Teaching Black Farmers in Baltimore City to Grow Ethnic Crops for Black Communities

Progress report for LNE21-419

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2021: $252,248.00
Projected End Date: 10/15/2023
Grant Recipients: Farm Alliance of Baltimore; University of Maryland- Extension
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Project Leader:
Denzel Mitchell, Jr.
Farm Alliance of Baltimore
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Project Information

Summary:

Problem and Justification:

Black farmers are a dwindling population, and majority-Black, food-insecure urban communities in Baltimore lack training infrastructure for new urban farmers. However, we at Farm Alliance of Baltimore (FAB) have an opportunity now to begin to reverse both these trends in Baltimore City.

Though Baltimore is a majority-African American city (63% according to US Census), our history of redlining and segregation has created geographic isolation and generational poverty for Black communities. These conditions together mean that many of our majority-Black communities lack "food sovereignty" - the ability to control the means of production and distribution of food(National Black Food & Justice Alliance, 2020). Additionally, today, only 1.3 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million farmers are Black, while 95 percent are white. Urban agriculture provides one pathway for community residents to learn and participate in sustainable food production to build food sovereignty. Baltimore's Black-led urban farms include The Greener Garden, BLISS Meadows, Harlem Park Community Farm, Blue Light Junction, Plantation Park Heights, and Whitelock Community Farm. Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks has agreed to move 6 acres of Farring-Baybrook Park in South Baltimore into sustainable production to provide the surrounding communities with a place to grow food. We have commitments from local value-added food producers who are eager to source produce from Black farmers.

Solution and Approach:

Because of the market opportunity presented for these crops, and the new willingness of city government to release land for sustainable agricultural use, we propose to use this SARE grant to intensively train 20 beginner-level Black farmers to grow ethnic crops using a 3-part model: classroom learning; field day instruction at existing urban farms and at a demonstration site to impact our full 60-farmer membership; and a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program. We will work with experienced Black farmers to plant for different production models, including crops such as: okra, Baltimore's Fish Pepper, sweet potatoes, and collards; and mentor 20 new farmers in agroecology methods such as cover cropping, flail mowing for green manure, and reduced tillage methods. This will result in increased market availability of these crops by 2023 for food-insecure Black communities and small local value-added producers. Black farmers will build, pilot and test new values-based food system chains with small food businesses. This, in turn, we hypothesize, will build food sovereignty.

The Farm Alliance’s Co-Executive Director Denzel Mitchell conducted market analysis interviews with local value-added food product business contacts. Several of the businesses hold sourcing from Black business owners as a core value. Each of the businesses have committed to supporting our farmers on their journeys to sustainability and stability by purchasing produce to make products ranging from hot sauce to kimchi. This values-based approach will inform our work and our outcomes.

Performance Target:

FAB staff will create farmer training infrastructure, including: classroom instruction for up to 20 new Black farmers; 6 experienced farmers will formally mentor those trainees and lead field days for up to 80 farmers to demonstrate agroecological methods. Trainees will grow and market crops including Baltimore's Fish Pepper and sweet potatoes on up to 6 acres, resulting in increased market availability of these crops for local communities and value-added producers. Sustainable methods: cover cropping, flail mowing for green manure, reduced tillage. Focusing on Black farmers, we will build, pilot and test new values-based food system chains to increase food sovereignty.

Introduction:

Problem and Justification:

Black farmers are a dwindling population, and majority-Black, food-insecure urban communities in Baltimore lack training infrastructure for new urban farmers. However, we at Farm Alliance of Baltimore (FAB) have an opportunity now to begin to reverse both these trends in Baltimore City.

