Cultivate Baltimore: Hand-scale farm tools at Strength to Love 2 in Baltimore, City, August 15, 2019
Updated: December 1, 2022

UMD Extension offers a wide variety of educational classes and events throughout the year. Highlighted below are annual classes offered by the Urban Farming Program in Baltimore City. To be notified when registration for these classes opens, be sure to bookmark the UME calendar, subscribe to Urban Ag E-News, and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram). 

Urban Agriculture Winter Meetings

Some of the meetings below contain registration information, event details, and recordings if the event has occurred.

In-person & Virtual

Maryland Mushroom Symposium

This is a professional development symposium designed for specialty mushroom growers.

This event is organized by the Urban Agriculture Program of UMD Extension and sponsored by Horizon Farm Credit.

Date: December 6, 2022  |  Tuesday
Time: 9:30 am to 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $12
Location: Maryland Department of Agriculture,n: 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway Annapolis, MD 21401
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-maryland-mushroom-growers-symposium-tickets-460116048487

AGENDA

9:30 am Arrive and check-in
10:00 am Welcome: Agenda overview, Neith Little, University of Maryland Extension; Resources from Horizon Farm Credit, Geoff Delamater, Horizon Farm Credit; Resources from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), Jason Keppler, MDA
10:20 am Overview of specialty mushroom production, Dr. John Pecchia, Director - Spawn Laboratory and Manager – Mushroom Research Center, Pennsylvania State University
11:10 am Lessons learned from NYC specialty mushroom education program, Yolanda Gonzalez, Urban Agriculture Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
12:00 pm Lunch break, sponsored by Horizon Farm Credit
12:30 pm Panel Q&A: Dr. John Pecchia and Yolanda Gonzalez
1:00 pm Mushroom production at Warwick Mushroom Farms, Vanessa Torres, Phillips Mushrooms
1:30 pm Intro to mushroom disease management, Dave Clement, IPM Specialist, UMD Extension
2:00 pm Market research and customer discovery, Neith Little, Urban Agriculture Extension Educator, UMD Extension
2:30 pm Forming a professional association: Steps and benefits, Paul Goeringer, Extension Legal Specialist, UMD and Agricultural Law Education Initiative; Courtney Cohen, Spore and Seed Farm
3:00 pm Adjourn

Beginning Farmer Course: February 10 thru April 7, 2022

Maryland Beginning Farmer Success Course
Date: February 10, 2022, to April 7, 2022, Thursday Evenings  | Time: 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 pm
Location: Blended in person and online (Small groups of students will meet in person at the local Extension office at one of several locations across the state of Maryland. These in-person locations will be determined by the locations of the students who register for the course.)
Cost: $65.00 ( If the registration fee is a financial barrier, please fill out this scholarship application: https://ume.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_06QwgaBZ6qVczyZ.)
Description: The Maryland Beginning Farmer program is launching a successful course starting on February 10, 2022. This program is designed for those who are considering or in the beginning stages of starting a farm as a business.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of topics including; business planning, marketing, crop production, livestock husbandry, soil health, pest management, food safety, regulations, and certifications. Additional elective resources will cover more specialized topics, such as organic production, urban agriculture, and direct marketing to local customers.

Classes will meet on Thursday evenings, from 7 PM to 8:30 PM, from February 10th through April 7th. This will be a blended in-person and online course and is open to anyone interested in starting a farm.

For more information or to register

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact Neith Little by phone at 410-856-1850 x 122 or by email at nglittle@umd.edu.

Cultivating Conservation Workshop Series: workshops scheduled from January to June 2022)

About this event

Federal programs can be complex to navigate, especially for beginning farmers or individuals who have not established a relationship with the sponsoring agency. “Cultivating Conservation for Maryland and Delaware’s Small and Historically Underserved Farmers” will target historically underserved groups to increase their knowledge of conservation practices and programs. The course will cover an overview of conservation practices, available conservation programs provided by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and other agencies, understanding of application processes, eligibility, and contractual agreements, and how conservation projects can fit into an overall farm plan.

The University of Maryland Extension and Agriculture Law Education Initiative team, in cooperation with University of Delaware Extension, Maryland and Delaware NRCS, and Soil Conservation District field offices, will deliver education and outreach through classroom and hands-on experiences and tours of conservation offices. The program will provide six hours of classroom instruction and will occur during evenings or weekends. It is free and open to anyone interested in adopting conservation practices on their farm.

