Please read all in the program information below before you submit your application.
Be thoughtful with your answers and complete each question thoroughly.



Every Saturday from 10am to 3pm at Garden for the Environment
Some Thursday evenings (7 in total) from 6:30pm to 9pm, location TBD

Includes 2 books + compost bin

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September 7 to December 5, 2019
No classes the week of Thanksgiving

Friday August 9, 2019

Friday August 16, 2019


Get Up! is an intensive 3-month training program that teaches the basic principles of organic and sustainable gardening to adults. Founded in 1996, it is designed for those beginner gardeners who would like to be urban organic gardeners, environmental educators, and sustainable gardening ambassadors. After graduating from the course students are required to complete a 50-hour project requirement in Spring 2020.

You will graduate Get Up! with:

  • The basic gardening skills essential to organic gardening, sustainable landscaping, and urban agriculture.

  • An understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability in relation to San Francisco.

  • A knowledge of urban gardening projects in San Francisco and the resources available to those projects.

  • The ability to co-teach a 2-hour composting class at GFE (a course requirement).


Who teaches the course?

This course is taught by an incredible team of garden educators from around the Bay Area. Garden for the Environment staff members teach many of the core garden classes, and we bring in local experts for specialty courses. You will hear from a variety of skilled teachers, visit local farms and garden projects, and hear from a panel of sustainable gardening change-makers.

What is the 50-hour Spring 2020 project requirement?

After graduation, all students are required to complete a 40-hour service project at a community garden, school garden or other organization in San Francisco. We will help students find and connect with projects that fit their interests during the latter part of the Get Up! course. This project requirement is designed to give Get Up! graduates the opportunity to take their new skills back to the community and connect with local gardens. You will also co-teach a public composting course.

Will I really co-teach a public composting workshop?

Yes! As part of your culminating hours for the program, you are required to co-teach a composting class with GetUp! colleagues in Spring 2020. The course is two hours, and we anticipate several hours of preparation, and then time for set-up and breakdown on the day of your teaching. We will give you all the skills and training necessary to feel prepared to teach this class.

What is the attendance policy?

As busy adult, we know things come up and you may need to miss a couple of classes. We do ask that students miss no more than three classes - if you know you will miss more, we recommend you wait and apply next year. Additionally, each class covers a separate gardening topic, building on each as we go. We cannot offer make-up classes if you do have to miss one. We recommend you consult with a fellow student for their notes.

When is the class fee due?

Accepted applicants will pay the course fee of $350 of the first day of class, September 7, 2019. Thanks to generous sponsorships, this fee represents just a fraction of the cost of actual tuition. If you are interested in setting up a payment plan, please reach out to us.

Additional questions?

Email us!

What kind of experience are you looking for in applicants?

Get Up! is designed for adult beginner gardeners and no prior gardening experience is required. Originally titled the Gardening and Composter Educator Training Program, this course is designed to teach the basics of sustainable gardening and give students the tools to take this knowledge back to their communities. We are looking for people interested in sharing their new skills with others.

What is the structure of classes?

Saturday classes are held outside in our 1/2 acre teaching garden in San Francisco. Get Up! is designed to be hands-on and get students gardening. Most Saturday classes will consist of a morning lecture, then afternoon work projects in which students practice the skills taught that morning. Weeknight evening classes are held indoors and are more lecture based. We will take a couple field trips during the course of this program, and some of them are outside of the City. We will let you know the dates of these field trips on Day 1.

Are there readings/homework/tests for this course?

We do have some readings and a few, short homework assignments for this class. There is one comprehensive final at the end of the course. Get Up! is designed for working adults and we make an effort to keep requirements outside of class time to a minimum. We also believe you will get out of this course what you put into it, and encourage you to use this opportunity to explore the world of gardening as deeply as you are able while taking Get Up!

What supplies do I need for this class?

For Saturday classes, please come prepared to be outside in temperate San Francisco for several hours. We ask that students wear comfortable closed-toed shoes, a hat and/or sunscreen, and bring a reusable water bottle to class. We also recommend you bring a notebook and pen or pencil for taking notes. Garden for the Environment will provide all necessary garden tools, though if you have your own gloves we recommend bringing them. These are absolutely not required for class but many people enjoy having their own gloves. Lunches after the first day are potlucks, so you will be asked to bring food for the group a few times over the course of the program. Weeknight evening classes will meet indoors. You are welcome to bring snacks or food as we meet from 6:30pm to 9pm.

It’s a pretty big statement, but I feel that the course and my gardening peers have made me more conscious of who I want to be, what I want to do, and ultimately what is most important to me.
— 2014 Get Up! Grad

Graduates of this program have gone on to found, manage, or play a pivotal role at nearly every major urban agriculture site in San Francisco.

Garden for the Environment is an essential part of San Francisco’s environmental education ecosystem. GFE has helped grow so many of The City’s most passionate gardeners. I like to think of it as San Francisco’s greenhouse for those who like to play in the dirt.
— Jason Mark, editor Sierra Magazine, 2002 Get Up! Grad

get up grads can be found at these projects

Priority is given to San Francisco City and County residents.