- Cover Crops
- Pest management
- Weed management
- Farm plumbing
- Season Extension
- Harvest/ Post harvest
- Develop a comprehensive crop plan.
- Each apprentice responsible for crop selection, fertility, pest management and marketing of a selected crop.
Each apprentice will be responsible for each of the following areas on a monthly rotation.
- High Tunnel
- Farmers Market
- Cover Crops
The Seed Farm focuses on training new farmers in tractor and equipment use.
- Tractor Safety
- Small tools for efficiency
- Tractor based cultivation, seeding, etc
- Exploring the Small Farm Dream
- Organic Vegetable Production
- Vegetable Business Planner
- One or more years of experience on a working farm.
- Dedication to sustainable agriculture and farming.
- Intention to start a farm business.
- 20 + hour per week availability.
- Application recieved by October 15th
Part Time Option
Part time apprentices participate in a full day of production training every Saturday as well as two additional four hour blocks during the week. During training blocks apprentices will work on their crop project, in their management area or receive equipment training. All apprentices will also experience working at the farmers market three or more times per season on Sundays.
Full Time Option
Full time apprentices will participate in all Saturday training sessions and two additional four-hour training blocks during the week. During training blocks apprentices will work on their crop project, in their management area or receive equipment training. They will also work an additional 20 hrs per week at the farm as part of the farm crew. During farm crew hours apprentices will be paid (minimal training time).
The fee is $8,400. Three full and two partial scholarships are available. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply regardless of financial capacity.
Spring Course Work— Exploring the Small Farm Dream
Session I: Expressing Farm Dreams and Evaluating Goals
Session II: Assessing Resources and Risk. Introduction to Market Research
Session III: Assessing Financial Resources
Session IV: Putting it All Together
Spring on Farm Training
March 3rd : Introduction to farm. Introduction to crop planning.
March 10th : Crop planning, Tractor safety (all day).
March 17th : High tunnel construction (all day).
March 24th: Greenhouse management, record keeping, transplant production (soil blocks etc.), GAP Training.
March 31st: BCS operation; tillage & soil moisture; transplanters & transplanting efficiency.
April 7th: Seeders, seed storage, germination testing
On Farm Training & Introduction to Organic Vegetables Course
April 14th: Organic Vegetable class: Greenhouse Management. **
April 21st: Breaking the Barriers workshop.
April 28th: Cultivation tools and plastic layer, hand tool maintenance, installing a cool-bot.
May 5th : Harvest & post-harvest handing
May 12th: Organic Vegetable class: Seeding and transplanting, crop rotation planning. **
May 19th: Irrigation system design and set-up. More in-depth crop rotation planning.
May 26th: Pest management, using and calibrating a backpack sprayer.
June 2nd: Tomato pruning & trellising.
June 9th: Organic Vegetable class: Weed Management.**
June 16th: In-depth tractor cultivation.
June 23rd: Rodale Institute Field Trip.
June 30th: Compost production and use.
July 7th: Farm plumbing, shade cloth for greens.
July 14th: Organic vegetable class: Disease Management.**
July 21st: Intensive scouting demo. Present disease management plan for crop project.
July 28th: Eagle Point Farm Field trip.
August 4th: Evaluating a farmer’s market.
August 11th: Organic Vegetable class: Insect pest management.**
August 18th: Soil testing, additional scouting. Present pest management plan for crop project.
August 25th: Harvest & post-harvest handling of storage crops (onions, garlic, winter squash).
September 1st: Basic construction skills.
September 8th: Organic Vegetable class: Soils and cover crops **
September 15th: Cover crops, soil health testing
September 22nd: Season extension
September 29th: Red Earth Farm field trip (sometime this week)
October 6th: More cover crops
October 13th: Crop rotation planning
October 20th: open
October 27th: Season evaluation. Celebrate!
**Formal Penn State Extension Courses
Vegetable Business Planner
Session I: Farm goals. Working backwards from financial goals. Introduction to enterprise budgets.
Session II: Marketing I: Identifying your customers.
Session III: Marketing II: Matching marketing strategies to customer base, production potential and market opportunities.
Session IV: Business structure. Regulations.
Session V: Matching crop production plans to
financial goals and market realities.
Session VI: Soil management plan
Session VII: Weed and Pest management plan