firsthand how to apply, in real life, all of the theory of agroecology that was being covered in the classroom. In reality, we experienced how education transcends the classroom walls and can transform the garden or museum exhibit into sites of learning.

Finally, all of our students have developed stronger entrepreneurship proposals related to agroecology and food justice, ranging from online platforms to promote local consumption of sustainable vegetables to launching nonprofits to use permaculture as a tool to empower marginalized youth.

As our projects and community continues to grow and deepen, we look forward to the next five cohorts and building the food system that we dream of together!

To apply for our next cohort, please fill out our online application and help us to spread the world with your community. If you’d like to receive updates about the program, sign up for our mailing list.