Learning Horticulture at Arturo Velasquez Institute
The Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship program annually enrolls 15 to 20 students in a nine-month classroom and hands-on certificate course in sustainable urban agriculture that is accredited by the Illinois Community College Board for 31 continuing education credits. The certificate includes a 14-week paid internship at Windy City Harvest (WCH) farms or partnering urban-farming operations. The program is offered in collaboration with the City Colleges of Chicago’s Daley College satellite campus, Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Avenue, on the city’s near west side. It attracts a diverse group of students: career changers, young adults with a history of incarceration, and those with significant barriers to employment. Apprenticeship students, who attend the program from early February through mid-October, are in charge of plant propagation for all WCH urban farm sites, as well as running the farm operations at Arturo Velasquez Institute. Students also work at the Rodeo and Legends Farms throughout the spring and fall semester.