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Parrish Manor Garden Team

Agricultural Training Programs


We believe that the knowledge of how to grow food is an important step toward developing a locally-owned food system that builds self-sufficiency and community power. The more we understand about growing and preparing food, the healthier we are.  Growing food, especially in urban areas and on small tracts of land, is a viable way for people to feed themselves. Our goal is to create a more just and sustainable future and develop more ecologically, economically, and socially sound models of food production and food distribution.

Through a variety of partnerships and learning opportunities, we provide agricultural training and education for young adults and people of all ages in urban gardening and small farm skills; food system and food justice engagement; and cooking and nutrition education.

“There is a quiet revolution stirring in our food system. It is not happening so much on the distant farms that still provide us with the majority of our food; it is happening in cities, neighborhoods, and towns. It has evolved out of the basic need that every person has to know their food, and to have some sense of control over its safety and security. It is a revolution that is providing poor people with an important safety net where they can grow some nourishment and income for themselves and their families. And it is providing an oasis for the human spirit where urban people can gather, preserve something of their culture through native seeds and foods, and teach their children about food and the earth. The revolution is taking place in small gardens, under railroad tracks and power lines, on rooftops, at farmers’ markets, and in the most unlikely of places. It is a movement that has the potential to address a multitude of issues: economic, environmental, personal health, and cultural.” -Michael Ableman

While many opportunities, such as our workshops, are open to the public, others are particularly focused on those individuals experiencing economic and food hardship. Check out our full list of upcoming workshops that are open to the public here!

Where We Grow

We grow food using diversified, organic methods on multiple sites throughout Raleigh and Durham, which serve as the home bases for our agricultural training programs. Click here for a map to the IFFS farms and gardens across the Triangle region

IFFS Wake County Teaching Farm – 4505 Tryon Rd

The IFFS Wake County Teaching Farm is a diversified farm enterprise on 6 acres on Tryon Road and an adjacent 3 acres across Dover Road, where educational experiences can occur, entrepreneurship flourishes, and on-farm micro-enterprises create sustainable businesses. Kids and adults alike can get in touch with their inner-gardener.  Come volunteer, intern or become an incubator farmer.  Spend time with our chickens, goats, fish, worms, and plants,  and find out where your food comes from.

Camden Street Learning Garden – 315 Camden Street

IFFS’s newest project is focused on building food security within the Southeast Raleigh food desert. Still in the early stages, one of the most unique features is the “Food Forrest” complete with strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, and fruit trees – literally taking growing your own food to new heights!

Community and Backyard Gardens

BCBSNC garden

Community Garden at BlueCross BlueShield of NC

Through innovative partnerships and initiatives, we empower community members to take back control of their food choices and lead healthier lives by increasing their access to fresh produce and teaching nutrition and culinary skills. Community gardens also provide opportunities for leadership development, community building, and physical activity. Every garden has a unique connection to the surrounding community and a role to play in fighting hunger. Most of these programs involve or focus on youth.

We garden:

  • in the West End and Lyon Park neighborhoods in Durham, in partnership with the Lyon Park Neighborhood Association’s Langley Garden at 1212 Kent St. This program focuses on working with you and getting fresh produce to elders at the Lyon Park Community Center each week – as well as to youth and neighbors of the garden
    • Teaching youth how to grow food, and the impact of fresh food on healthy lifestyles
    • Partnering with the neighborhood Teen Center and Partner’s for Youth mentoring program to:
      1. employ neighborhood youth in food and community work, and
      2. offer community projects and volunteer opportunities based in food access, nutrition, and community identity for the Durham Youth Council and other neighborhood youth
  • in the Garner mobile home community of Parrish Manor through a youth-led backyard gardening program
  • on BlueCross BlueShield of NC’s campus, leading a Corporate Community Garden,  1965 Ivy Creek Blvd., Durham
  • on the St. Augustine University Campus in partnership with the Alexander Family  YMCA through the Urban Garden Community Leadership Program.
  • with the Wake/NC State Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) School

Building Regional Networks for Farmers

Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training- United Piedmont

CRAFT Doug at Piedmont Biofarm

The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT), United Piedmont is a farmer-to-farmer training coalition facilitated by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to support the professional development of beginning farmers.

It features new and established farmers dedicated to creating a more just and sustainable food system in Central NC through trainings, social events, and community resource development throughout the region. CRAFT is an international model of regionally-organized farmer training rooted in the belief that farmers learn best from each other.

Through CRAFT United Piedmont, inspiring leaders in our local farming community host educational tours on their farms once a month from June to November. Each tour focuses on a special topic and is followed by a community potluck. Check out summaries of the 2013 tours here.

“We are just in the beginning stages in Siler City, loved the tours last year and hope to go on them again.  We have already put into play building a greenhouse which we learned from Will of Ever Laughter, fencing in our growing area (as we saw at many farms), and are in the process of building a pond for aquaculture.”

~Sherri Powell of Powell Acres, on the 2013 season of CRAFT United Piedmont

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NC Farm Link

NC Farm Link is a being created to support farm transition in North Carolina by connecting farm owners, farm seekers, farm service providers, and other supporters of NC agriculture.

NC Farm Link is a collaborative project between North Carolina A & T State University, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and WNC FarmLink. Learn more at http://ncfarmlink.org/

Growing Power Regional Outreach Training Center

With Longview School, we host annual urban agriculture workshops in partnership with MacArthur Genius Award winner Will Allen’s internationally recognized urban agriculture organization Growing Power, LLC. Workshops are for youth, established farmers, and community members. We are the only ROTC in the country with a specific focus on youth!