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.
LEARN TO FARM
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 following topics and more!
Production Training such as: seeding, transplating, cover crops, crop rotation, compost management, and more.
Crop Planning such as: knowing your markets, understanding crop seasons, developing necessary maps and schedules, and ordering seeds & supplies.
Equipment Training such as: tractor safety and basic operation, basic equipment maintenance, small tools for efficiency, and tractor based cultivation, seeding, weeding.
Business & Marketing such as: organic certification, Farmers’ Market management, CSA management, and more.
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.
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.