Preferences of Farmers for Educational Materials to Build their Capacity for Small-Scale Urban Gardening: A Case of Maryland (Published)
This paper explores the preferences of urban gardening farmers for various training modules, learning resources, and timing for participation in training programs. Capacity building programs are critical to empowering urban gardeners to sustain farming. Using the data collected in 2021 from 14 urban gardeners in Maryland, the results show that farmers preferred audio-visual learning modules such as digital learning videos and comprehensive training manuals the most. These were followed by one-on-one consultation, peer-to-peer interaction, hands-on training, interactive meetings, and participatory workshops. Partnerships with local and community farmers’ markets; partnerships with farmers’ forums, groups, and associations; and educational events such as training programs were among the three top preferred learning resources. Regarding the time and schedule preferences, they recommended day–long multi-session weekend workshops over weekdays. These findings suggest a need to adapt the capacity building modalities and timing of training to increase clientele participation for effective program impact.