Though Baltimore is a majority-African American city (63% according to US Census), our history of redlining and segregation has created geographic isolation and generational poverty for Black communities. These conditions together mean that many of our majority-Black communities lack "food sovereignty" - the ability to control the means of production and distribution of food(National Black Food & Justice Alliance, 2020). Additionally, today, only 1.3 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million farmers are Black, while 95 percent are white. Urban agriculture provides one pathway for community residents to learn and participate in sustainable food production to build food sovereignty. Baltimore's Black-led urban farms include The Greener Garden, BLISS Meadows, Harlem Park Community Farm, Blue Light Junction, Plantation Park Heights, and Whitelock Community Farm. Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks has agreed to move 6 acres of Farring-Baybrook Park in South Baltimore into sustainable production to provide the surrounding communities with a place to grow food. We have commitments from local value-added food producers who are eager to source produce from Black farmers.

Solution and Approach:

Because of the market opportunity presented for these crops, and the new willingness of city government to release land for sustainable agricultural use, we propose to use this SARE grant to intensively train 20 beginner-level Black farmers to grow ethnic crops using a 3-part model: classroom learning; field day instruction at existing urban farms and at a demonstration site to impact our full 60-farmer membership; and a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program. We will work with experienced Black farmers to plant for different production models, including crops such as: okra, Baltimore's Fish Pepper, sweet potatoes, and collards; and mentor 20 new farmers in agroecology methods such as cover cropping, flail mowing for green manure, and reduced tillage methods. This will result in increased market availability of these crops by 2023 for food-insecure Black communities and small local value-added producers. Black farmers will build, pilot and test new values-based food system chains with small food businesses. This, in turn, we hypothesize, will build food sovereignty.

The Farm Alliance’s Co-Executive Director Denzel Mitchell conducted market analysis interviews with local value-added food product business contacts. Several of the businesses hold sourcing from Black business owners as a core value. Each of the businesses have committed to supporting our farmers on their journeys to sustainability and stability by purchasing produce to make products ranging from hot sauce to kimchi. This values-based approach will inform our work and our outcomes.

Research

Hypothesis:

What is the impact of "Training Black Farmers to Grow Ethnic Crops for Baltimore Communities" on participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors with regard to sustainable growing and marketing of ethnic crops? 

How, if at all, do the project’s outcomes -- training 20 Black farmers to grow ethnic crops for value-added food producers-- affect food sovereignty in Baltimore?

Materials and methods:

Proposed research:

The proposed research has three parts:

  1. Project impact on participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors
  2. Ethnic crop enterprise budgets
  3. Food sovereignty outcome analysis

Methods:

  1. Project impact on participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors: This project will increase participant knowledge of how to grow ethnic crops, and increase the number of Black farmers who understand how to sustainably grow ethnic crops in Baltimore City. To document this impact, Little will design a pre-survey of farmer participants to be conducted in year 1, and a post-survey to be conducted in year 2. 
  2. Ethnic crop enterprise budgets: The project will team will develop enterprise budgets for two of the crops under study, to be determined by which two crops have highest farmer and customer interest in year 1. The team will keep records of the costs of production, including inputs and labor. Little will identify ranges of sale prices for direct market and value-added product produce customers as part of the food sovereignty impact analysis described below. 
  3. Food sovereignty outcome analysis: A goal of this project is to further food sovereignty in the Black community in and around Baltimore City. One strategy to work towards food sovereignty is to develop and strengthen local food systems and supply chains. This project will do so in three ways: (1) increasing the number of Black farmers in Baltimore City who understand how to sustainably grow ethnic crops of the African diaspora, (2) working with Black value-added product producers to increase the proportion of their vegetable inputs that are grown locally on Black-led urban farms, and (3) making locally grown ethnic crops available to direct market customers. The project team will document these outcomes by (1) conducting farmer participant impact surveys, as described above, (2) pre- and post-surveying value-added product producers about their vegetable input sources, and (3) surveying participant farmers’ direct-market customers about their desire for African diaspora ethnic crops and the value they place on being able to purchase those crops from local Black growers. 

