How Donors Have Sustained the Training Program and Supported Special Projects

Many individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations have supported the Farm & Garden and the Apprenticeship since its founding in 1967. This includes the more than 800 members of our community support group, the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, as well as our Apprenticeship alumni.

Over the past ten years, grants for the Apprenticeship’s training efforts have primarily come from foundations like Newman’s Own Foundation, True North Foundation, Wallace Genetic Foundation, and an anonymous foundation along with consistent support from businesses like Stonyfield Farm. Training and demonstration projects in the past ten years have also been supported by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation (AT&T Pebble Beach Charities), David B. Gold Foundation, Nalith Foundation, Gaia Fund, the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, the Nan McEvoy Foundation, and the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers.

Our supporters have also made possible a variety of projects, including facility improvements, scholarship efforts, and the development and dissemination of our instructional manuals for teaching organic farming, gardening and direct marketing. Read more about these projects –

The Apprentice Housing Project

Tent cabins house apprentice course participants at the UCSC Farm.

After years of effort to develop basic on-farm housing for apprentices, our first successful Grow a Farmer campaign in 2009 brought the needed funds for nine four-room redwood and canvas cabins, a solar shower, accessible parking and paths, and other infrastructure. The cabins were completed in time for the initiation of the 2010 Apprenticeship program. Now each season 36 apprentices move into the cabins at the edge of the organic farm fields that they work daily as part of their training program. The top donors Olivia Boyce Abel, Alec and Claudia Webster, and Meg and Gary Hirshberg were joined by over 500 other individual donors, 37 businesses, 19 restaurants, and five foundations to raise $475,737 for the project. Read about the project and see a list of all the donors here (Link to article listing all donors).

Greenhouse Construction Project

One of three new greenhouses at the UCSC Farm.

The original UCSC Farm greenhouse, built by students in 1976, was replaced in 2008 by three
new greenhouses totaling 2240 square feet. Set up for production, education, and demonstration purposes, the farm’s new greenhouses are managed organically as part of the Apprenticeship Program. Funding for the greenhouse project was provided by the Gaia Fund, Wallace Genetic Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation (AT&T Pebble Beach Charities), Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, DreamCatcher Foundation, and Apprenticeship alumni gifts.


The Simply Organic Scholarship Endowment was established in 2009 with two gifts totalingSO logo $123,000 from Simply Organics and from the New Frontier Foundation Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation (funded through Frontier Natural Products Co-op). The Simply Organic Scholarship Endowment annually generates funding to support one apprentice with financial need who demonstrates a strong desire and potential to work in organic farming or other organic businesses. Read about Israel Dawson, recipient of the 2011 Simply Organic scholarship.

Tuition scholarships for people from disadvantaged backgrounds have been funded over the past ten years by many former apprentices, an anonymous donor who established the Wildflower Scholarship fund, the Nalith Foundation, the Nan McEvoy Foundation, the Dash Family through the Honore Dash Memorial Scholarship, the Agadino Foundation, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

A veteran apprentice scholarship was funded in 2011 by the Stocker Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, which sponsored a veteran to attend the 2011 Apprenticeship.

International scholarships have been provided in the past by the Margoes Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Farm Center Kitchen Renovation

Donors have supported improvements to the Farm Center, including a kitchen renovation.

Meg Cadoux Hirshberg and many other Apprenticeship alumni donated to raise $25,000 needed for the Farm Center Kitchen renovation. In early 2010 the Farm Center received  a new floor, a new Wolf range, new refrigerator, and other upgrades to meet UCSC health and safety requirements.

Instructional Manuals for Teaching Organic Farming, Gardening, and Direct Marketing

From 2001 through 2005, CASFS undertook a landmark curriculum development project formalizing the six-month program’s instructional resources into two manuals: Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors and Teaching Small Farm Viability and Direct-Marketing: Resources for Instructors. The manuals are available in print at cost or as free downloads online, where the table of contents and full units can be viewed. The development and dissemination of the manuals was funded by Organic Farming Research Foundation, David B. Gold Foundation, Wallace Genetic Foundation, True North Foundation, the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, Arkay Foundation, Mary A. Crocker Trust, the Kellogg Foundation through the California Food and Fiber Futures (CF3) Project, and the Foxwhelp Group of the Tides Foundation.

We are extremely grateful for these past donations and for our current supporters!


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