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Beginning Farmer Training Program: Growing Fruits and Vegetables for Market

January 24 - March 28, 2017

Southeastern Illinois College
3575 College Rd; Room G120
Harrisburg, IL 62946 (Saline County)

The demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has been increasing, especially in the last five years.  With all of the renewed interest, there are many opportunities for new growers.  Consumers are realizing the benefits of locally grown produce, not only for high quality, fresh fruits and vegetables, but also for the economic benefits of supporting local businesses that are a part of our local community.

If you are interested in producing fruits and vegetables commercially but haven’t been sure how to get started, come join us at Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg for our Beginning Farmer Training Program: Growing Fruits and Vegetables for Market!  This program will cover the basics of commercial fruit and vegetable production from seed to farm stand and beyond.  The goal of this program is to give participants the information they need to understand the basic concepts of production, including soils, pests, and general crop management.  Graduates will have the skills needed to produce for local farmer’s markets, road-side stands, restaurants, and stores.  Join us for this program as we take the next step in creating the next generation of fruit and vegetable farmers!

This program will be held from 6-9 PM on Tuesday evenings starting January 24, 2017 and continuing through March 28, 2017 (10 weeks) at Southeastern Illinois College 3575 College Rd. Harrisburg, IL 62946 in Room G120.   In addition, the program will also offer a full-day of farm tours scheduled with local growers to highlight a variety of established operations, (tentatively planned in mid-March). 

Program topics will include:

Jan 24        Introduction & Basic Fruit and Vegetable Production

Jan 31        Selecting Fruit and Vegetable Varieties & Transplant Production

Feb 7         Pests: Weeds & Pesticides and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Feb 14       Pests: Insects & Diseases

Feb 21       Soil, Fertilizer, & Nutrient Management

Feb 28       Cover Crops & Small Farm Equipment & Safety

Mar 7        Post-Harvest Handling & Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)

Mar 14      Business Planning, Insurance, & Marketing

Mar 21      Season Extension (High Tunnels) & Irrigation

Mar 28      Wildlife Management & Looking Beyond the First Year

 

Pre-registration is required and the registration fee for this program is $150 per family for all 10 classes or $20 per session, if you register for classes individually.  The fee includes over 25 hours of classroom training, class materials, farm tour, and certificate of completion for the program.  Completion of this program will also earn you one hour of course credit.  The deadline to register for the program is Wednesday January 18th.  To register please visit https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=15565

For more information, please contact:

Bronwyn Aly – baly@illinois.edu, 618-252-8391

 

 



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