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Beginning Farmers Core Curriculum & Hands-On Workshops

All Dates and Times for Beginning Farmers Core Curriculum & Hands-On Workshops
Date Start Time End Time
Jan 14, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Jan 28, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Feb 11, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Feb 25, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Mar 10, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Mar 24, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Mar 27, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Apr 07, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Apr 21, 2020 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
May 08, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
May 29, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Jun 19, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Aug 07, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Aug 21, 2020 10:00 AM 3:00 PM

Are you interested in growing and selling vegetables but don’t know where to start? Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University Extension partner to deliver a certificate program that will introduce you to the ins and outs of becoming a successful market farmer on five acres or less.


By participating in this program, you will attend eight core curriculum lectures that will cover everything from planning your farm to selling at market. You will apply what you have learned in the classroom through six hands-on workshops on working farms. Finally, you will have the opportunity to choose up to three advanced, elective classes that cover innovative topics such as seed saving and season extension. Lectures and electives take place on Tuesday evenings 6-9pm, dinner provided, and workshops take place on Fridays.


Staff from our program will work with you to help find hands-on experiences at local farms. This may take the form of a regular volunteer shift, an internship or an apprenticeship. If you have your own farm already up and running, DBG or CSU Extension staff can work with you over the growing season on any issues or questions that arise.


Core Curriculum All lectures will take place at

Colorado State University-Denver Extension office


888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210


Introduction to the Realities of Farming: Design, Record Keeping, Site Selection and Land Acquisition January 14, 2020

This course serves as the introduction to the Beginning Farmers program. We will cover the skills and knowledge necessary to design a farm that meets your goals and discuss how good record keeping can help you stay in business.


Plant Families and Basic Botany and Physiology January 28, 2020

A discussion of the growth patterns, maintenance requirements and pest issues encountered by each of the crop families.


Soils, Fertility and Plant Nutrition February 11, 2020

It all starts with the soil! In this class, you will learn how to identify soil type, troubleshoot potential problem soils and manage your soil to ensure healthy plants.


Crop Planning and Scheduling February 25, 2020

In this class, you will learn how to plan for a successful three-season harvest.


On Farm Food Safety March 10, 2020

Learn how to design and run your farm to minimize the risks associated with foodborne diseases.


Labor and Sales March 24, 2020

Managing people and customer expectations can be difficult; hear tips and tricks from local farm experts on managing labor and selling in a variety of markets.


Vegetable Crop Insect Pests April 7, 2020

In this class, you will learn how to identify and manage the major vegetable insect pests.


Vegetable Crop Plant Pathogens and abiotic disorders- April 21, 2020

In this class, you will learn how to identify and manage the major vegetable pathogens in vegetables as well as many of the common abiotic issues that you will encounter in Colorado.




Hand-On Workshops Location listed below, some TBD, will take place from 10-3pm lunch provided


Greenhouse Propagation March 27, 2020 @ Chatfield Farms, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton, CO 80128

Growing healthy plants starts in the greenhouse. During this workshop, you will be introduced to the materials, equipment and techniques needed to start and finish a large variety of vegetable crops.


Soil Management, Preparation and Compost May 8, 2020 Location TBD

Building on the soils lecture, this workshop takes a more in-depth look at overall soil health and a farmer’s responsibility to be a good steward to the land. Compost will also be covered during this workshop.


Tools and Irrigation Field Day May 29, 2020 @ ARDEC South, 4300 E County Rd 50, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Join us at a teaching farm to try out a variety of engine- and hand-powered tools. Other hands-on topics include assembling drip irrigation systems and crop transplanting.


Design and Crop Planning June 19, 2020 Location TBD

Review crop planning by seeing it in action. Discuss how seasonal adjustments are made.


Vegetable Pests August 7, 2020 @ Sun Valley Grow Garden, 990 Alcott Way, Denver, CO 80204

During this workshop, you will build on the vegetable pests lectures and get a first-hand view of insects, weeds and pathogens as well as practicing mitigation strategies.


Harvesting August 21, 2020 @ Location TBD

This workshop will provide techniques for harvesting the full range of vegetable crops as well as cleaning, preparing and implementing cold storage for harvested produce.



Classes will take place at Denver Botanic Gardens

6 - 9 p.m.

Topics TBD

September 8, 2020

September 15, 2020

September 22, 2020




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