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 at https://extension.umaine.edu/agrability/solutions-and-resources/boots-2-bushels/. Space is limited and registration closes on Dec. 14. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Martin at 207-944-1533 or anne.martin1@maine.edu. 


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.