Study population(s): 

  1. Project impact on participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors: Participants will be farmer participants in the ethnic crop production education program. Farmers will be recruited by FAB staff from among the members of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore as well as the UMD-Extension Master Gardeners' program, Washington DC-based Black farming organizations such as Soilful City and Dreaming Out Loud, and Future Harvest/CASA. 
  2. Ethnic crop enterprise budgets: Data on crop production costs, including inputs and labor time, will be collected by the project team while growing the crops. Data on crop sale prices will be collected from customers as described below. 
  3. Food sovereignty outcome analysis: Participants will be current and potential customers of members of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore. Customer populations will be subdivided into value-added product enterpreneurs and direct-market customers. 

 

Data Collection and Analysis:

Collaborator Little will be responsible for survey design (informed by farmer participant input), submitting survey questions and methods for human research board approval (UMD Institutional Review Board), and survey result data analysis. 

  1. Project impact on participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors: Pre-Surveys of farmer participants will be conducted in year 1. Post-surveys of farmer participants will be conducted in year 2. Changes in participant knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors (crops produced) across the two surveys will be compared using Fishers’ Exact Test (using the software JMP®). Fishers’ Exact Test is similar to a Chi Square test, but more appropriate for small sample sizes.
  2. Ethnic crop enterprise budgets: Data on crop production costs, including inputs and labor time, will be collected by the project team while growing the crops. Data on crop sale prices will be collected from customers as described below. Enterprise budget templates developed by UMD Extension will be used to interpret the production costs and potential sale prices. Resulting enterprise budgets will be shared with participants and published to help farmers evaluate which crops are appropriate for their farming methods and markets. 
  3. Food sovereignty outcome analysis: Black entrepreneurs who produce value added products have expressed to FAB that they are interested in purchasing more inputs from local Black farmers. In year 1, these entrepreneurs will be surveyed about their current vegetable crop input sourcing, and what prices they currently pay for those vegetables. In year 2, the entrepreneurs will be surveyed on whether they have begun purchasing ethnic crops from farmer participants, and if so how much of their previous product inputs can be replaced by these locally produced crops. Farmer participants in the project will also survey their direct-market customers (CSA, farmers market, etc.) on their interest in purchasing African diaspora ethnic crops from local Black farmers, what prices they would be willing to pay for these crops, and what cultural value they experience by being able to eat culturally appropriate foods grown by members of their community.
    Results of surveys of both customer populations (value-added product entrepreneurs and direct-market customers) will be primarily analyzed using descriptive statistics. Where comparisons are helpful, data will be compared using Fishers’ Exact Test (using the software JMP®). Fishers’ Exact Test is similar to a Chi Square test, but more appropriate for small sample sizes.

Farmer Input:

FAB staff and farmer participants developed the goals and underlying questions of this project: The methods above were designed to gather information to answer their questions. Survey questions will be reviewed by FAB member farmers. Farmer participants will be trained to administer the market surveys of customers, and will conduct the data collection for that part of the research. 

2021 Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy program evaluation

Results of 2021 trainee evaluation surveys

Report prepared 12/20/2021 by Neith Little, UMD Extension, for Farm Alliance of Baltimore

Methods

Program evaluation surveys were conducted under UMD human research Institutional Review Board project # 1756006-1

Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy (BBUFA) trainees were emailed a link to complete a training evaluation survey near the beginning of the BBUFA training in July 2021 (“pre” survey). Reminder emails were sent to trainees who did not respond. Nine out of ten trainees completed the “pre” survey.

At the end of their training, BBUFA trainees were emailed the “post” evaluation survey in November 2021. Reminder emails were sent to trainees who did not respond. Six out of ten trainees completed the “post” survey.

Research results and discussion:

2021 Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy program evaluation

Results of 2021 trainee evaluation surveys

Report prepared 12/20/2021 by Neith Little, UMD Extension, for Farm Alliance of Baltimore

Summary Results

In the short-term, we expect the biggest impacts of an educational program to be on the participants’ knowledge. In the longer-term, the goal is that the knowledge gained in the training will lead to beneficial behavior changes. In this annual report, we focus on survey responses that give us an early insight into the students’ knowledge changes resulting from the training. 

