Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy teaches people agriculture

The Farm Alliance of Baltimore is helping teach urban farming skills through its Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy.The nine-month training is named after a Morgan State University professor’s book, Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America.Being out in the open, seeing the difference between one week and the next one day and the next — it’s just great,” trainee Leslie Evans said. Evans is a retired lawyer. She said the work is a lot less stressful.”This program is perfect. We have a classroom. We did some crop planting and pest identification and now we’re out here making it grow,” Evans said.The Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy is a nine-month training program that focuses on sustainable agriculture methods and farm business planning. Students go through classroom sessions, on-farm work and field days where they visit other farms in the city. Myesha Taylor is the production and education farm manager.”They have seen these fields bare and have helped get them to this place but then in the future, we will incubate farmers so you’ll see some of these plots where a farmer maybe can get a quarter of an acre spot. So, once they finished the black butterfly, they move on to starting their own business,” Taylor said.Cieara Adams is an artist and chef. She said she wanted to learn how to grow her own food. “I want to be self-sustainable. I want eventually have a farm-to-table business and be able to know and source where my food comes from,” Adams said. The trainees are growing flowers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic , sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, corn and more.”We sell at a farmer’s market. Our trainees get first dibs on the produce they grow and we also sell to wholesale,” Taylor said.And they give produce away in the community .In addition to experience, the trainees get a $2,000 stipend.

The Farm Alliance of Baltimore is helping teach urban farming skills through its Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy.

The nine-month training is named after a Morgan State University professor’s book, Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America.

“Being out in the open, seeing the difference between one week and the next one day and the next — it’s just great,” trainee Leslie Evans said.

Evans is a retired lawyer. She said the work is a lot less stressful.

“This program is perfect. We have a classroom. We did some crop planting and pest identification and now we’re out here making it grow,” Evans said.

The Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy is a nine-month training program that focuses on sustainable agriculture methods and farm business planning. Students go through classroom sessions, on-farm work and field days where they visit other farms in the city.

Myesha Taylor is the production and education farm manager.

“They have seen these fields bare and have helped get them to this place but then in the future, we will incubate farmers so you’ll see some of these plots where a farmer maybe can get a quarter of an acre spot. So, once they finished the black butterfly, they move on to starting their own business,” Taylor said.

Ciara Adams is an artist and chef. She said she wanted to learn how to grow her own food.

“I want to be self-sustainable. I want eventually have a farm-to-table business and be able to know and source where my food comes from,” Adams said.

The trainees are growing flowers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, corn and more.

“We sell at a farmer’s market. Our trainees get first dibs on the produce they grow and we also sell to wholesale,” Taylor said.

And they give produce away in the community.

In addition to experience, the trainees get a $2,000 stipend.

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