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Program Details

Curriculum

The Richmond Farm School will consist of multiple core subjects. The majority of subjects will be covered as they become relevant throughout the growing season. Students can expect to be given readings, but there are no exams/grades/assignments nor are academic credits awarded. The benefit of experiential learning is the hands-on, on-farm, industry professional led experience students will gain.

All subjects will be taught with Canadian Organic Certification practices and standards.

  • All aspects of Small-Scale Market Vegetable Crop Production
  • Soil, Water, Compost and Crop Rotation Management
  • Introduction to Plant Health
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Introduction to Pasture Raised Livestock Management (chickens, pigs, ducks)
  • Apiculture - beekeeping
  • Introduction to Farm Business Planning & Marketing
  • Farm Tools and Machinery

Topics that will also be covered; sustainable and regenerative agriculture systems, foundations of permaculture, farm safety, mechanization, construction, cover crops, cut flower production, resources and certifications, farmscaping, farm design and planning, habitat and pollinator enchantment, and food politics.


Who is this course for?

The Richmond Farm School has no requirements or perquisites. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to take your skills to the next level, a novice farmer wanting to gain more knowledge, or have never planted a seed in your life. The RFS will take you through a season, equipping you with the skills and confidence to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture. 

We encourage all students to have a keen desire to learn, are open to new experiences, and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. You will be surrounded with like-minded, community focused people, great discussions will be abundant!


Schedule

The Richmond Farm School will operate:

  • Mid March - Mid November, exact dates TBA, weather and tasks depending
  • Every Saturday from 9am - 4pm
  • STAT Holiday weekends are not observed.

Daily start and end times will vary slightly with seasonal tasks. Lunch breaks will be taken appropriately, and breaks will be taken as needed. The frequency of potlucks and BBQs will be discussed as a group. Optional special off-farm workshops, tours and events may fall on different days.

Opportunities for additional hands-on farming experience on off days are available.


Location

Farm Address: 13840 Gilbert Rd. Richmond
Adjacent to the Fraser River, minutes away from the historic Steveston Village in Richmond BC,  and a short commute from Vancouver, is The Richmond Farm School and Richmond Incubator Plots.The vast majority of educational time will be located at The Richmond Farm School 1/4 acre plot, located near Gilbert & Dyke Rd. The added advantage of this location is the proximity to Richmond Incubator Plots where students have the chance to interact with Farm School Alumni. 

Some off-farm field trips will be planned for around the Lower Mainland, ample notice and ride sharing options will be provided.


Costs

Our goal for the Richmond Farm School is to educate and inspire new farmers. With this in mind, this program accessibly priced and scheduled. Cohort students are committed to the full length of the program, with the intention of attending every class. 

Fee for Cohort Students $2200

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due at the time of application and the balance of $1700 by the start of classes. Instalment payments are available. Please contact the Farm School Coordinator for more information regarding payment options.
*NO extra fees for textbooks, supplies/material etc. 


What’s included?

250 hours of hands-on, instructor led educational time

50 hours of additional recorded co-op experience

1 CSA share per week, valued at $500 (Community Supported Agriculture / weekly food boxes)

Access to the Richmond Incubator Plots Program after graduation

The support of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Institute of Sustainable Food Systems

After completion of this program, you will have gained invaluable knowledge and experience, and will be ready to start your journey in being a farmer.