Urban Farming Certificate Program: Food Skills in Action

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Every year we have taken on a huge new project to diversify our income streams at the farm to cover our apprenticeship program. This year we have decided to focus on production, our nursery and other life interests.

That being said we will not be offering the Urban Farming Certificate Program in 2016.

Check back in the fall of 2016 for our schedule for 2017. Thanks!

What is the Urban Farming Certificate Program?

In the Urban Farming Certificate Program, students will learn the theory and application of intensive urban food production and the foundations of holistic ecological farming. The focus of this aquaponic 2program will be on the application of the theory learned in the classroom. Over 60% of the instruction will be on the ground building soil, building farm infrastructure, planting, propagating and growing food. Mason Street City Farm has spent a decade honing techniques specific to ecological urban food cultivation. Whether you’re a novice gardener or a budding farmer, this program will provide you with the core skills needed to create a thriving productive food system on a home or commercial scale.

tara and sara

Who is this program for?

  • Novice gardeners
  • Garden hobbyists
  • Organic Master Gardeners
  • PDC graduates
  • Aspiring farmers
  • Community activists


yoka rooftopMODULE ONE
Ecological Farming in the City
This module offers a broad spectrum of ecological and high yielding approaches to year round food production. We will explore the many unique benefits and methodologies of growing food in the city.

The topics covered in this module are, and not limited to:

  • Planning and designing your year round food garden
  • Growing your year round food garden
  • Foundations of soil health (Biology, Compost, Compost Tea)
  • Annual vegetable propagation
  • The resourceful farmer: Up-cycling the urban waste stream (gathering free compost materials)
  • Identifying and mitigating common pests and diseases
  • Four season plant propagation
  • Urban livestock
  • Farm infrastructure (building greenhouses, trellising, polytunnels)
  • Season extension
  • Transitioning lawn to food
  • Introduction to aquaponics
  • Smart harvesting and processing techniques
  • Community food systems (Working with the city, ie bylaws)
  • Land acquisition and tenure

jon's houseMODULE TWO
Integrating Systems:Closing The Loop
This module expands on the foundations of ecological food cultivation by looking at specific fields of interest in the alternative economy. Through the lense of permaculture we will explore ways to connect the many different elements of a homestead* to a larger community food system.  Whether you wish to evolve your own urban homestead or start a new food based ecological business, this module provides an in depth introduction to:

  • Urban permaculture
  • Applied aquaponics
  • Wild crafting and medicine
  • Mushroom cultivationchickens at mason st farm
  • Water systems
  • Perennial fruit and vegetable propagation (grafting/cuttings)
  • Pollinators (honeybees, blue orchard mason bees, etc.)
  • Filling the pantry (preserving the harvest)
  • Seed saving

*By homestead we are referring to any accessible piece of land, whether it be privately, publicly or cooperatively owned.

jess and ange
Urban Farming Certificate Graduates walk away with:

  • the ability to design a beautiful urban food system using practical and ecological techniques that promote fertility, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase biodiversity.
  • a better understanding of the science and alchemy of a healthy biological soil system.
  • the ability to resourcefully identify and acquire the elemental materials for building your farm. (Infrastructure materials, compost materials)
  • a cultivated awareness of the elements involved in an inclusive community food system.
  • the necessary tools to creatively participate in growing alternative economies through entrepreneurship. (Growing mushrooms, plants, fish, food etc for profit)
  • an  “Ecological Food Skills Certification”


Mail or deliver deposits or full course amount to:

Mason Street City Farm

1015 Balmoral Rd


V8T 1A7

Please make cheque payable to Mason Street City Farm

We are using Eventbrite as a registration tool only.

In order to save costs for participants we will be taking cash or cheque to bypass the large VISA ticketing fee on Eventbrite.

* Registration is not complete until deposit is made.

Full payment must be received by course start date.

In the event that you can’t pay the full course fee upfront arrangements can be made.

