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Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners 2023

May 9, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

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 []. Space is limited and registration closes on Dec. 14. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Martin, 207.944.1533;

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.

Week 1: Jan. 17
12:00 Noon–4 p.m.
Soil Health
Jason Lilley, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Week 2: Jan. 31
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Crop Planning
Anne Martin, Maine AgrAbility

Week 3: Feb. 14
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Small Fruit Production, Safe Food Handling
Dave Handley, Ph.D., UMaine Extension

Week 4: Feb. 28
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Vegetable Production (Leaf, Cucurbit, and Nightshade Vegetables)
Caleb Goossen, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)

Week 5: March 14
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Vegetable Production (Root, Allium, and Brassica)
Mark Hutton, Ph.D., UMaine Extension

Week 6: March 28
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Farm Visit: Seedling Production

Week 7: April 11
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Disease Management
Alicyn Smart, Ph.D., UMaine Extension

Week 8: April 25
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Cash Flow, Enterprise Budgets
Nicolas Lindholm, MOFGA, Blue Hill Berry Co.

Week 9: May 9
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Off-Site: Tools and Equipment Maintenance and Safety, Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC), Hinckley
Jason Lilley, UMaine Extension

Week 10: May 23
Farm Visit: Harvest and Storage

Week 11: June 6
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Anne Martin, Maine AgrAbility

Week 12: June 21 (Wednesday)
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Farm Visit: No-Till Farming
Ian Jerolmack, Stonecipher Farm, Bowdoinham

Week 13: July 11
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Farm Visit: Small-Scale Tools for Small-Scale Farming
Erica Emery, Rustic Roots Farm, Farmington

Week 14: July 25
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Melissa Arndt, UMaine Extension

Week 15: Aug. 22
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Farm Visit: Raising Poultry

Week 16: Sept. 5
9 a.m.–-1 p.m.
Farm Coaching: Communication
Polly Shyka and Abby Sadaukus

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Martin at or 207.944.1533.


Kennebec Valley Community College
ME United States


Anne Martin