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Greetings All! I am writing to you from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, where I have been living and working as an apprentice for the past 5 months. I had the best of intentions for writing to this list with regular program updates when I set out on this adventure in April, but am only now finding time to write!

This is an amazing place! I believe that Adam Honigman recommended this as the one place that you should go to improve your gardening skills if you have the time and the money – he’s right! Although the focus is definitely on farming for profit, I’ve found that many other apprentices are as interested in urban agriculture and community gardens as I am. It’s a six month program for 35-40 apprentices. We work on both the small market garden (hand work) and field scale (tractor work), experiencing greenhouse work, irrigation, growing and selling cut flowers, marketing our produce, and coordinating our 100 member CSA. The best thing about the program, aside from the amazing ocean view, is the conscious balance between garden work and classroom instruction.

In my final four weeks here, I would be happy to answer questions that any of you might have about the program – whether you are thinking about applying (2003 deadline is approaching!) or just have a gardening question that I could pose to one of our site managers. If you are interested in learning more about the program please visit the CASFS web site at: http://zzyx.ucsc.edu/casfs/training/index.html


Ginger Ogilvie
(you may remember me from such places as Wasatch Community Gardens AND the 2001 ACGA Conference in Salt Lake City)

PS To all of you who may be seeking garden managers, school garden coordinators, or CSA coordinators, remember that a new crop of experienced apprentices goes out into the world every October! CASFS would love to receive your job announcements… you can email: apprenticeship@cats.ucsc.edu.

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