Please contact us: masonstreetfarm@gmail.com

oak at mason streetWe are very excited to finally be offering this program. It has been a decade in the making. We are keeping the course relatively small to ensure a quality educational experience that is rooted in practical skill building.
There are 5 spaces available.



ange carrotsAngela Moran, Director at Mason Street City Farm and Community Food Programmer

Angela’s journey to urban farming and community food programming began at Brock University in Niagara Falls where she earned a degree in Environmental Policy and Sociology. It was here that Angela concentrated her studies in food literacy and ecological farming. What she craved upon graduation was a chance to get some practical experience in organic food production, which led her on a three year wwoofing journey through Canada, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica and Panama. In 2005, Angela was accepted into the Linnaea Ecological Gardening Program on Cortes Island, where she earned her Permaculture Design Certification. It was at Linnaea that Angela became attuned to the complexities of our globalized food system and issues surrounding food justice. Gaining the core skills to become a farmer. Angela arrived in Victoria after graduation ready to seriously invest some time into urban agriculture. In 2006, Angela took over the lease of The Mason Street City Farm where she and her farm partner offer food skills and farming education to residents on Southern Vancouver Island. She is dedicated to educating people about growing food in the Pacific Northwest and cultivating a just community food system. In her “downtime” she is a mother and flamenco dancer.

Jesse Brown, Director at Mason Street City Farm and Victoria Aquaponics

Jess started his first business in the gardening industry in 2006, where he began to hone the skills necessary to oversee a wide spectrum of creative garden projects, each with their own unique challenges. Over this period, in his off time, Jess began his part time relationship with the Mason Street City Farm. Passion for food cultivation and a deeper awareness of the challenges our dominant food system faces were the fruits of volunteering here alongside Angela.

This awakening lead Jesse to abundant fertile lands. In 2012 he was accepted into the 8 month Skill Builder Program at the Bullocks homestead on Orcas island. Here Jesse gained a deeper reverence for the interconnected and self managing structures of nature. Jesse seeks to integrate  these lessons towards evolving the systems humans require to thrive. He feels it is an endeavor for many hands and many minds. Jesse is now realizing his dream of co-stewarding an innovative community urban farm project  in the heart of Victoria BC.

SONY DSCDanielle Stevenson, Mushroom Cultivation

Danielle has a passion for education and action around grassroots food, health and earth regeneration and has worked for the past 9 years coordinating meals-on-wheels and school gardening programs, farming, building community gardens and offering food-related workshops. Danielle has a degree in Environmental Studies and History at UVic, a Permaculture Design Certificate and training in Bioremediation, nutrition and theater. She also works as Food Access Coordinator for the Coalition of Neighborhood Houses, and recently launched D.I.Y. Fungi to offer educational workshops and mushroom cultures (a.ka. “spawn”) for people of all ages to grow their own fungal food and medicine at their homes, gardens and farms. She is especially excited about the potential to work with fungi, plants and microbes to regenerate the land and water- known as “Bioremediation.” Learn more at http://diyfungi.wordpress.com 

mighk-at-priMike Simpson, Urban planner and Permaculture designer (Portland, City Repair)

Mike Simpson is an urban planner who specializes in urban agriculture policy, environmental planning, and permaculture design. He holds a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Portland State University. He also studied permaculture design at Linnaea Farm and the Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead and has taught permaculture design courses in British Columbia and Portland OR.  Mike has conducted research for various organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation and is currently a Joseph A. Bombardier doctoral scholar at the University of Victoria.

Jesse Howardson, Seed Saving
Jesse has been growing and learning on organic farms forthe past 7 years. Concurrent jesse biowith farming she completed a degree at UVic, studying political ecology, social justice studies, and feminist theory. Initially focused on market veggie production, she has a growing passion for the stewardship of ecological seed, and building community skills and knowledge to strengthen the resilience of local seed systems. After attending a workshop with plant breeder and seed saver John Navazio in 2011, she went on to apprentice with the fine folks at Stellar Seeds, a BC-based seed company supplying regionally adapted and public domain seed. Since then, she has worked for and collaborated with various seed-related projects, including the BC EcoSeed Co-op, Salt Spring Seeds, the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, and most recently the Victoria Seed Library. Beyond seed work, she focuses on supporting place-based conservation projects and dreaming up a radical catering collective

Julia Ford, Mason Street Nursery Manager
*bio coming soon

Chris Adams, Urban Homesteader
*bio coming soon

More instructors TBA