UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship

UC Santa Cruz is thrilled to welcome applications to the 50th Anniversary year of the UCSC Farm and Garden Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture.

The apprenticeship blends experiential learning with traditional classroom studies on topics that include soil management, composting, pest and weed control, crop planning, irrigation, farm equipment, direct marketing techniques, sustainable food systems and food systems equity. Graduates have established their own commercial farms and market gardens, developed farm- and garden-based educational programs, run urban garden programs, and more.

The 39 apprentices each year arrive from all regions of the US and abroad, and represent a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and interests. We have a range of course fee waivers available to support participation in the Apprenticeship, and CASFS offers a Simply Organic Course Fee Waiver for an apprentice with financial need interested in pursuing a career in organic farming.






  • We offer a six-month, full-time, residential apprenticeship in organic gardening and small-scale sustainable farming.
  • The course includes formal instruction and hands-on practical skill building.
  • We focus on specialty crops (vegetables and various fruit crops), flowers, and small scale orchards.
  • We welcome applicants from all backgrounds.
  • The course fee for 2017 is $6000, plus $660 in food dues.
  • Full and partial course fee waivers are available for veterans and those with financial need.
  • AmeriCorps funding is accepted.
  • The deadline to apply for 2017 is August 15, 2016 for international applicants, and September 30, 2016 for domestic applicants.

UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship