Viva Farms provides bilingual training in sustainable organic farming, as well as access to all the essentials needed to run a successful farm. Our accredited nine-month Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture (PSA), offered in partnership with local community colleges, is at the core of our training. We offer aspiring farmers and farm workers real life experiences through a full growing season in every aspect of running a successful farm operation, from business and crop planning to post harvest. In addition to our PSA, we provide bilingual workshops open to greater farming community based on farmer demand in topics such as land access, soil health, pest management, farm finances and more.
Graduates from the PSA are eligible to participate in our Farm Business Incubator Program to access the land, capital, marketing, infrastructure/equipment and access to markets needed to launch a thriving farm business. Our incubating farmers recieve ongoing technical assistance to meet milestones like getting a business license, developing a business and crop plan, getting insurance and taxes in order and obtaining organic or GAP certifications. Incubating farmers have access to infrastructure such as greenhouses, tractors and implements, irrigation, a wash/pack facility and cold storage. We provide technical assistance for farmer grant and loan programs and alternative funding. We also provide marketing support through our wholesale, CSA and SNAP-CSA programs and direct sales guidance.
Since our founding in 2009, Viva Farms has educated over 900 small farmers (250+ Spanish speakers) in sustainable organic farming. During the 2018 season alone, we supported 24 farm businesses (7 Latino owned), 35 incubating farmers, 10 practicum students, and over 150 sustainable agriculture workshop attendees. We are considered a regional leader in the farm to school arena providing technical assistance, outreach and support on local procurement for food service, school gardens and curriculum development in addition to our role as regional farm to school liaison.
Access to fresh food is vital to a healthy community. We owe it to this generation and those to come to steward the environment in a responsible way that strengthens the fertility of our farmland so it can produce the fresh food that will nourish us. It is possible to run an economically viable, sustainable organic small farm. We just have to teach the next generation of farmers how to do it. And Viva Farms is doing just that.
Long live farms! ¡Que viva las granjas!