Vegetable Farming Basics course (& skills blocks)

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The Seed Farm

5854 Vera Cruz Rd. S.

Emmaus, PA 18049

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Farming Basics course

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Vegetable Farming BASICS

This is a hands-on workshop series for people who want to learn to grow vegetables for sale. Classes will be in simple English. We highly recommend this course for community gardeners, urban farmers, and anyone who may be interested in starting a farm through The Seed Farm's farm incubator program. Certificates of completion will be issued to those who complete the full course.


Crop Planning: Matching production to sales demand, understanding crop seasons, developing succession schedules; making a crop plan; ordering seeds and supplies.

Early Spring Preparations: Skinning a greenhouse; laying out raised beds in a high tunnel; seeding, soil blocks, and recordkeeping in a greenhouse setting; irrigation system design and set-up.

Greenhouse Management: Hygiene and environmental controls; seeding, soil blocks, and recordkeeping; disease & pest management; potting up; selling starter plants.

Soil Health & Crop Care: Soil components, nutrients, organic matter; soil testing; fertilizer usage; monitoring crops in the field; pruning, trellising, and row cover; organic weed management; hands-on practice with different tools.

Irrigation: System design & set-up; water management; recordkeeping; monitoring soil moisture & specific crop needs; troubleshooting and maintenance; fertigation.

Planting & Harvesting: Field seeding & transplanting: following schedules; using seeders, water wheel transplanter, dibbler, and Japanese pot planter; harvest and post-harvest handling of spring and summer crops.


*Classes are held on Thursdays (exceptions noted below) from 10 am - 2 pm. Email reminders will be sent in advance of each class session.

At the Lehigh County Ag Center, 4184 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, PA 18104:

February 14 (Tuesday)

February 23

February 28 (Tuesday)

At The Seed Farm, 5854 Vera Cruz Road S., Emmaus PA 18049:

March 2; 9; 16

April 6; 13; 20

May 4; 11; 18

June 1; 8; 15

July 6; 13; 20

Snacks will be provided at each session.


The Seed Farm is a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of farmers. On our 42-acre site in Emmaus, PA, we offer an agricultural incubator, new farmer training, and public workshops and short courses on sustainable agriculture and growing methods. Our agricultural business incubator provides new farmers with training, equipment and land, eliminating the top barriers to farm entry and opening doors for a new generation of farmers. We work to keep agriculture viable in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, to conserve our natural resources, and to facilitate the development of a vibrant, local food system.


Amy Cook is the Program Director at The Seed Farm. Amy manages the overall operations and educational activities of The Seed Farm's training program and market farm, and mentors the new farmers who are launching farm businesses in the farm incubator program.

Amy came to The Seed Farm in 2015 from northeastern Ohio, where she managed an organic vegetable farm and trained apprentices for three years. Prior to that, she worked on farms in eastern Massachusetts, advised farmers on natural resource issues as a conservation planner in central Massachusetts, and worked as the outreach coordinator and an instructor for the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, a beginning farmer training non-profit organization.


$375 for the full, 18-week course. Payment plans are available. Registration required by February 12.

If you are interested in learning particular skills, you may register for a Skills Block:

Crop Planning: $75

February 14, 23, 28

Registration required by February 12.

Early Spring Preparations: $100

March 2, 9, 16; April 6

Registration required by February 28.

Greenhouse Management: $75

March 16; April 20; May 11

Registration required by March 14.

Soil Health & Crop Care: $125

April 13; June 1, 8, 15; July 6

Registration required by April 11.

Irrigation: $50

April 6; July 13 (rain date: July 20)

Registration required by April 4.

Crop Planting & Harvesting: $75

May 4, 18; July 20

Registration required by May 2.


Email or call 610-391-9583 x16 for more information. We are happy to talk with you about financial limitations or to help you make arrangements for transportation to the farm.

This course was made possible by the generous support of The Common Market and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy & Outreach.

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The Seed Farm

5854 Vera Cruz Rd. S.

Emmaus, PA 18049

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