Registration ends tomorrow for MAP’s Growing Green Spring Urban Agriculture Training, a weekend-long training event, hosted by the staff of Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP).  The training offers opportunities to learn from MAP’s success with urban, youth centered agriculture.  The event will take place on Friday, March 7th through Sunday, March 9th, 2014.


In addition to witnessing the components of a functional urban farm first hand, such as urban fish farming, composting, and value-added food production, participants will be able to engage and observe many of the successful elements in MAP’s youth training program, Growing Green.  Attending the training also means being able to hear from regional experts on food system planning and development, and network with other beginning or established urban farmers.

The weekend-long workshop includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, a cocktail reception, and these intensive, hands-on training opportunities.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.



5:00-7:00pm        Welcome Reception and Registration
Join us for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, networking, and to hear an overview of the history and work of the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) @ Hardware Cafe on Allen Street.


8:30-9:00am      Breakfast and Registration
@ 460 Massachusetts Avenue

9:00-9:30am        MAP Farm Tour
@ 382 Massachusetts Avenue

9:45-11:00am     Workshop Block 1

  • Farm Planning and Management: An in-depth look at the management and function of our urban farm, during all four seasons. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager @ 460 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Moving Food Policy Forward: Public policy impacts all aspects of our food system. This workshop will discuss strategies for and challenges in engaging policy makers, the process of creating a Food Policy Council for Buffalo and Erie County and the lessons learned in the process. Led by Diane Picard, MAP’s Executive Director @ 271 Grant Street

11:30am–12:30pm Workshop Block 2

  • Urban Chicken Keeping: How to raise, feed, and harvest chickens, with a special focus on doing so in an urban environment. Led by Katie Pfohl, MAP Farm Assistant @ 460 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Youth Education and Leadership: MAP has employed and trained hundreds of low-income youth in Buffalo.  Join us to hear our story and to gather tips and techniques to educate, engage and empower young leaders. Led by Rebekah Williams, MAP’s Youth Education Director @ 271 Grant Street

1:00-2:00pm     Lunch and Keynote Address
Nationally renowned Food Planner, Dr. Samina Raja, PhD, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo @ 271 Grant Street

2:00-2:30pm     Break
A time to network and rejuvenate. Enjoy a cup of coffee at Sweetness 7 or Five Points Bakery, browse the international shops along Grant Street or take a walk.

3:00-4:30pm     Workshop Block 3

  • Composting: Visit a a large scale composting operation and see first hand how MAP and others make organic, high quality soil in the city.  Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager @ Central Terminal
  • Community Gardens 101: Are you trying to start a community garden or sustain the one you belong to? This workshop will provide resources for starting and sustaining community gardens as well as strategies for engaging diverse community members and organizations to ensure success. Derek Nichols, Program Manager of Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo and Gerldine Wilson, Community Leader with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo @ 271 Grant Street

4:45-6:00pm     Beer Tasting
@ Community Beer Works on Lafayette Avenue

Dinner on Your Own


9:00am         Breakfast
@ 271 Grant Street

9:30-11:00am     Workshop Block 4

  • Aquaponics Basics: Learn the basic principles behind aquaponic fish farming, before an in-depth tour with Q&A of our own aquaponic systems. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager @ 460 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Value-Added Products: MAP’s value-added products sell at over 20 local venues and farmers markets, and in seven Wegmans stores. This workshop will walk participants through the nuts and bolts of developing a value-added product to support the local food system, from farm to shelf. Led by Katie Pfohl, MAP Farm& Markets Assistant; and Danielle Rovillo, MAP Markets Director @ 271 Grant Street

11:15am-12:45pm     Workshop Block 5

  • Farm-to-School Panel: Everyone knows the rap that school food gets from students, parents, and the media.  Students say the food is gross, parents say it’s unhealthy… but what about when it’s not?  Local schools and districts have partnered with farmers to bring fresh, healthy, appealing food to school communities.  This panel will focus on the experiences, challenges, and best practices of people working to make this happen.   Moderated by Rebekah Williams, MAP Youth Education Director. Panelists include:

Janet Forbes, former Creating Healthy Places Coordinator at Chautauqua County Health Network
Kathryn Christopher, Director of Childhood Nutrition at Williamsville Central Schools
Bridget O’Brien Wood, Director of Buffalo Public Schools Food Service Department

@ 271 Grant Street

  • Urban Farms & CSA Panel: Meet several local Urban and Regional farmers, and hear about their experiences, challenges, and successes.  Plenty of time for questions.  Moderated by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager.  Panelists include:

Mark Stevens, Wilson Street Urban Farm
Matt Kaufman, 5 Loaves Farm
Andrew Oles, Promiseland CSA

@ 460 Massachusetts Avenue

1:00-2:00pm     Lunch
@ 271 Grant Street

2:00-3:30pm     Workshop Block 6

  • Hands on Farm Work:  Pitch in and help out with some basic urban farm chores!  Work may include starting seed trays, caring for baby chickens, and creating potting soil.  Please sign up in advance, as space is limited.  Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager @ 389 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Farm Sales: Learn different strategies for selling your produce to diverse markets via Farm Stands, a Mobile Market, Restaurant Sales, and CSA’s. Led by Katie Pfohl, MAP Farm& Markets Assistant; and Danielle Rovillo, MAP Markets Director @ 271 Grant Street

3:30-4:00pm        Evaluation & Depart
@ 271 Grant Street

Deadline to register is February 28th, 2014.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. 

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