The Minnesota Food Association has some great classes beginning this February. They are part of their Farmer Training Programs and are open to the public.

These classes are great for those with little to no knowledge of farming basics and run from February through November. Please note that they tend to go at a slower pace to accommodate those with English as a second language.
Time: 5:45-8:00 PM
Location: Eastside Enterprise Center, 804 Margaret Street, St. Paul MN 55106
The cost is:
$20 for 4 or more classes
$250 for the whole season (February - November)

February 2nd: Intro to Organic Farming Principles 
Learn the basic concepts of what it means to grow sustainably and organically and the practices involved in an Organic Systems Plan.  

February 9th: Crop Profiles 
Get a better understanding of the vegetable crops you can grow here in Minnesota.  We will go over the different vegetable families and what you need to know about them, such as direct seeding verses transplanting, ideal growing conditions, fertility needs and pests and disease issues.   

February 16th: Plot Planning and Crop Mapping
Learn how to map out a small plot to maximize production, taking into account things such as crop rotation, time of planting, time of harvest, spacing, water needs and companion planting.  

February 23rd: Intro to Markets
Start the discussion of what markets are available for local produce and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each.  We will talk in most detail about Farmer’s Markets - what is available and how to sell successfully at Farmer’s Markets.   

March 1st: Record Keeping
What is the importance of keeping records?  What is the best way to do it?  This class will talk about the importance of record keeping, what records to keep and ideas for making it easier.  

March 8th: Markets: Selling to Wholesale Markets
Learn the nuances of selling to wholesale markets and the skills needed to be successful. Guest Presenters - Rhys Williams, The Good Acre and Aaron Blyth, Shared Ground Farmers’ Cooperative  

March 15th: Whole Farm Planning: Prioritizing Farm Purchases
Begin to understand all the components of running your own farm by making informed decisions about how to best use your limited resources. What comes first on a limited budget? Rodrigo is an MFA graduate and current farm owner. Guest Presenter - Rodrigo Cala, Owner/Operator, Cala Farm  

March 22nd: Organic Practices: Organic Systems Plan
Become more familiar with the organic certification process and understand what's involved in writing an organic systems plan. Wendy has been an organic inspector since 2005, and conducts a variety of inspections from produce to field crops, livestock, and processing facilities. Guest Presenter - Wendy Paulsen, Organic Certification Specialist and Staff Inspector, MCIA Organic Program  

March 29th: Production Improvements: Succession Planting
Learn the basics of how to plan for a continuous supply of a crop once it starts producing, and how to plan to maximize growing space using succession planting techniques. Amy is an MFA graduate and current CSA farmer. Guest Speaker - Amy Doeun, Owner/Operator, Crazy Boy Farm