This project is funded through the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant. The program is open to all if you need special accommodations.

For more information or find a Cultivating Conservation Workshop event near you!

 

Urban Farmer Winter Meeting: Jan. 22 & 24, 2022

5th annual professional development and networking meeting for Maryland Urban Farmers, organized by University of Maryland Extension.

Date: January 22, 2022  |  Saturday
Time:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  |  Location: Real Food Farm, 2701 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, MD
Contact: Neith Little |  Region: Statewide
Description:
Meet at Real Food Farm in Baltimore, MD to practice pruning fig trees and to meet and socialize with other urban farmers (hot cocoa and coffee provided)

    Date: January 24, 2022  |  Monday
    Time:  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  |  Location: Online (To participate in a virtual session you will need a high-speed cable or satellite internet connection.
    Contact: Neith Little |  Region: Statewide
    Description:
    Drop in to online professional development and networking sessions.
    Topics include

    • Results of a survey of urban farmers across the Northeast USA
    • Urban agriculture in Lagos, Nigeria
    • Food safety legal issues for urban growers
    • Variety trial of basil resistance to downy mildew
    • E coli testing harvested rainwater
    • Tomato and trellised cucumber variety trials
    • Farm stress resources
    • Greenhouse design
    • Aquaponics production methods
    • How to sell "Farm to School"

    Cost: $7.00 for both days

    Recordings

    Explore Farm Hands-on Workshops and Field Schools

    During the growing season, we offer a variety of hands-on workshops and field schools on farms across Baltimore City.

    Urban Farmer Field School

    This year we are trying a "barn-raising" or "harvest-party" format. We will gather at the farm or garden hosting the workshop, learn from Extension educators and farmers how to do key farm tasks, and help with what the farm or garden needs extra hands for that day, sharpen our hands-on farming skills.

    Water, gatorade, and light snacks will be provided.

    Farmer Field School
    Date: November 5, 2022  |  Saturday
    Time: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    Cost: Free, but you need to reserve a spot by going to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farmer-field-school-tickets-423745342727
    Location: Glenwood Life Counseling Center, 516 Glenwood Avenue Baltimore, MD 21212
    Description: At this field school, we plan to help with fall garden clean-up: pulling up vegetable crop residue, seeding a raised bed cover crop, harvesting sweet potatoes, and weeding the polinator garden.

    Special guest alert! At this Nov. 5 session, we will have guests volunteering from the Agronomy, Soils, and Crop Societies conference happening the following week in Baltimore. Come join us and garden side-by-side with agricultural scientists from around the US.

    Urban Agriculture Meeting Archives (recordings)

    Urban Agriculture Winter Meetings 2021

    Urban Farmer Winter Meeting Day 1: Jan. 25, 2021
    Date: January 25, 2021 |  Monday 
    Time:  1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  |  Location: Virtual
    Contact: Neith Little |  Email: nglittle@umd.edu

    View session recordings on YouTube
    Description: It is a tradition in Extension to bring farmers together in the winter to learn about the latest research, earn continuing education units for their certifications, and socialize with their peers.

    The winter professional development meeting for urban farmers will be offered split over two dates: the afternoon of Monday, January 25, and the afternoon of Sunday, January 31.  Educational sessions will be 30 minutes, followed by networking time. Participants will be able to attend whichever sessions interest them. 

    A special thank you to Farm Alliance of Baltimore for partnering with Extension to plan and co-host previous years’ Urban Farmer Winter Meetings, and for advising on farmer priorities for the 2021 meeting.

    Agenda

    Detailed Agenda: Educational sessions will be 30 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes of networking time.

    1:00 p.m. Value-added product case study: connecting rural cocoa growers with urban chocolate entrepreneurs
    Anna Glenn, Agriculture Department Chair at Liberia International Christian College and
    Joshua Zemah, Owner of Redimere Chocolate


     CCA: 0.5 Crop Management CEUs
    2:00 p.m. How Do Soil Conservation Districts Help Urban Farmers Conserve Natural Resources?
    Kim Rush Lynch and Steve Darcey, Prince George's Soil Conservation District

     CCA: 0.5 Soil and Water Management CEUs
     * Day 1 approved for 1 CEU NMP credits. Must attend both 2pm and 4pm sessions
    3:00 p.m. Disease and pest issues for hydroponic greenhouse growers
    Dr. Karen Rane, Director, Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, Department of Entomology, UMD

