*Applications for our  2018 Summer Farm to Market session and Fall Permaculture and Policy session will open in April and August respectively. 



Please read everything below thoroughly BEFORE applying:

The City Farm School Apprenticeship Course is designed to create urban organic farmers interested in growing veggies for markets, while also working collectively to design and manage a typical scale community garden plot. This year we are offering the full season course, as well as the option to take any of the three distinct sessions of the Full season program.  If you are interested in applying for the full apprenticeship program continue reading, otherwise check out the shorter sessions here, here, or here.

Beginning in early March, students will embark on an eight-month long apprenticeship that begins in our downtown greenhouse, moving out to our urban farm on the Loyola campus in late May and ending in early November.  This program is ideal for someone thinking about applying for farm work outside of the city in the near future, but would like to sample the experience while remaining in the city. This program is designed for newcomers to gardening, as the curriculum starts with the basics and builds on that knowledge as the season progresses. If you have already spent extensive time working on organic farms, then this school may not be ideal for you. However, if you are interested in learning more and possibly want a career in farming then this school will be a great stepping stone towards those goals. You do not have to be a Concordia Student to apply.  This apprenticeship is open to everyone!

Concordia’s  Loyola Sustainability Research Centre (LSRC) will offer a certificate of completion to all students that fulfil the 180 hours required of the program. This certificate will not appear on a Concordia academic transcript but will be approved by the directors of both the LSRC and City Farm School.

What you can expect to learn from this program:

  • fundamental practices of organic vegetable gardening
  • principles of garden design and collective management
  • experience with managing, promoting and operating a market stand
  • technical training in greenhouse growing and seedling production
  • an understanding of local food systems, opportunities and challenges
  • how to design and facilitate workshops


The program is divided into two main components – Workshops and Hands-on Apprenticeship.


This series of workshops is designed to familiarize student with the main theories, concepts and practices of organic agriculture.  The workshops will be presented by a number of experienced organic farmers, permaculturalists, food policy experts, and horticulturalists.  The goals of these workshops are to help add depth to the practical training provided in the apprenticeship.




Greenhouse / Downtown Campus Friday March 9th 5:30pm- 7:30pm Introduction & Mixer
Greenhouse / Downtown Campus Saturday March 24th 11:00am – 4:00pm Compost and Soil Science
Greenhouse / Downtown Campus Saturday April 7th 11:00am – 4:00pm Fertility and Pest Management in Greenhouse
Greenhouse / Downtown Campus Saturday April 21st 11:00am – 4:00pm Garden Design
TBA weather dependant Saturday May 5th
11:00am – 4:00pm Mushrooms & Plant Propagation
Loyola Saturday June 16th
11:00am – 4:00pm Crop Planning
Loyola Saturday July 7th 11:00am – 4:00pm Pests & Disease Management
Loyola Kitchen Saturday August 4th 11:00am – 4:00pm Food Preservation and Transformation
Loyola Saturday August 25th 11:00am – 4:00pm Field Trip to Farm
TBA  Saturday September 8th 11:00am – 4:00pm Urban Beekeeping
Loyola Saturday September 29th 11:00am – 4:00pm Food Forests, Permaculture & Food systems
Loyola Saturday October 20th 11:00am – 4:00pm Seed Saving & Food Sovereignty 
Loyola Saturday October 27th 11:00am – 4:00pm Medicinal Plants & Transformations 


*There are 3 holiday weeks scheduled when students are not required to do shifts. These weeks will be May 27th to June 3rd, June 23rd to July 1st and August 26th to September 2nd. Some small changes may be made to the workshop topics.

*Our end of term parties happen three times throughout the season. They will be on May 26th (at the Park!), August 25th (at the Farm!) and November 16th (graduation!). Please note these are so fun 🙂


Hands-on Apprenticeship

All students must fulfil 180 apprenticeship hours (60 hours per session), attend all Saturday workshops and host a student-led workshop to complete the program and receive their certificate.  Apprenticeship hours are made up of greenhouse shifts, garden shifts, market shifts and your student-led workshop.  Hours spent in  Saturday workshops do not count towards the total number of apprenticeship hours. The schedule will be made with you and will not fluctuate, allowing you to plan your schedule and work around the garden. During your apprenticeship, you will work with other members of the program to manage the Loyola market garden, as well as managing your group’s collective garden plot.

Apprenticeship Hours

Greenhouse Shifts (March 12th – May 25th)

From March to May students will work in the Concordia Greenhouse on our seedling project that produces more than ten-thousand seedling each year for community gardens and agriculture organisations around Montreal.  During these work sessions, students will work directly with the Greenhouse Staff to learn about seedling production and greenhouse growing.  This session is where it all begins!  Here you will learn to start all manner of vegetables and herbs right from the source – the seed!  New this year, we will experimenting with hydroponics to start some of our seedlings.  Thanks to our partnership with HydroFlora, we will have access to a fully functional hydroponics room to test out different methods of propagation with hydroponics.  Greenhouse shifts will begin March 12th and end on May 25th. One 4-hour shift per week in the greenhouse for the 11 weeks of this session will add up to 44 hours.

To complete your 60 hours, students will be asked to sign up for 16 hours in addition to the weekly greenhouse shifts.  The coordinators will present you with a list of these options at the beginning of the internship.  The options will include supervising volunteers in the greenhouse, independent work with the seedlings  and a variety of actions related to the seedling sale (promotions, deliveries, set-up, help the day of the sale etc).

