THE GROWER PROGRAM
Ecology education for all.
3x more land in the U.S. is covered in turf grass than irrigated crops. We're changing that with our Grower Program. A collaboration between Roots Down, community colleges and universities, and local governments, The Grower Program is a suite of hands-on curriculum that helps communities join the Green Jobs Revolution.
The centerpiece of the Grower Program is a multi-year, hands-on certification course for government employees and third party vendors that gives your government departments all the tools you need to design, build, and maintain Productive Urban Landscapes. Turn your public land into beautiful eco-scapes that feed people, grow green jobs, and engage your community.
We work with local community colleges and universities to introduce an official curriculum that will benefit the entire community. From a 10-week certification course for residents and government employees to a 2-year degree in Productive Urban Landscapes, the Grower Program lays the groundwork for the future of 21st century landscaping.
The Grower Program does more than train future land stewards, it also brings the community together through a shared interest in developing urban gardens and pollinator habitats. We work directly with the stewards to develop ongoing community events that showcase the landscapes and provide residents, students, and government employees the chance to work side-by-side growing these beautiful spaces.
When you enroll your departments in the Grower Program, you get more than landscaper training...you join a movement.
We introduce the Grower Program by working with your government to identify the most impactful department for the hands-on 2-year certification training.
The Grower Program uses real-life community pilot projects in order to provide government employees and vendors opportunities to design, build, and maintain Productive Urban Landscapes.
We provide local community colleges and universities our exclusive 10-week certification course for residents, students, and landscapers, to build capacity in the community for PUL development.
Lastly, we organize and manage quarterly events at the pilot projects in order to build momentum and community support for the these beautiful landscapes.
Sustaining Fruitful Communities.
The Grower Program is an important part of the Fruitful Communities initiative, our plan for fighting climate change, feeding people, and growing green jobs. It grows capacity at the government and community levels to design, build, and maintain Productive Urban Landscapes. Here's what you can expect!
In year two, we complete the department pilot training, and start the process of introducing curriculum into colleges and universities.
Handing the baton
In year three, we start the process of handing the process over the government, residents, and students.
In year four, we ensure that employees, vendors, residents, and students feel comfortable, confident, and excited about growing the program on your own! Oh, and do a lot of celebrating all these great wins!
Grower Program Resources
Looking for a few resources to get you started? We got you covered!
Can Urban Agriculture solve job and food insecurity?
Yes! One of the best parts of the Fruitful Communities plan is that it solves for three key issues all governments have: food insecurity, job growth, and community engagement. By converting grassy, resource-intensive spaces into Productive Urban Landscapes, communities can create shared places that create good green collar jobs, provide ample food for struggling residents, and an education and community activation location.
What is a Productive Urban Landscape (PUL)?
Productive Urban Landscapes, at their core, are places with soul, places that use natural processes to minimize work and inputs and maximize everything that makes nature great. PULs are landscapes that promote 3 simple elements: Food, Ecology, and Community. They are dynamic landscapes that integrate some elements of traditional landscaping (like organized planting patterns and areas to sit, eat, and play) but bring in elements of the natural world (like biodiversity, pollinator habitats, etc.) and plants that provide us with food (like veggies, berries, and fruit trees). PULs can help heal our lands and feed both our bodies and our souls.
How can I bring Roots Down to my city?
If you'd like to see landscaper training in your community, reach out to us and let's chat!
What is Urban Agriculture?
At its heart, urban agriculture is simply agriculture in urban areas. Although it’s a relatively new term, urban agriculture has been around for as long as we’ve had urban areas. Whether it’s a fruit tree, small garden, herbs in a windowsill, backyard chickens, flowers, or just a good ole pile of compost, there is a long history of urban agriculture, even if we didn’t define it that way. However, when we dig a bit deeper, there are a lot of significant differences between agriculture and urban agriculture.