Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA)

Registration for 2017 opening October 1.

Open House November 5, 2016 10:00 am- noon

6801 SE 60th Ave. Portland, OR.

Do you want to be on our contact list for the 2017 season? Please complete our interest form or Contact Jen Aron at 503-758-7386 or email.

Read testimonials from our students

Join BUFA for our sixth season of hands-on education. 

BUFA is a season-long training for new and aspiring farmers conducted in and around Portland, Oregon by OSU Extension Service and community partners. BUFA provides training for urban and small-scale farmers and community land stewards in vegetable and fruit production and farm business management. BUFA can help you to build your foundation in farming.

Students use a loop to look at pests up-close

For 2017, we have two options for participation in BUFA including:

BUFA partners include: OSU, Grow Portland, Rogue Farm Corps and Oregon Food Bank.

BUFA training details

BUFA is a seven-month (season-long) program that offers small-scale farming education to the next generation of farmers, non-profit garden managers, food justice leaders, and local food entrepreneurs. The program teaches students basic skills in vegetable production, fruit production and the field of small-scale agriculture.  BUFA helps participants develop connections and relationships with the organizations, farmers, food justice leaders, and businesses that make up our local food system.  We want to help you explore local small-scale agriculture as a potential career path to help transform our local food system.

Option 1: Market Farming track- $2,600 (525+ hours of instruction including BUFA monthly classes and field trips)

For participants looking to jump-start their career in agricultural food production and/or marketing.  This intensive, hands-on track will focus on diverse crop production, small-scale farm management, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and restaurant sales.  Scholarships available.  Cohort limited to 12 qualified participants. Classes and field trips included (75+ hours of instruction).  The classes and field trips will be conducted in conjunction with Rogue Farm Corp.  Dates and details are coming very soon.

Option 2: Community farming track

Course topics based on university research include:

  • Soil management including fertilizers, compost, mulch, and cover crops
  • Intensive vegetable production using hand and small power tools
  • Berry and fruit tree production and edible landscaping
  • Ecological landscape management including native and ornamental plants
  • Organic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with special emphasis on weed control
  • Farm/landscape infrastructure including irrigation, materials choices, and installation
  • Farm business planning and marketing
  • Community resources and next steps.

BUFA learning objectives

  • Create a management plan for urban farms and community landscapes with detailed analysis of benefits and drawbacks of various garden management practices
  • Design and install urban-scale farm and landscape infrastructure
  • Practice important farming skills and use tools safely and effectively
  • Apply principles of healthy soil for healthy plants to gardens and landscape management
  • Understand methods and products for organic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) including weed management options
  • Analyze social aspects of urban farming, community gardening
  • Perform marketing analysis and create a farm business plan
  • Communicate learning with peers and the larger community.

Open House

Saturday January 16, 2016 from 10am-1pm at the Learning Gardens Laboratory 6801 SE 60th Ave Portland OR

Come meet instructors, check out the farm and learn all about our season-long and hands-on farmer training.


For Market farming track: get your hands dirty as part of a “working interview.”  RSVP required.


Registration deadline February Friday February 5, 2016 at 5pm.