Garden Shifts (June 4th – end of program)

When the snow melts and the soil thaws, apprentices switch out to the Loyola garden in NDG and keep the same schedule as the greenhouse shifts. During weekly garden shifts students will work directly with the CFS coordinators on the upkeep of both their collective garden plots and the Loyola Farm – a functioning market garden.   As a compliment to the full workshop schedule, our staff will offer a series of “mini-workshops” in the garden.  During the mini-workshops we will focus in on some key technical skills, taking advantage of the smaller garden shift groups.  We will also use this time to facilitate discussions on current goings-on in the world of Food Security and Urban Agriculture.  Each student must complete  11 garden shifts (44 hours) between June 4th and August 25th and 10 garden shifts (40 hours) between September 3rd and the end of the program on November 11th.

Collective Gardens: Back by popular demand… collective garden plots!  We have divided one of our main gardens into 5 smaller garden plots. Students will be placed into groups of 6, and will be responsible for designing, planting, and managing the garden plot throughout the year. CFS staff will be meeting with you on a regular basis to discuss the progress of your garden, make suggestions, and answer your questions.  You will be allotted some time each week during the garden shifts to work collectively on your plot.

Loyola  Farm:    During the garden shifts students will participate in implementing our crop plan to maintain the productivity of the garden.  Apprentices will work along CFS staff to carry out all farm tasks in a timely manner to ensure that our produce is ready for market each week.  They will be introduced to many specialised tools for low-till, fossil fuel free market gardens including walk behind seeders, wheel hoes, and drip irrigation.

Greenhouse & Garden Shift – One 4 hour shift per week

Mondays shift a 9:30am – 1:30 pm
shift b 1:30pm – 5:30pm
Wednesdays shift c 9:30am – 1:30 pm
shift d 1:30pm – 5:30pm
shift e
1:30pm – 5:30pm
During registration you will select your shift which will remain the same each week for the duration of the program – March 12th to November 10.  This is essential as it will determine the member of your collective garden in the summer and fall sessions.


Market Shifts (mid-June – end of program)

Bringing your produce to market is one of the most rewarding aspects of this program.  City Farm School apprentices will have the opportunity to showcase their produce at number of different markets throughout the season, some of which are listed below.  Students are expected to help in all aspects of the market – promotions, harvesting, packaging and selling.  At the beginning of the summer session, students will be presented with a sign up sheet listing the times and locations of all market shifts.  Students  will sign up in advance for the markets they will attend.  Each student must complete 16 hours at the markets between June 4th and August 25th and 12 hours between September 3rd and the end of the program on November 11th.

City Farm School Market: (Tuesdays 2pm-6pm) Ever popular with our neighbours, our ultra local market will take place once again right on site at the Loyola farm.  This market happens weekly throughout the entire season and is solely stocked with produce from our gardens.

Good Food Market:  satellite market at St Raymond (Thursday 2pm-6pm OR 3:30-7:30) City Farm school apprentices will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the good folks of the NDG Food depot while volunteering at their weekly market.  This market boasts a real community feel and features lots of local and organic produce for sale at very affordable prices.

Concordia Farmers Market:  (Wednesday 11am-3pm OR 2pm-6pm) Starting in September we will be bringing our garden produce and our greenhouse grown micro-greens to the student run Concordia farmers market.  This market gives us the opportunity to bring our produce right into the downtown core where fresh and local veggies are hard to come by.  As well as meet with other small scale urban farmers and local artisans.

Verdun CAUS market: (Dimanche 11h à 15h) Organisé par La Coopérative Abondance Urbaine Solidaire (CAUS). La coopérative vise à créer l’abondance pour les citoyens autant en alimentation saine et locale qu’en éducation et en relations sociales. Le marché fermier des berges aura lieu dans l’espace vert aux berges entre les 4e et 5e avenues (à l’est du restaurant Crescendo).

 Student-Led Workshop

This is a very exciting and important part of the school.  It is where you, the students, get to experience the excitement of working with people who just want to learn more about urban agriculture! Working in pairs all CFS students will host a workshop in the Fall.  Each pair will decide upon a topic related to urban agriculture, food policy, DIY skills, or something relevant that is of interest to them and will design and facilitate a workshop. The workshops will be offered free of charge and will be open to community to attend and will be given on our sites or at a community organisation. You have the option of giving your workshop alone or in pairs. You will decide upon a topic related to urban agriculture that is of interest to you and will design and facilitate one workshop that presents this topic. We give you 8 hours to prepare and give the workshop!  We will also provide some options for locations for where you could give your workshop. Do not be afraid, this is a very fun part of the school!




*Our 2018 Summer and Fall apprenticeships will still be open for applicants this year. Read more about them and when to apply here and here.


COST: $700 (can be paid in 2 instalments, half due by February 16th, and the second half due by April 16th) What does the cost cover? The tuition covers the cost of the 12 workshops, materials such as readings and supplies students take home, as well as the training you will receive from the City Farm School coordinators.

BURSARIES: We are offering a bursary program for those who need financial assistance. We don’t want cost to be a limiting issue, so are working to develop a sustainable model to help those who need support financially and will do our best to match your request. Please download and fill out this bursary application and email it to Please submit this at the same time that you complete the application above.

When applying, please put FULL GARDEN APPRENTICESHIP in your header. To register, all students must fill out the application form, and email a CV to We will host interviews at the middle of February after all application have been received. All students will be notified within a week of their interview if they have been selected for the school.


Notes: HolidaysThere are 3 holiday weeks scheduled when students are not required to do shifts. These weeks will be May 27th to June 3rd, June 23rd to July 1st and August 26th to September 2nd.

 Example Schedule : Outdoor portion  – In this example the student has chosen Monday Garden Shifts  and Tuesday Market Shifts.  Because of their choice of Monday garden shifts they have been assigned to collective garden group A. Click to enlarge.