Welcome to Groundswell

Groundswell’s mission
is to help youth and adult learners develop the skills and knowledge they need to build sustainable local food systems. Our focus is providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities with real working farms and food businesses in the Ithaca area. Through collaboration with area schools, colleges and universities, Groundswell offers programs of study for beginning farmers, students, community members, and professionals.

Groundswell is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education in Ithaca, NY, which is a project of the Center for Transformative Action. Visit the Groundswell website to learn more about our programs, initiatives and resources.

Wednesday, November 27

Sign Up Now for 2014 Programs

2014 Farm Business Planning Course

Thursday nights, 6-9 PM, January 9 - March 13

This course is for serious beginning farmers who needs a plan, and for established farmers who want to improve their business skills.Ten weekly sessions cover all major aspects of the farm business start-up process, including assessing your resources; legal and regulatory issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility, budgets and record keeping; and more. For info and online application form, click HERE.

2014 Groundswell Incubator Farm Program

Early decision applications are due November 30, Late applications also accepted

Incubator Farmer Surik Mehrabyan
at the Incubator Farm at EcoVillage

We're looking for 2-3 more new farmers to join the Groundswell Incubator Farm in 2014! Your best chance for acceptance in the program is to apply right away. But we will accept applications until available slots are filled. 

In addition to growing space, the Incubator offers access to tools, water and irrigation lines, tractor services, production and marketing infrastructure, and mentoring from experienced farmers. Space is available for livestock micro-enterprises as well as crops.

For details about the program and an online application form, click HERE. If you think the Incubator might be for you, we encourage you to give Devon Van Noble a call at 727-410-4073. He can answer your questions and help you decide whether to apply.

2014 Holistic Organic Orchard Management Course

Fourth Sundays of each month, 1-4 PM, January through October 2014 (except July)

This is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the region's most respected and innovative growers. Beginning and experienced commercial producers and serious homestead orchardists are invited to participate. For info and easy online registration form, click HERE.

Groundswell Volunteer Spotlight: Kemberli Sargent

Sustainability Intern hones videography skills, helps us tell the Groundswell story

By now there are dozens of amazing Groundswell graduates out "in the field", doing great things with the farming skills and connections we've helped them develop. We do our best to keep up with them and tell you their stories when we can, but really... that could be a full-time job!

Enter Kemberli Sargent. Back in September the Sustainability Center in Ithaca hooked us up with Kemberli through their Sustainability Internship Program. Kemberli graduated from Cornell last August with a Master's in Regional Planning, and wanted an opportunity to develop her skills as a videographer while looking for a job in her field.

In three short months Kemberli has almost completed six awesome video profiles of Groundswell trainees. We've been so impressed by the quality - and quantity - of her work on the project, and can't wait to share the finished products. They will really help us tell The Groundswell Story!

We asked Kemberli to share a little bit about why she was interested in working with Groundswell, and what she got out of the experience. "I grew up on a small ranch in the Texas Panhandle where my family raised grass-fed cattle. Growing up in such a rural area helped me develop a love and appreciation for farming and agriculture," she explained. 

"I wanted to work for Groundswell in order to learn more about how they have developed a successful farming education and land access program. Through my interview project I was able to learn about the effects of the program from the farmer trainees, and develop my own narrative building and video editing skills in the process." 

We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and talented volunteer. We wish Kemberli the best as she pursues a career in "urban planning focused on community health in the built environment as well as access to resources such as food and recreation."

Become a Groundswell Volunteer!

Build your resume while making a difference

Groundswell depends on dedicated volunteers for all kinds of support, from tabling at events to research and writing, from making videos to serving on our Steering Committee. If you'd like to be involved, let us know. In addition we'll be offering two more formal Sustainability Internships starting in January. For more information contact us at info@groundswellcenter.org.