Windy City Harvest
Nine-month Sustainable Urban Agriculture
The apprenticeship will begin in mid-February and finish in mid-October. It is modeled on the demands of the production field and does not allow for breaks or vacation time during the nine months. All classes and fieldwork will be held at the Arturo Velasquez Institute as well as at other Chicago Botanic Garden farm sites. Before graduating, each student will complete a final crop plan project and participate in a full-time, paid internship. Interns are placed at different sites throughout the Chicago area according to each student’s overall goals, the Windy City Harvest partnerships, and the program’s farm production needs.
The apprenticeship program does not have an age limit. However, this is a labor-intensive farming program and 80 percent of the lessons will be hands-on work. Those who are chosen to participate must be able to lift material weighing up to 50 pounds on a daily basis and be able to physically sustain working outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions.
Students who successfully pass the program will have earned 31 continuing education hours and receive certificates in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (Chicago Botanic Garden); Sustainable Urban Horticulture (City Colleges of Chicago, Daley College); and Roots of Success, Environmental Literacy certificate (University of California Berkeley).
Windy City Harvest cannot guarantee job placement, but many of our graduates are currently employed by urban farms and organizations such as the Resource Center City Farm, Bill Shores (in the Rick Bayless garden), FarmedHere, Big Delicious Planet, Chicago Advocates for Urban Agriculture, Puerto Rican Cultural Institute, Uncommon Ground Rooftop Farm, Enlace, Resurrection Project, Garfield Park Conservatory, Radical Root Farm, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.