at Oakland Park

Join the Fall September 2018 Season

Kids in the Garden, 101

Kids in the Garden, 201

Gardens for Life, 301

The Growers Academy offers a rich, dynamic overview of food production in many forms. Each student becomes involved in this hands-on, experience based program. The Growers Academy program also covers all nine components of the Junior Master Gardeners program. Instruction will be based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) initiatives and all instructional programming meets the Florida Sunshine Standards.

The Growers Academy offer 30 hours of instructional content over a period of 10 weeks. The purpose of the Urban Farming Institute is to provide a broad experience and survey of food production in many different forms.

The Urban Farming Institute was organized in 2012 with the purpose of being an educational outreach and conducting programs focusing on food production in an urban setting. UFI serves as a regional source of information and training for the beginning grower, hobby grower, advanced gardener and commercial micro farmer. In partnership with the City of Oakland Park, UFI offers a demonstration center in Oakland Park, Florida at Jaco Pastorius Park.

Here the visitors will find one of the largest community gardens in Broward County, a chef’s hydroponic garden, solar powered growing system, algae production demonstration and the first managed micro apiary in the State of Florida.

Through this process the student becomes familiar with the latest techniques in the art of urban agriculture.


Kids In The Garden, 101
Program Fee: $159.00 ($149.00 Sibling)
Grades 3-5, Beginner (Ages 8-10)

Kids In The Garden, 201
Program Fee: $159.00 ($149.00 Sibling)
Grades 3-5, Advanced Elementary

Gardens for Life, 301
Program Fee: $179.00 ($169.00 Sibling)
Grades 6-8, Advanced/Middle School

All programs are structured to be drop-off programs but parents are invited and encouraged to attend and participate in the class. Enrollment is limited to 16 students in each class.

Additional Information:

Program Design

  • Specially designed for grades 3 – 8
  • Covers all nine components of Junior Master Gardeners
  • 4H component also included
  • NEW Aquaponics (Fish and Plants Grown Together)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM)

Learning Components

  • Apiculture (Bee Keeping)
  • Raised Bed Gardening
  • Drip Irrigation Technique
  • Vertical Hydroponics
  • Solar energy (Engineering)
  • Aquaponics (Engineering)
  • Agritechnology (Computer Programming)

Learning Objectives

  • Gardening Basics & Seed Starting Techniques
  • New Gardening Technology
  • Raising Fish and Food Together
  • Life-long Skill Building

Students will learn over a 10 week program (30 hours of content) from professional growers, Master Gardeners, scientists, chefs, nutritionists and other instructional professionals.

Urban Farming Institute
Oakland Park and Urban Farming Institute

Payment Methods Available: Credit Cards, Checks and Cash are all accepted. PayPal “Three Pay” option is also available.

Enrollment is limited to 16 students in each class. Join the Class Today!

Urban Farming Institute (Oakland Park)

Class Cancellations & Refunds:
UFI reserves the right to cancel a class or to modify the class schedule depending on enrollment. In the event a class is canceled any fees paid will be refunded.

Notice of Non-Discrimination & ADA Compliance:
At the Urban Farming Institute, no person shall be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any program or activity on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, political belief, age, national origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or disability.

Further, UFI does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission, access, or operations of its programs, services, activities or facilities. UFI will make accommodations to individuals with disabilities to ensure accessibility to our programs and activities.

Equal Opportunity Statement:
Urban Farming Institute does not discriminate against any applicant or employee with regard to hiring, retention, promotion, benefits or compensation because of race, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, gender, age, marital status, creed, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Additionally, UFI staff are expected to uphold and further this policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Urban Farming Institute?

The Urban Farming Institute (UFI) is a 501 (c)(3) charitable institution located in Oakland Park, FL.

UFI offers a range of educational programs in partnership with the City of Oakland Park as well as developing and operating the Discovery Farm and Community Gardens, along with the Demonstration and Resource Center.

We have been working in Broward County Public Schools for many years and today provides gardens and gardening support for nearly 100 public schools.

UFI also operates a seasonal Farm Share program (FarmShare Adventure CSA) which features farm fresh produce provided by local growers and producers. Our organization provides a Farm Market (Market Warehouse and Resource Center) beginning in November and running through May.

UFI offers a range of garden related classes in concert with the Parks and Leisure Services Department of the City of Oakland Park.

What are the educational components of the Growers Academy?

The Growers Academy is based upon a number of well established, recognized and highly successful programs. The Gardeners Academy draws elements from the Jr. Master Gardener Program, 4H, Florida Department of Agriculture, Ag. in the Classroom including the Harvest of the Month, as well as the internationally recognized Slow Foods organization.

Who are the instructors?

The Gardeners Academy has been developed to engage each student in a variety of learning experiences. Through the Academy you’ll learn from professional growers, master gardeners, energy professionals, local chefs and more.

How long is the class?

The Academy operates for a period of 10 weeks (Fall Session) beginning in September and ending in December. The Spring session is 10 weeks also, starting January and concluding in April 2018.

What are the Academy fees?

Your donation to the Urban Farming Institute provides supplies and the instructors needed to operate the program. The Fee is based on a 10 week enrollment period.

Are the two sessions sequential?

Yes, the Fall Session leads the student through the objectives and learning goals for the first 10 week period. The Spring Session follows in a sequential manner.

How many students in each of the classes?

16 students for each of the cohorts. However, UFI reserves the right to adjust the session enrollment in order to fill the Wednesday session first. Fifteen students are required in each session for the class schedule to operate successfully.

Are activity or other program fees included in the Academy fee?

No, only the instructional activities are included in the Academy fee. Other charges, if any, are not included.

Why should I participate in the program?

This is a truly unique program that focuses on the production of food right in your own back yard. Here you’ll participate in hands on growing activities, see the latest in planting techniques and be able to demonstrate these skills in your own garden right at home.

Are State Standards being met in this program?

Yes, students will acquire a STEAM based experience (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Learning these skills will assist them in meeting State testing requirements.

What should I bring to class?

You’ll need to bring gloves, hat, sunscreen and a good supply of water.

What kind of soil will we be using?

The soil blend is a special organic recipe designed for successful growing in our tropical environment.

What will we be growing?

All kinds of vegetables, fruit and herbs will be grown. You’ll learn how to grow the most common products that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Can I bring home what I grow?

Yes, you’ll be able to take home a share of what is produced in the garden.

What kind of growing systems will be used?

Three systems will featured in the growing area:

  1. Raised beds are a favorite for everyone and there will be ample opportunity to experience how this approach to gardening works.
  2. A raised “grow bag” garden will show this very popular growing technique and you’ll be able to grow in this way as well.
  3. Hydroponic growing will also be part of the growing process at the garden. This tower system will be unique to the Tradewinds to Oakland Park Gardens.
Will there be Solar Power?

Yes, the hydroponic growing area will be powered by solar energy.

What are some of the topics that will be covered?
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Soils and Water
  • Ecology and the Environmental
  • Insects and Diseases
  • Fruits and Nuts
  • Vegetables and Herbs
  • Fruits and Nuts
  • Life Skills
  • Career Exploration
How do I sign up for the program?

Click on the button below to go to the enrollment page.