Knowledge change: 

The majority of BBUFA trainees reported that the training increased their knowledge of how to grow each of the four African heritage crops which were the focus of the training program. In particular, 87% of BBUFA trainees reported that the training increased their knowledge of how to grow Baltimore’s fish pepper. For the other crops, the percent was lower of trainees who reported that their knowledge increased (okra 67%, sweet potato roots 67%, collards 67%, sweet potato greens 50%). 

Half of the BBUFA trainees reported that the training increased their knowledge of how to market okra, Baltimore’s fish pepper, and collards. Thirty-three percent of trainees reported that the training increased their knowledge of how to market sweet potato tubers and greens. 

This feedback can be used to revise the training materials for year two. 

Results details

Question: Please rate your knowledge of how to GROW the following crops BEFORE and AFTER the training.

Crop

% of students with increased knowledge of how to GROW the crop after the training

okra

67%

Baltimore's fish pepper

83%

sweet potato tubers/roots

67%

sweet potato greens

50%

collards

67%

Question: Please rate your knowledge of how to MARKET the following crops BEFORE and AFTER the training.

Crop

% of students with increased knowledge of how to MARKET the crop after the training

Okra

50%

Baltimore's fish pepper

50%

sweet potato tubers/roots

33%

sweet potato greens

33%

collards

50%

Participation Summary
10 Farmers participating in research

Education

Educational approach:

We used a four part structure for the educational portion of this program. BBUFA (Black Butterfly Training Academy) consisted of : Twelve weeks of weekly classroom instruction by Denzel Mitchell with a few guest lecturers; Nine field days at farms located throughout Baltimore and the region, consisting of at least two hours each of hands-on instruction in a particular area of urban agriculture; Shoulder to shoulder farm work at our BBUFA Teaching Farm locations in Baltimore City with supervision by PI Mitchell and our Production Assistant, Andy Szentendrei and our Program Coordinator Alison Worman; and a mentorship component in which experienced Black urban farmers provided direct mentorship and guidance at their own farms for 90 hours per mentee. Four of our trainees completed the full 90 hour mentorship component of this program. PI Mitchell uses the Socratic method with a great deal of hands-on learning in his approach, and he believes it is important that trainees are reading from a text based resource such as books on farms and farming techniques as they learn hands-on and in the classroom. This is why we purchased three books for each student at the beginning of the course.

See the attached media photo gallery for photos of the trainees, the Field Days, the farm work at our BBUFA Teaching Farm, and the classroom instruction.

BBUFA trainee field day at Three Part Harmony Farm

Trainee Field Day at Three Part Harmony Farm. Farmer Gail Taylor on far left.

Field Day at Good Dog Farm

Trainee Field Day at Purple Mountain Organics Farm. Farmer Nazirahk Amen is on far right.

Field Day at Hillen Homestead in Baltimore

Trainee Field Day at Hillen Homestead in Baltimore

Field Day at Victory Garden in Baltimore

Trainee Field Day at Victory Garden in Baltimore. Trainer is Clayton Williams, second from right.

Field Day at Strength 2 Love 2 Farm, Baltimore

Irrigation Field Day, Strength 2 Love 2 Farm, West Baltimore

Beekeeping Field Day

Beekeeping Field Day

Classroom Instruction with PI Denzel Mitchell

Classroom Instruction with PI Mitchell

Working at our Black Butterfly Teaching Farm

Working at our Black Butterfly Teaching Farm in Curtis Bay.

Sign at farm reads: COMING SOON: Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy Teaching Farm

Signage at farm

Peppers planted at farm.

Peppers growing at our other farm site in East Baltimore.

BBUFA Trainees at pepper farm.

BBUFA trainees at the pepper farm site.

BBUFA Trainees at the Curtis Bay site.

BBUFA trainees at the Curtis Bay site.

Baltimore's Fish Pepper harvest.

Baltimore's Fish Pepper harvested and ready to go to our sauce maker partner, Soilful.

BBUFA Trainees posing.

BBUFA trainees, Cohort One.

