• By Tembila Covington
  • Posted Monday, September 23, 2019

How to become an urban farmer in Winston Salem

Do you enjoy growing a garden and visiting farmers markets? Have you ever considered selling your extra produce? Do you have a heart for feeding the hungry? Perhaps you want to have your own small business and you enjoy being outdoors. Then it’s time to champion the movement of urban farming! Urban farming is a small business built on healthy soil, sunshine, water and elbow grease. Urban farms can be developed in vacant lots, large backyards and even front yards. Urban farming is emerging as the new trend in agriculture in our community.

Becoming an urban farmer can be empowering because it provides opportunities to support yourself while helping your neighbors have access to healthy fresh produce. Forsyth County is home to a vibrant farmers’ market scene where local farmers and urban farmers sell produce and other value added products. A farmers’ market can serve as a kind of grocery store in parts of Winston-Salem that don’t have one located close by. Many urban farmers sell to local corner stores, making produce purchasing convenient for people who live in the city. Urban farms can be a link in rebuilding a local, resilient food system.

NC Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center offers a 12 week Urban Farm School market garden class each March. The course provides classroom training in horticulture, crop production planning, irrigation, pest management, post-harvest handling, and marketing. Participants get hands on experience with planting, managing a market garden bed and taking produce to the farmers’ market. The next urban farm school class will be in the spring of 2020. Plan to attend an upcoming presentation about what it takes to be an urban farmer with information also provided about the Urban Farm School course. The free presentation is scheduled for October 24 from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30. The session will be held at Share Cooperative located at 603 Peters Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. To register for the class please call Kitrinka Gordon at 336-703-2850 or email coop-ext-registration@forsyth.cc