Crop Planning

Recordkeeping 2: Harvest and Post-Harvest Records for FSMA Compliance

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used to assist trainers who want to make good farm recordkeeping practices accessible to farmers with limited English and/or low literacy skills. It covers the reasons for and benefits of keeping good records for harvest and post-harvest activities, including compliance with food safety requirements. It explains what kinds of information need to be recorded and provides recommendations for when and how to collect that information. Tools which allow farmers with low-literacy skills to keep good records of on-farm activities are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Craig Demi of the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, RI in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). 

Recordkeeping 1: Crop Planning and Planting Records for FSMA Compliance

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used to assist trainers who want to make good farm record keeping practices accessible to farmers with limited English or low-literacy skills. It covers the reasons and benefits of keeping good records for planning and planting, including compliance with food safety requirements. It explains what kinds of information need to be recorded and provides recommendations for when and how to collect that information. Tools which allow farmers with low-literacy skills to keep good records of on-farm activities are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Craig Demi of the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, RI in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Cover Crops 2: How to Select Cover Crops & How to Track the Benefits of Cover Cropping

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  • Digital Download

This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English-as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It leads farmers through the process of sorting through the characteristics of specific cover crops to select the best one or mix of cover crops to meet their goals. It introduces farmers to a series of questions that they can answer throughout the growing season to evaluate the performance of the cover crops they have planted. Worksheets are provided so that trainers can assist farmers with this evaluation and with recording the results. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided.This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Cover Crops 1: Which Cover Crops Will You Use?

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English- as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It covers three major types of cover crops (mustards, legumes, and ‘other’), and the potential benefits and costs of cover crops. It leads farmers through the process of identifying what they want to accomplish via cover cropping, assists them with identifying opportunities within their production schedule for insertion of cover crops, and assists farmers with selecting the cover crop or mixture of cover crops which best match their needs and goals. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). 

Crop Planning Series

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  • Digital Download

This series of six workshops covers a range of topics related to crop planning. Farmers will be introduced to the concepts of harvest windows, succession planting, and days to maturity. Multiple sessions help farmers learn how to use calendars and tables to plan their growing season. One session teaches participants how to handle orders from customers and restaurants, and plan cropping and harvest schedules accordingly. Most of the workshops are appropriate for beginning- to intermediate-level farmers.

Micro-producer Academy: Growing for Market 2, Planning for Planting

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  • Digital Download

This is module 4 in a series of 8 modules in the New Roots Micro-producer academy.Understanding the difference between personal and commercial production. Growing techniques (as well as farm rules) to maximize production and timing production based around the markets they hope to sell at. Farmers will draft a planting and harvest calendar for the market crops they have chosen, and they will draw a potential succession planting map for one crop. This teaching resource was developed by International Rescue Committee 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.

Micro-producer Academy: Growing for Market 1, Choosing Crops

Media:

  • Digital Download

This is module 3 in a series of 8 modules in the New Roots Micro-producer academy.This is an introduction to the concept of market gardening or farming, and to selecting crops that fit the market channel that producers anticipate using. This teaching resource was developed by International Rescue Committee 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.

Planting Calendar Tool

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.

Bed Planning Tool

Media:

  • 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.

Crop Production Manual

Media:

  • Digital Download

This is a resource designed to provide farmers with readily accessible, technical information and cultural practices for organic vegetable production without relying on advanced English literacy skills. This manual can be introduced in pre-season crop planning settings and subsequently used throughout the planting season. Though the practices and suggested planting dates presented are specific to our New England growing season, the icons can be easily modified to represent practices and timing suited to your farm and locale.

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