Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners and Farmers

fresh produce2021 classes will be held twice monthly, January 11 – May 24 (via zoom)
Weekly Field Work, May – September 2021
KVCC Harold Alfond Campus, Clinton, Maine
$50 registration fee

Register Online

Learn how to go from seed to salary with this course for military veterans, their family members, and farmers with a disability interested in growing and selling their own farm produce.

Participants who attend 85% of all classes and participate in the growing program will earn a Certificate of Completion and Letter of Recommendation.  All participants will be able to take home weekly shares of the produce they are growing.

Space is limited. Preference will be given to participants who are veterans, veteran family members, and/or farmers with a disability.

All classes taught by UMaine Extension, MOFGA, and local farmer subject matter experts.

  • January 11: Soil Health
  • January 25: Crop Planning
  • February 8: Small Fruit Production; Safe Food Handling
  • February 22: Vegetable Production (Leaf, Cucurbit, and Nightshades)
  • March 8: Vegetable Production (Root, Bulb, and Cole Crops)
  • March 22: Business planning, Bookkeeping and Taxes, Marketing/Branding
  • April 12: Field work: Seedling Production; Farm Visit: Newcastle
  • April 26: Harvest and Storage; Farm Visit: Penobscot
  • May 10: Disease Management
  • May 24: Tools and Equipment Maintenance and Safety
  • May 25 – September 30: Field Work

Syllabus

Description

Through classroom instruction and hands-on learning, participants will acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully grow produce for small-scale private or commercial fruit and vegetable production. All participants will receive classes and training on soil health, crop planning, fruit and vegetable production, integrated pest management, harvest and storage, safe food handling, marketing/branding, farm business/economics, and tool and equipment maintenance and safety. Instruction, high-tunnel, and field growing will take place at Kennebec Valley Community College’s Harold Alfond campus located in Clinton, ME as appropriate. Based on COVID-19 restrictions, classroom instruction will be remote via zoom. Products grown will be available for personal consumption. Participants who attend at least 85% of all classes and participate in the growing program will earn a Certificate of Completion and Letter of Recommendation.

Course Objectives

  • Understand and implement best practices to promote long-term productivity and efficiency of soil health.
  • Understand and implement best practices for crop planning
  • Understand and implement best practices for various vegetable and fruit variety production to include pest management and cultural practices that optimize high-quality harvests
  • Know how to develop marketing and branding strategies
  • Understand the need and use of a farm business plan
  • Learn the business skills required to run a successful farm business

Registration fee

  • $50 for book and supplies

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Devin at anne.devin@maine.edu or 207.991.2651.


Course Information

Materials Required

  • Personal garden work gloves, season-appropriate clothing for outdoor field work to include
    head, footwear, sun protection, and bug spray.

Required Readings

Location

  • 677 Skowhegan Rd, Clinton, ME 04927; follow signs to “The Farm at KVCC”

Course Schedule

Week Date Time Topic Instructor
Week 1 11 Jan 12p-4p Soil Health Jason Lilley, UMaine Extension
Week 2 25 Jan 9a-1p Crop Planning Adrienne Lee, New Beat Farm
Week 3 8 Feb 9a-1p Small Fruit Production; Safe Food Handling David Handley, UMaine Extension
Week 4 22 Feb 9a-1p Vegetable Production (Leaf, Cucurbit, and Nightshade Vegetables) Caleb Goossen, MOFGA
Week 5 8 Mar 9a-1p Vegetable Production (Root, Bulb, and Cole Crops) Dave Colson, MOFGA (retired)
Week 6 22 Mar 9a-1p Business planning, Bookkeeping and Taxes, Marketing/Branding Nicolas Lindholm, MOFGA
Week 7 12 April 9a-1p Field work: Seedling Production; Farm Visit: Newcastle Brady Hatch, Morning Dew Farm
Week 8 26 April 12p-4p Harvest and Storage; Farm Visit: Penobscot Paul Schultz, King Hill farm
Week 9 10 May 9a-1p Disease Management Alicyn Smart, UMaine Extension
Week 10 24 May 12p-4p Tools and Equipment Maintenance and Safety Jason Lilley,  UMaine Extension
Weeks 10-30 25 May– 30 Sep TBD Field and High Tunnel Work Caragh Fitzgerald and Staff, UMaine Extension

Attendance Policy

Participants with 85% attendance to the classroom instruction and weekly participation in the growing season will receive a Certificate of Completion and Letter of Recommendation. Every effort will be made to accommodate illness, inclement weather, or any other unforeseen situation that might preclude class attendance. Recordings and instructors will be available for make-up classes.

Field work: The field work in the raised gardens, field and high tunnel is an opportunity to apply classroom and theoretical learning into production of fruits and vegetables. You will be actively involved and responsible for your assigned duties.


For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Devin at anne.devin@maine.edu or 207.991.2651.