The Greater Newark Sustainable Farming Practices and Local Entrepreneurship Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $135,459.00
Projected End Date: 10/30/2025
Grant Recipient: Rutgers University-Newark
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Alexandra Chang
Rutgers University-Newark


  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants


  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: business planning, e-commerce, farmers' markets/farm stands
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, sustainability measures, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The Greater Newark Sustainable Farming Practices and Local Entrepreneurship Program will provide a program comprised of six workshop intensives and a year-long demonstration bed project for service providers in the Greater Newark region that will enable them to learn from other regional service providers and farmers. Service providers from the Munsee Three Sisters Medicinal Farm, Urban Agricultural Cooperative, Newark Science and Sustainability, and Elevate Newark will lead each workshop. These workshops include training on traditional Indigenous medicinal herbs and seed saving with the Munsee Three Sisters Medicinal Farm, led by knowledge bearers of the Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape; soil testing and in-depth composting methods and local policies from the Urban Agricultural Cooperative; and local farm management, business, and networking through Newark Science and Sustainability and Elevate Newark’s workshops on local entrepreneurship in markets that include the holistic health and aromatherapy industry.

    The Healing Garden at Rutgers University will serve as an onsite demonstration space where farmers and service providers will teach farmers through a series of six half-day workshops that will run for Fall 2022-Spring 2023 and continue with farmer implementation in Spring 2023/Fall 2023 with additional follow-up in 2024. As farmers complete each workshop, they attain digital badges to note that they have completed the programs. At the end of the program, they also will have completed a demonstration plot onsite that illustrates one or more specific aspects of the program that they have learned and will be implementing and teaching at their farm. Participants will also be included on an interactive map of the farming landscape in the region, incorporating their demonstration plot on sustainable farming methods and their local farming businesses into the larger context of farms in the Greater Newark and Northern New Jersey region.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Twelve service providers in the Greater Newark region will impact a total of 60 farmers through training in Indigenous/sustainable farming methods, including soil testing, composting, seed saving & exchange, and local entrepreneurship. 

    Trainees will be trained in Indigenous/sustainable farming methods including soil testing, composting, and seed saving and exchange, and local entrepreneurship. They will build demonstration beds onsite at the Rutgers University-Newark Healing Garden with their trainers. We will follow up with each participant with a debrief interview to learn how they implemented the demonstration methods from the workshops and taught the adopted methods at their farms/businesses. We will ask how this has measurably affected/changed their practices.

    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.