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URBAN FARMING -BAG229

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Establish up and manage a successful urban farm

  • Grow crops or livestock in an urban area.
  • Explore intensive farming practices for fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, herbs and more
  • Learn what is possible and practical.

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Success with Urban Farming

Urban farms have some limitations, but also many advantages. Produce is close to market, and that can provide savings on transportation and storage. Produce quality doesn't deteriorate on the way to market. Farms can provide massive environmental benefits adding greenery to urban areas.

Consider:

  • What to do and how to do it
  • What can be grown 
  • What are the possible costs and likely savings 
  • How can technology be harnessed to improve profits.

COURSE CONTENT

This course has eight lessons as follows:

1. Scope & Nature of Urban Farming

  • Introduction - Why this matters 
  • What is Urban Farming
  • Who is an urban farmer? 
  • Motivating Concerns: Environmental, Food Security and Waste, Sustainability, 
  • Motivating Benefits: Profitability, Nutrition and Opportunities
  • Urban Farm Concepts 
  • Further Factors in Concept Planning (Organics and Security) 
  • Diversification of Urban Farming 
  • Example 1 Plant and Animal Tissue Culture
  • Example 2 Urban Foraging

2. What & Where to Farm

  • Choose wisely 
  • What to Farm? 
  • Geographic location 
  • Local climate
  • Available space 
  • Infrastructure Access 
  • Community/Social Demographics 
  • Restrictions on What Can be Farmed 
  • Permits/Licences
  • Farming Animals 
  • Farming Plants 
  • Time to Harvest 
  • Where to Farm? 
  • Evaluating Sites 
  • Indoor Sites: Factories, Warehouses, Greenhouses, Vacant Buildings 
  • Outdoor Site: Rooftops, Parks, Community Gardens, Urban Land 
  • Space Considerations

3. Urban Farming Technologies

  • Introduction
  • Urban Farm Technologies 
  • Protected Environments
  • Growth Cabinets
  • Cloches, Greenhouses and Florida Rooms 
  • Hydroponics
  • Aquaponics 
  • Aquaculture
  • Vertical Farming 
  • Multi-storey Farming
  • Diversified Production Systems
  • Single Product Production Systems 
  • Emerging Technologies 
  • IoT, Automation, AI, Robotics, Blockchain, Nanotech

4. Starting Up & Managing an Urban Farm

  • Introduction
  • Initial Considerations
  • Assessing Risks
  • Potential Risks
  • Legal Considerations 
  • Safe Waste Disposal 
  • Forecasting and Preparation 
  • Analysing Costs and Benefits 
  • Acquisitions and Launching 
  • Acquire the Site
  • Property Setup and Staff Training
  • Launching the Business
  • Growing the Business

5. Animal Farming Systems

  • Changing Farms 
  • Intensive Animal Farming 
  • Challenges of Urban Farming 
  • The Physical Environment
  • Ethics
  • Services and Resources Access 
  • Biosecurity and Health
  • Security of Animals 
  • Animal Production Systems
  • Free Range, High Density and Bottomless Pens 
  • How to Increase Productivity
  • Pasture Intensification, Livestock Selection, Animal Feed 
  • Choosing High Value Farm Activities 
  • Integration of Urban Farming into Town Planning 
  • Case Studies: Aquaculture, Poultry and Dairy Farms 

6. Plant Farming Systems

  • Introduction to Plant Farming
  • Challenges of Urban Plant Farming 
  • The Physical Environment 
  • Services and Resources Access 
  • Biosecurity & Health
  • In-Ground Growing 
  • Containers 
  • Soil Improvement 
  • Roof-top Growing Systems
  • Adaptations for Indoor Systems 
  • Vertical Growing Systems
  • Soil-less Crop Production Systems 
  • Vertical Farming 
  • Aeroponics
  • Propagation Techniques
  • Harvesting Techniques
  • How to Increase Productivity
  • Storage of Produce Pre-market

7. Value Adding

  • Model of Business for Viability 
  • Retail Services 
  • Selling to Restaurants 
  • Growing More in Small Spaces 
  • Farmers Markets 
  • Farm Tourism & Education Services 
  • Marketing at Events
  • Volunteers, Grants and Skills Training
  • Preserving & Processing Produce 
  • Producing Animal Feed
  • Manufacturing Produce and Other Goods

8. Problem-Based Learning Project – Planning an Urban Farm 

  • Plan establishment or ongoing improved operation of an urban farm.

 

Aims: 

  • Discuss what urban farming is and types of urban farmer.
  • Determine the options and requirements for viable urban farming.
  • Distinguish technologies used to grow plants or animals in urban farming.
  • Examine the processes undertaken when establishing an urban farming initiative. 
  • Describe general operations of different animal farming systems.
  • Describe general operations of different plant farming systems.
  • Develop added value to increase the economic viability of an urban farm.
  • Plan for the establishment or ongoing improved operation of an urban farm. 

 

WHY URBAN FARMING?

Farmers have been at a turning point for several decades during which urban farming has proved it is as viable as conventional farming.

Urban farming can: 

  • improve our environment, buffering temperature and other extreme weather
  • create community food systems 
  • advance food security and sustainable use practices,
  • improve environmental understanding and education, and
  • improving overall health and wellbeing of our society.

Urban food production has the potential to deliver around a third to a half of our food globally. Changing the way people look at and understand food production is a major benefit.

Whether small or large, urban farms have one thing in common – that they are located on more expensive land than a rural farm. This means they need to be more profitable per unit area. Urban farms are typically intensive operations that employ more technology and expertise than a rural farm because they must produce more product, and faster. They have the advantage of being close to market, which reduces transport costs and makes coordination of supply less complicated. Produce can also be delivered much faster to the end-user. What and how to grow needs to be decided carefully for urban farming; and set-up costs may be more than on a rural farm, but it is feasible to operate urban farms on very small properties.   All of this is possible though; and if you harness modern knowledge, technology and innovation, the possibilities are even greater.

The first step toward successful urban farming is to raise your understanding and knowledge, then make the best choices to make the best planning decisions. This course is designed to set you on that path.

 
Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!