Vegetable Farming, part 1 (BF 120)
From Planning to Planting
This course will help new or aspiring vegetable producers to answer basic questions about site selection, crop rotation, seeding and transplants, and financial aspects of veggie production. Topics including variety selection, pre-plant preparation, and cultivation will be covered. Don’t miss BF 121, the continuation of this course, which takes you through the remainder of the growing season into harvest, post-harvest handling, and marketing.
This course is for serious aspiring farmers planning farm start-up within the next year, or those with 1-3 growing seasons of vegetable farming experience. Because the pest complex, production systems and appropriate varieties vary so much from region to region, this course targets farmers in the Northeastern United States. Farmers outside the region are welcome to register, but should do so knowing that some of the information presented may not be appropriate for their region.
At the end of this course, you will:
- Understand the characteristics of a viable site for commercial vegetable crop production and how to alter that site if necessary.
- Understand the importance of cover-cropping, IPM, and proper pre-plant preparation.
- Be able to develop a basic whole farm plan, which will help you keep records, manage time more effectively, and price products.
- Have a good understanding of the full season of tasks involved in vegetable farming – from pre-plant to post-harvest considerations.
- Know where to go to find reliable, fact based resource material on topics related to vegetable farming.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters, ask questions, and collaborate with other participants and the instructor to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing. Access details will be posted in MOODLE once you have registered and logged in.
Qualifying for Loans
If you are considering applying for a low-interest beginning farmer loan though the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), completing this course may help you qualify, if you meet other eligibility requirements. For farmers in NY who have already applied for an FSA loan and been told they need borrower training credit, all of our courses are pre-approved to provide you with this credit, if you complete all course requirements. For more information, visit the FSA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loans website.
Crystal Stewart and Amy Ivy are regional vegetable specialists for the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The Jan. 2014 offering of this course is full. The course will next be offered in Winter 2014-2015.
- Week One: Introduction, Enterprise Budgets, and Siting/Planning a Vegetable Farm
- Week Two: Soil Health Equals Plant Health
- Week Three: Selecting Crops for Profitability
- Week Four: Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Farm
- Week Five: Season-Long Planning and Care
- Week Six: Nuts and Bolts: Fertilizer Rates, Transplant Care, Pest Management
Cost and Registration
Fee for this course is $200. Registration will open again in August 2014 for an offering of the course in Winter 2014-2015.