Sustainable Farming Fundamentals Online Class

*NEW* for 2024, we are offering a ten-week online course exploring the basics sustainable farming! Join us Tuesday evenings to hear real-world advice from experienced farmers in our region.

Learn how to start your own farm from experienced farmers across the Chesapeake region! Spend the winter learning so that you can hit the ground running this spring. Each week we will explore a topic critical to the success of your sustainable farm operation – all growing scales and experience levels are welcome. This class is primarily designed for folks interested in growing vegetables, flowers and herbs in soil; however, many of the topics will apply to all new farming operations. This goal of this class is for you to gain a basic understanding of the following topics and for you to build community with other sustainable farmers.

Class will meet for ten Tuesday evenings from January 9th – March 19th, skipping the week of January 16th due to the 25th Annual Future Harvest Conference. Most classes will feature multiple farmer speakers and will largely be lecture-based with ample opportunity for questions. Students will also complete weekly homework assignments and should expect to spend 30-60 minutes working outside of class each week. While this class is not offered for credit, students can earn a certificate of completion through active participation and homework completion.

Topics will include the following – note that this is a draft schedule and is subject to change based on speaker availability. See our confirmed workshops and speakers on the REGISTRATION PAGE. You may register for individual classes if you’d like.

  • Goal Setting, and Site Selection
  • Soil Health
  • Plant Pest and Disease Management
  • Farm Systems, Weed Management and Soil Preparation
  • Crop planning, Crop Rotation, and Transplant Production
  • Business Planning and Marketing 
  • Budgeting and Farm Financing
  • Food Safety, Post-Harvest Handling and Record Keeping
  • Livestock
  • Land Access and New Farmer Success Stories

If the registration fee is is a financial barrier, please fill out this scholarship application.

If you have a question about the program, please contact