New Farmer Training


The Seed Farm provides new and aspiring farmers with hands-on, practical training that they will need to own and/or manage a diversified vegetable farm. On our 42-acre site in Emmaus, PA, participants learn a variety of skills that are critical to new farmer success.

We have been working on training program developments; and over the last few months we have started rolling out new, more accessible training opportunities for farmers, gardeners, and community members with varying levels of experience. And there's more to come! Stay tuned!

  CSA Workshare Program


Join our team in 2021 by participating in the CSA Workshare Program! In exchange for working 3-4 hours per week between June and October, you will earn one weekly CSA half-share.


  • Choose a shift day/time* (we prefer that you keep the same schedule each week!):

    • Mondays: 7 – 10:30 AM

    • Tuesdays: 7 – 10:30 AM

    • Wednesdays: 7 – 10:30 AM

    • Fridays: 7 – 10:30 AM

  • Choose a session:

    • Summer: June 14 - August 20 (10 weeks)

    • Fall: August 23 - October 22 (9 weeks)

    • Both Sessions: June 14 - October 22 (19 weeks)

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Expect to help with planting, weeding, harvesting, washing vegetables and totes; plus an assortment of other farm jobs.

Be prepared to work outside in the sun or rain, where you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time. Many jobs require bending over, kneeling, squatting, or lifting loads of 25+ lbs. People who have physical limitations are welcomed to apply – we still have some tasks that are just right for you!

You’ll need to be dressed appropriately for the weather and supply your own water bottles, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, rain gear, and footwear.

If you are interested in joining the 2021 Workshare Program, please click here to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The workshare season will begin the week of June 14, 2021.

*If you are not available regularly or  during these shifts, please consider signing up to be a Seed Farm volunteer!

Please email Lindsey Parks, Program Administrator, with questions.

Apply

 ┬áTraining in Critical Skills and Knowledge

Operating a farm (even a very small one!) can be expensive and risky. To increase a new farmer's chance for success, The Seed Farm offers training in skills and knowledge that minimize risk, maximize efficiency and productivity, and manage costs. Our workshops and courses cover the follow topics and more:


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Production Training

  • Greenhouse
  • Seeding
  • Transplanting
  • Irrigation
  • Soils
  • Cover crops
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • High tunnel management
  • Crop rotation
  • Record keeping
  • Risk management
  • Pest management
  • Weed management
  • Season extension
  • Harvest/ post-harvest
  • Compost management
  • Soil & water testing

Crop Planning

  • Knowing your markets
  • Understanding crop seasons
  • Developing necessary maps and schedules
  • Ordering seeds & supplies

Equipment Training

  • Tractor Safety and basic operation
  • Basic equipment maintenance
  • Small tools for efficiency
  • Tractor based cultivation, seeding, weeding

Business & Marketing

  • Market research
  • Insurance options
  • Organic certification
  • Assessing financial resources
  • Farmers' Market management
  • Wholesale account management
  • CSA management
  • Enterprise budgets
  • Business structure
  • Business planning
  • Special events
  • Group/volunteer facilitation

 Strategic Partnerships

The Seed Farm partners with other organizations to deliver a wide variety of training opportunities, including formal courses through Penn State Cooperative Extension and workshops with Pennsylvania FarmLink and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, to name a few. In this way, our site serves as a living classroom, providing opportunities for demonstration and experiential agricultural training for the greater Lehigh Valley community.


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Farm Labor Experience

If you are planning to start your own farm, we highly recommend starting your journey by gaining working knowledge of a commercial farm. Spend a season (or more) working on a local farm; or if your availability is limited, become a volunteer. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or WWOOF, is another option that provides opportunities for volunteers to gain experience on organic farms around the world.

Working experience will teach you the pace and pressures of a commercial farm, and it will provide you with critical farm labor skills so that you are better prepared to successfully run your own farm.

If you need help finding a farming job in the greater Lehigh Valley, please contact us and we will do our best to connect you with hiring opportunities in the area.


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