 

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Strauss, Mitchell and Fraser reached 150 new prospective applicants in 2021 for Building the Pipeline of Black Farmers. Of these, 43 did apply, and  10 were accepted to the first cohort of trainees for 2021.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
April 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

Over 150 prospective applicants were reached, and 43 applied. Of these, 10 were selected for the first training cohort. The program was renamed to be the Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy (BBUFA).

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

5 mentor farmers are oriented, trained and ready to train trainees on their own farms and at Farm Alliance site in sustainable growing practices.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
5
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
1
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
March 20, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 15, 2021
Accomplishments:

Three experienced Black farmers were recruited and trained to mentor our BBUFA trainee farmers. Four trainee farmers each completed 90 mentorship hours at the farms belonging to the mentors. This was accompished with the help of Farm Alliance of Baltimore Program Coordinator Alison Worman, who helped with scheduling, transportation, and logistics including making sure COVID safety protocols were followed at mentor farms. 

The number of farmers trained and available to serve as mentors was lower than expected due to the impacts of COVID-19. Two of the farmers we had anticipated serving as mentor farmers lost family members in the pandemic or were sick themselves and were unable to serve.

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 African American beginner farmers complete classroom instruction sessions for 4 hours per week (2 hours per session) for 4 weeks for a total of 16 hours of classroom instruction. They learn: Structure and racial stratification in the food system w/ respect to agriculture; agroecology principles; ethnic foodways and agricultural history; business and crop planning& marketing methods. Taught by Mitchell and Fraser with assistance from guest speakers.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
2
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
2
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
September 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

12 weekly class sessions were held in our Farm Alliance conference room from June-October. 10 trainees completed readings, assignments and held classroom discussions using the Socratic method by our PI, Denzel Mitchell.

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 African American beginner farmers and 30 other farmers attend 6 hands-on field training workshops on farm sites in Baltimore and the surrounding region. Each field day will be a minimum of 2 hours long.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
40
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
25
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
October 31, 2021
Accomplishments:

Nine field days of at least 2 hours each were held at farms throughout the Baltimore region, including our member farms and farms outside of our network. Trainee farmers as well as farmers from our membership network participated in these field days. These were so popular that we kept adding field days to the calendar well beyond the expected six field days. Topics included: Composting, Marketing, Farm Site Development, Tools, Beekeeping, Irrigation, Flowers, Small Sustainable Farming Methods, and Crop Planning. Coordination and event planning was provided by our Program Coordinator, Alison Worman.

The number of farmers from our membership network who participated in the field days was lower than anticipated, likely because they were unable to take time out of their production schedule due to labor shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

We will have identified and reached out to at least  3 Black-owned value-added product makers and/or small market outlets/restaurants to purchase Farm Alliance trainee ethnic crops.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
1
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
1
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
September 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

Soilful City, a Black-owned Washington DC-based grower and hot sauce maker, received our donated crop of Baltimore's Fish Peppers and used them to make Horace Pippin Sauce. Link: https://soilfulcitydc.wordpress.com/soilful-store/

 

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

First Cohort of trainees plant and harvest ethnic crops for customers, on Farm Alliance site on city parkland. Trainees harvest, clean and package market-ready farm products on Farm Alliance Site.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
September 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

Trainee farmers planted, cultivated and harvested Baltimore's Fish Peppers for donation/sale to a local Black-owned hot pepper sauce maker. This was done on our Farm Alliance Black Butterfly Training & Demonstration Farm. Peppers were harvested by end of July and were cleaned and packaged by trainees.

Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

First Cohort of trainees will be expected to work on mentor farmers’ farms and learn directly from mentor farmers throughout the mentorship period, with additional visits to work at the farm incubator Production site for a total of 144 hours. Farmer trainees are evaluated by mentors.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
4
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
November 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

Four trainees completed 90 hours each of mentoring training under the supervision and coaching of our 3 experienced Black farmers: Warren and Lavette Blue of The Greener Garden, and Myeasha Taylor of Cherry Hill Urban Community Garden.

