Friday, August 9, 2013

Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum

Back to Toolbox || Books & Manuals || Activities

Learning to Plant Seeds
Learning to Plant SeedsDuring our summer programs, we use a series of workshops to introduce youth participants and their youth leaders to the principles of sustainable agriculture and the food system. Here is the eight-part series that we have developed through the years.

Workshop 1: Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (click here for PDF)
Introduction to sustainable agriculture principles and how they are used on the farm

Workshop 2: Soil Sleuths (click here for PDF)
Introduction to soil function, components, and its impact on sustainable farming

Workshop 3: Compost Happens (click here for PDF)
Compost 101: the importance, and how to create it

Workshop 4: Wayward Weeds (this curriculum is itself wayward, i.e. missing)
Introduction to weeds and weed management

Workshop 5: Insects-ploration (click here for PDF)
Introduction to insects and their role in agriculture

Workshop 6: Trace The French Fry (click here for PDF)
Discussion of two types of food systems: global/industrial and local/sustainable

Workshops 7-8: Food Systems Debate (click here for PDF)
Debate and discussion of the merits of different types of food systems


The Food Project's manual series captures the nuts and bolts of each of our acclaimed programs. Written for our staff but accessible to other organizations, these guides address the fundamental principles, structures, and philosophies vital to the success of any youth-based program. Each manual describes in detail all of the steps necessary to implement and manage a specific area of The Food Project. This series is meant to assist those who want to do similar work in their own community.

Summer Youth Program Manuals, Volumes I, II, and III ($22.95 each / free downloads)

The Food Project’s Summer Youth Program employs over 100 youth from greater Boston and the North Shore of eastern Massachusetts to work on the land, grow organic produce, serve the community, and grow together. Behind the scenes, this program is complex to run and execute. These three manuals will provide readers with an entire picture of how to recruit young people, how to train them, how to set up the program, and how to run it once the summer begins. The three volumes together form a complete guidebook for running a successful and dynamic summer youth program.

Volume I:  Recruitment  Download (PDF)

Volume II:  Set-Up  Download (PDF)

Volume III:  Implementation Download (PDF)

Academic Year Program Manual (free download)

Annually, this program employs young people who have completed our Summer Youth Program to work on community-based projects during the school year. Members of the D.I.R.T. Crew (Dynamic, Intelligent, Responsible Teenagers) dedicate Saturdays and after-school hours to lead over 1700 volunteers on our rural and urban farm sites, work in shelters, and attend conferences to speak about their experience working for The Food Project. This manual discusses every aspect of this program and is a great resource for those looking for ways to engage young people throughout the year.

Download (PDF)

Rural Agriculture Manual (free download)

The Food Project manages a over 40 acres of farmland in eastern Massachusetts and distributes over 250,000 pounds of produce annually. This manual explains how to run a sustainable production farm while integrating thousands of youth and volunteers throughout the season. You will learn how to set up a farm to accommodate, celebrate, and utilize the labor of people who are walking onto a farm for the first time and will be forever changed by their experience. Included in this manual are tools for crop planning, labor management, and produce distribution, as well as tips for an abundant harvest.

Download (PDF)

Urban Agriculture Manual (free download)

The Food Project grows produce on urban farms in Boston and Lynn, Mass.  This manual details how we created healthy soil, how we intersect with the community, how to work with the young people involved in The Food Project’s programs, and how to plan urban food lots. This manual specifically addresses the trials and successes of agriculture in an urban arena.

Download (PDF)

Farmers’ Market Manual (free download)

The Food Project runs farmers’ markets Boston, Lynn, and Beverly, Mass. These markets bring local, fresh produce to customers who do not have easy access to this type of food. Our manual discusses setting up the market, selecting produce, training workers and young people, marketing, and keeping business records.

Download (PDF)

Volunteer Manual (free download)

This manual is a thorough introduction to The Food Project’s Serve and Grow farm work volunteer program. The Food Project depends on over 3,000 youth and adults to assist us in growing food, keeping our city food lots beautiful, and reclaiming urban land. This manual outlines recruitment, scheduling, and designing programs for volunteers.

Download (PDF)