This tool aids gardeners in working with a calendar and knowing the planting dates for various crops. A large format (3’x 4’), laminated 2-month blank calendar is used (purchased from office supply store). Throughout the season, the months and dates are filled in with whiteboard marker. Laminated pieces are taped onto the calendar to show last and first frost dates, last and first dates to plant different crops, last dates to plant winter cover crops, etc.
- Digital Download
This Bed Planning tool is used to assist farmers in knowing which crops to plant in each bed and when to plant them. Each bed marker is filled out either by staff ahead of time, or by farmers in a class session using their crop calendars and crop rotation plot maps. The bed markers are then placed in each bed at the farm. This tool was developed to increase farmer independence through simple tools, as farmers were not consulting their notebooks weekly and/or had difficulty reading their crop calendars throughout the season. You can add cover crop rotations, succession planting, and multiseason planting. Using these tools allows farmers to quickly look at the upcoming dates, prepare their beds, and plant their seeds in the right bed and at the right time. They are laminated and tape is used for writing in permanent marker (on top of tape), so that they can be recycled and used year after year.
- Digital Download
This guide shows trainers and staff how to use the benchmarking/competency tool with participants to assess skills, knowledge, and performance through self- and staff-administered assessments. You may use the provided materials and tools, or you may develop your own criteria/competencies as needed for your program. This teaching resource was developed by International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, VA in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.