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Veggie Farming, part 1 (BF 120)

From Planning to PlantingBf120Vegetable

This course helps new and aspiring vegetable producers answer basic questions about site selection, crop rotation, seeding and transplanting, and financial aspects of veggie production. Topics including variety selection, pre-plant preparation, and cultivation will be covered. Don’t miss BF 121, the continuation of this course, which takes you through the remainder of the growing season into harvest, post-harvest handling, and marketing.

“This class has shown me how to take what I want to accomplish and has given me a starting point and the steps I need to take to reach my end goals.  This class has been full of great resources that I’m going to spend the next few months looking into.” -Estelle B, Greenfield, MA

Target Audience

BEGINNING to INTERMEDIATE: This course is for aspiring farmers planning farm start-up within the next year, or those with 1-3 growing seasons of vegetable farming experience. Because pest issues, production systems, and appropriate varieties vary so much from region to region, this course targets farmers in the Northeastern United States. Farmers outside the region are welcome to register, but should do so knowing that some of the information presented may not be appropriate for their region.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the characteristics of a viable site for commercial vegetable crop production and how to alter that site if necessary.
  • Understand the importance of cover-cropping, IPM, and proper pre-plant preparation
  • Have a good understanding of the full season of tasks involved in vegetable farming – from pre-plant to post-harvest considerations.
  • Be able to develop a basic whole farm plan, which will help you keep records, manage time more effectively, and price products.
  • Know where to go to find reliable, fact based resource material on topics related to vegetable farming.


The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing. Access details will be posted in MOODLE once you have registered and logged in.


Amy Ivy is a regional vegetable specialist for the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). 


November 7 – December 19, 2018 with webinars on Wednesdays from 7 – 8:30pm Eastern time (NOTE: No webinar on Wed. Nov 21). Webinars will be recorded for later viewing. Registration is closed. This course will next be offered in Fall 2019.

Course Outline

Week One: Introduction, , and Siting/Planning a Vegetable Farm
Week Two: Soil Health Equals Plant Health and Cover Crops
Week Three: Selecting Crops for Profitability, Enterprise Budgets
Week Four: Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Farm
Week Five: Bed layout, direct sowing versus transplants, transplant production
Week Six: Season-Long Planning and Care, Forum to discuss remaining questions

Cost and Registration

Registration for this course is closed. It will next be offered in Fall 2019. 

Fee for this course is $195-295, based on household income.

Sign up for any of our courses a month or more in advance of the start date and receive $25 off. Sign up for three or more courses and received $50 off your total.