ORONO — University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a comprehensive nine-month hybrid (online and in-person) training program for all beginning farmers. Participants will acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully grow produce for small-scale private or commercial fruit and vegetable operations. Online training begins Jan. 17, 2023. The program continues twice-monthly through the end of September and includes farm field days throughout the growing season.
Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners will cover topics that include soil health and crop planning; no-till production; vegetable and fruit production; food safety; integrated pest management; tools and equipment; marketing and farm economics; and more. Subject matter experts from UMaine Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and local farms will serve as instructors. Participants will earn a certificate of completion.
Registration is open to all beginning farmers; priority will be given to veterans, their family members and farmers with a disability. The $150 fee includes course materials and in-person farm visits. For out-of-state veterans who cannot attend the farm visits, the registration fee is reduced. For more information and registration instructions see the program webpage. Space is limited and registration closes on Dec. 14. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Martin, 207.944.1533; email@example.com.
Boots-2-Bushels is a project of Maine AgrAbility, a federally funded program that addresses health, safety and injury prevention on the farm, on the water and in the forest.