The number of farmers  available to serve as mentors was lower than expected due to the impacts of COVID-19. Two of the farmers we had anticipated serving as mentor farmers lost family members in the pandemic or were sick themselves and were unable to serve. The number of trainees able to complete the mentorship was lower than expected because trainees reported they were unable to take time away from their regular jobs in order to complete the hours. Four trainees were able to fully complete the hours.

Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

5 experienced African American mentor farmers receive stipends to compensate them for their time and expertise provided to help develop new farmers. 

These 5 experienced African American mentor farmers have their businesses supported by the additional income from this stipend.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
5
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
2
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
November 30, 2021
Accomplishments:

The number of farmers trained and available to serve as mentors was lower than expected due to the impacts of COVID-19. Two of the farmers we had anticipated serving as mentor farmers lost family members in the pandemic or were sick themselves and were unable to serve.

Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Second cohort of 10 Black beginner farmers begins classroom phase and another 30 farmers participate in field instruction phase.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
40
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
March 20, 2022
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

First Cohort of 10 Trainees complete final exit interview and evaluation to receive Farmer Starter Tool Kit plus free membership in the Farm Alliance of Baltimore.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
1
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
8
Proposed Completion Date:
April 15, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
January 31, 2022
Accomplishments:

Eight farmer trainees attended a graduation ceremony with commencement speaker, earned a certificate of completion for the BBUFA program, and received a farmer starter tool kit with a scuffle hoe and engraved knife and embroidered BBUFA branded raincoat. 

Two of the trainees who began the program had to drop out before the end of the 12 weeks of classroom instruction. Of these, one dropped out because of a work obligation, and the other dropped out because she had to return to her home country to care for family during the pandemic.

Four of the farmers filled out exit evaluations for the program. Their responses included the following quotations:

"Denzel has a lot of hands-on experience. I wish the classroom instructions was less lecture style and more collaborative."

"Yes I found all the classrooom reading assignments where very helpful in gaining knowledge on farming Also the workshops and discussions where very in depth and covered a variety of topics regarding food production and scaling"

"The crop planning workshop was exactly what I was looking for as far as in person class time. Our instructor Myeasha was excellent, prepared, and engaging to listen to and I felt like it was the only in person class that I walked away knowing more than when I came."

To improve the program: "Probably more of a focus on material during class but there is a very clear social side to farming so maybe a sectioned off part on brainstorming and problem solving."

Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Second Cohort of 10 trainees complete their mentorships with mentor farmers. complete final exit interview and evaluation to receive Farmer Starter Tool Kit plus free membership in the Farm Alliance of Baltimore.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
August 31, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #12 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

FAB staff and UMD-Extension staff (Mitchell, Strauss and Little) complete research and data analysis of farmer learning and evaluation results, and publish report on pilot ethnic crop training program with lessons for urban farmers to use in their farming practices.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
October 15, 2023
Status:
In Progress

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities:

20 Consultations
9 On-farm demonstrations
10 Tours
9 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

25 Farmers
3 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Learning Outcomes

8 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation

Performance Target Outcomes

Target #1

Target: number of farmers:
20
Target: change/adoption:

Up to 20 new Black farmers plant ethnic crops on up to 6 acres in Baltimore City and learn to adopt sustainable practices taught by experienced Black farmers: cover cropping, flail mowing, & reduced tillage methods, resulting in increased market availability of these crops by 2023.

Target: amount of production affected:

6-10 acres of city parkland and existing Black-led urban farms

Target: quantified benefit(s):

Up to 20 Black farmers build and test new values-based food system chains by selling ethnic crops to at least 3 local food businesses. IN PROGRESS

Actual: number of farmers:
8
Actual: change/adoption:

The farmer trainees learned sustainable agriculture techniques in the classroom; planted and harvested Baltimore's Fish Peppers and other crops on urban land; learned to adopt sustainable practices from 4 experienced Black farmers. They adopted techniques including broadforking, row cover, solarization, flail mowing, walk-behind tractor, and other reduced tillage methods. These 8 farmers were able to bring their harvested peppers to a local hot sauce maker. IN PROGRESS

Actual: amount of production affected:

6 acres. IN PROGRESS

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.