The Farmer Cultivation Center is a new farm incubator located in the town of Niwot, Colorado. Our partnership with the Shepherd Valley Waldorf School provides us with a beautiful farm site and a nurturing community, as well as infrastructure to conduct our new farmer education.
The farm is a perfect place to learn basic vegetable farming practices while preparing a business plan for your new farm operation.
A New Generation of Farmers
Our programs combine a rigorous hands-on farming experience with a balanced mix of classroom and self study learning.
Our two program tracks include:
~ 8 month Horticulture Track
~ 2 year Market Farming Track
Farmer Cultivation Center Trainees
The Horticulture Track at the Farmer Cultivation Center is designed to teach all the basic skills needed to grow vegetables in the challenging climate of the Colorado Front Range. These skills will make you a better grower, now matter where you end up. The March through October program offers a full season experience that starts with seed propagation and ends with the harvest of our fall crops.
The hands-on experience includes each trainee managing a 1/4 acre plot at the FCC. They have opportunities to plan the season’s production, design the beds, create a planting and harvest schedule, and manage labor to make it all happen. Special techniques like drip irrigation, row cover,Graduates will be qualified to start and manage a variety of small scale garden operations, from personal victory gardens to community gardens and small urban farms. Students who choose to continue on with their training to become qualified commercial market farmers can apply to participate in the follow on Market Farming Track.
The Market Farming Track at the Farmer Cultivation Center is designed to prepare participants for a successful career as farmers in Boulder County. The program is intentionally rigorous with the goal of helping new farmers adjust to the realities of operating a farm business. The first year of the program is the Horticulture Track.
In the second year, the classroom instruction continues, with a focus on developing a business plan. Additionally, students learn how to scale the basics learned in the Horticulture Track into higher production methods including plastic mulch, effective use of tractor implements, large scale seed propagation, weed and pest control, cover cropping, soil health and nutrition, post harvest handling, and packaging.
Candidates must be able to commit to a 2 year program averaging 20 hours per week and have the flexibility in their weekly schedule to be accommodate the farm schedule.