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The first session of the Gary Urban Farmer’s Initiative Certificate Training program will begin January 9

Learn how to grow your own food with Gary Urban Farmer's Initiative

Contributed By:The 411 News

Be it a tomato plant or a garden, know how will get you started

Something is growing in Gary. There is an exciting movement that is stirring in our community. You may have noticed a truck full of compost driving by, or a group of people going into a building with pads of papers in their hands and not coming out for hours.

Maybe you saw a truckload of wood chips being dumped on a vacant lot and noticed many volunteers spreading them out. Or in some really weird cases, maybe you thought you heard a chicken or rooster?

Urban farming has been part of Gary for many years, despite the existence of food deserts. The availability of land has many community residents who are tired of waiting for someone to fix the issue taking action. As Pastor Curtis Whittaker of Faith Farms exclaimed, “Captain America or Wonder Woman aren’t coming to fix this. It is up to us.”

In order to be a successful urban farmer, it is imperative to have a social network built for support, knowledge transfer opportunities, and the development of innovation-driven practices. Peer-to-peer relationship networks need to be established and maintained. Opportunities to access necessary farming tools through a tool-sharing program are essential. And finally, a training program with experiential agricultural learning activities must be available.

“We have accomplished all of the items mentioned with the exception of the training,” said Anthony Van Gorp, Purdue Extension’s Urban Gardener Educator, who announced the creation of the Gary Urban Farmer’s Initiative Certificate Training program.

“The first session of the Gary Urban Farmer’s Initiative Certificate Training program will begin on January 9, 2020, at 6:00 P.M. For the next 12 weeks, the three-hour classes will meet and include lectures, hands on activities, and conversations about growing in Gary,” Van Gorp said. “If you want to learn how to grow your own food, a tomato plant, or a garden, this class will help you get started.”

The classes will be taught by local experts, Purdue professors, and extension educators. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will be issued a certificate from Purdue Extension and have the opportunity to become an intern on one of the farms located in Gary. To register, Story Posted:11/13/2019

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