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

Planting in greenhouse2022 classes will be held twice monthly, January 11 – September 6 (via Zoom & farm visits)
$100 registration fee

Registration is closed.

Learn how to go from seed to salary with this course for all beginning farmers of all abilities interested in growing and selling their own farm produce.

Registration is open to veterans, family members, and all beginning farmers with disabilities from November 10 -17, and open to all beginning November 18.

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

All classes are 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 Nightshade Vegetables)
  • March 8: Vegetable Production (Root, Bulb, and Cole Crops)
  • March 22: Disease Management
  • April 5: Business planning, Bookkeeping, and Taxes, Marketing/Branding
  • April 19: Fieldwork: Seedling Production, TBD
  • May 3: Tools and Equipment maintenance and safety, Kennebec Valley Community College
  • May 17: Harvest and Storage, King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Road, Penobscot, ME
  • May 31: Quickbooks, Part 1
  • June 14: Quickbooks, Part 2
  • June 29: No-till Farming, Stonecipher Farm, 1186 River Road, Bowdoinham, ME
  • July 12: Farm Coaching: Communication, Part 1
  • July 26: Small tools for Small-scale farming, Rustic Roots Farm, 120 Vipah Lane, Farmington, ME
  • August 9: Marketing/Branding
  • August 23: Poultry operation, Grace Pond Farm, 530 Main Street, Thomaston, ME
  • September 6: Farm Coaching: Communication, Part 2

Syllabus

Description: A Market Garden program for Beginning Farmers

Using the “5 F’s” of farming risk (Farming, Family, Finances, Fitness, Future) as a guide, participants will acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully grow to produce for small-scale private or commercial fruit & vegetable production. All participants will receive classes and training on soil health, crop planning, fruit and vegetable production, integrated pest management, no-till production, harvest & storage, safe food handling, marketing/branding, farm business/economics, and tool & equipment maintenance & safety. Further instruction will be provided through monthly farm visits across Maine. Each farm visit will highlight techniques and methods learned during classroom instruction.

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

  • $100 includes
    • 10 x online classes
    • 5 x on-farm field days
    • Course materials
    • Seedling production materials

Course Information

Materials Required

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

Required Readings

Location

via Zoom for online classes

Farm field days:

  • 19 April: Seedling Production – Newcastle
  • 17 May: Harvest and Storage – King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Road, Penobscot, ME 04476
  • 29 June: No-till farming – Stonecipher Farm, 1186 River Road, Bowdoinham, ME 04008
  • 26 July: Small tools to use in Small-scale farming – Rustic Roots Farm, 120 Vipah Lane, Farmington, ME 04938
  • 23 August: Poultry operation – Grace Pond Farm, 530 Main Street, Thomaston, ME 04861

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 Anne Devin, Chase Stream Farm
Week 3 8 Feb 9a-1p Small Fruit Production; Safe Food Handling David Handley, PhD., UMaine Extension
Week 4 22 Feb 9a-1p Vegetable Production (Leaf, Cucurbit, and Nightshade Vegetables) TBD, MOFGA
Week 5 8 Mar 9a-1p Vegetable Production (Root, Bulb, and Cole Crops) TBD, MOFGA
Week 6 22 Mar 9a-1p Disease Management Alicyn Smart, Ph.D., UMaine Extension
Week 7 5 April 9a-1p Business Planning, Bookkeeping & Taxes, Marketing/Branding TBD, UMaine Extension
Week 8 19 April 9a-1p Seedling Production, TBD TBD, TBD
Week 9 3 May 12p-4p Tools & Equipment maintenance & safety, Kennebec Valley Community College Jason Lilley, UMaine Extension, KVCC
Week 10 17 May TBD Harvest and Storage, King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Rd, Penobscot, ME Paul Schultz, King Hill Farm
Week 11 31 May 9a-1p Quickbooks, Part 1 Anne Devin, UMaine Extensiom
Week 12 14 June 9a-1p Quickbooks, Part 2 Anne Devin, UMaine Extension
Week 13 29 June 9a-1p No-till farming, Stonecipher Farm, 1186 River Road, Bowdoinham, ME Ian Jerolmack, Stonecipher Farm
Week 14 12 July 9a-1p Farm Coaching: Communication, Part 1 Polly Shyka
Week 15 26 July 9a-1p Small tools for Small-scale farming, Rustic Roots Farm, 120 Vipah Ln, Farmington, ME Erica Emery, Rustic Roots Farm
Week 16 9 August 9a-1p Marketing/Branding Tori Jackson, UMaine Extension
Week 17 23 August 9a-1p Raising Poultry, Grace Pond Farm, 530 Main St, Thomaston, ME Rhiannon Hampson, Grace Pond Farm
Week 18 6 September 9a-1p Farm Coaching, Communication, Part 2 Polly Shyka

Attendance Policy and Certificate of Completion

A minimum score of 70, combined practical and written exams, in addition to 100% attendance and participation is required to receive a Certification of Completion. B2B coordinator will work with students who require remediation for scores below 70. Participants will receive one subsequent opportunity to remediate a written or practical exam. Online classes will be recorded, and on a case-by-case basis, participants may be allowed to make-up missed classes by watching recorded classes and notifying the B2B coordinator.

Failure to participate in 100% of the farm field days can be made up by demonstrating proficiency (pictures, videos, discussion, in-person farm visits) in the topics presented at the farm field day to the B2B coordinator. This will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Failure to meet any of the above requirements will result in dismissal from the program, without refund.


For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Devin at anne.devin@maine.edu or 207.505.0722.