     CCA: 0.5 Integrated Pest Management CEUs
    4:00 p.m. Mushroom production
    Kwesi Asante, EcoCity Farms

    Talk supported by Cornell Community Mushroom Educator Network, with funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under sub award number ENE19-156-33243

    CCA: 0.5 Crop Management CEUs
    * Day 1 approved for 1 CEU NMP credits. Must attend both 2pm and 4pm sessions

     

    Continuing Education Units:

    Sessions in this meeting (see detailed agenda below) have been pre-approved for CEUs for Maryland Nutrient Applicator Vouchers & Certified Farm Operators (NMP) and Certified Crop Advisers (CCA). If you want to earn CEUs for participating in the meeting, please have your certification number available, and be prepared to click on a link and fill out a survey during the meeting.

    Recordings of the 2021 Urban Farmer Winter Meeting sessions are available on the urban farming playlist of UMD Extension's YouTube channel. 

    Urban Farmer Winter Meeting Day 2: Jan. 31, 2021
    Date:
    January 31, 2021 |  Sunday
    Time:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  |  Location: Virtual
    Contact: Neith Little |  Email: nglittle@umd.edu

    View session recordings on YouTube
    Description: It is a tradition in Extension to bring farmers together in the winter to learn about the latest research, earn continuing education units for their certifications, and socialize with their peers.

    The winter professional development meeting for urban farmers will be offered split over two dates: the afternoon of Monday, January 25, and the afternoon of Sunday, January 31.  Educational sessions will be 30 minutes, followed by networking time. Participants will be able to attend whichever sessions interest them. 

    A special thank you to Farm Alliance of Baltimore for partnering with Extension to plan and co-host previous years’ Urban Farmer Winter Meetings, and for advising on farmer priorities for the 2021 meeting.

    Agenda

    Detailed Agenda: Educational sessions will be 30 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes of networking time.

    1:00 p.m. Food safety for production of dried herbs

    Dr. Angela Ferelli, University of Maryland, Plant Science Department, Food Safety Group
    CCA: 0.5 Crop Management CEUs

    2:00 p.m. African heritage specialty crop research
    Dr. Nadine Burton, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

    CCA: 0.5 Crop Management CEUs
    3:00 p.m. How to accept SNAP payments for farm produce
    Lynn Rubin Traversa, UMD Extension SNAP-Ed program

    Information will also be shared from Farm Alliance of Baltimore on their SNAP programs.

    CCA: 0.5 Crop Management CEUs

     

    Continuing Education Units:

    Sessions in this meeting (see detailed agenda below) have been pre-approved for CEUs for Maryland Nutrient Applicator Vouchers & Certified Farm Operators (NMP) and Certified Crop Advisers (CCA). If you want to earn CEUs for participating in the meeting, please have your certification number available, and be prepared to click on a link and fill out a survey during the meeting.

    Recordings of the 2021 Urban Farmer Winter Meeting sessions are available on the urban farming playlist of UMD Extension's YouTube channel. 

    Urban Agriculture Winter Meeeting 2022

    Date: January 24, 2022  |  Monday

    Topics:

    • Chocolate Production in Ghanta, Liberia: A local food case study
    • How to start growing mushrooms on an urban farm
    • Food Safety steps to sell dried herbs in Maryland
    • How does a Soil Conservation District help urban farmers?
    • Diseases and pests of hydroponic and greenhouse plants
       

    Recordings

    Photos from trainings

    Farmers attend workshop

    Farmers from Baltimore City participate in workshop on high tunnel best management practices. Three workshops in 2021 were funded by a a grant from USDA-NRCS MD, Award # NR203B19XXXXC003

    2021 Urban Farmer Field School Series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA

    Neith Little teaches about high tunnel BMPs

    UMD Urban Ag Educator Neith Little teaches about high tunnel best management practices. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School Series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA. 

    Farmer Chippy Francis

    Farmer Chippy Francis grows Trinidad scorpion peppers in the high tunnel at Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA.

    Dr. Gerald Brust teaches how to identify insect feeding damage

    Dr. Gerald Brust, UMD Extension Specialist, teaches how to identify insect feeding damage. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA. 

    Ramon Ortiz and Eric Hines from USDA NRCS at urban farm

    Ramon Ortiz and Eric Hines from Maryland's office of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) talk with urban farmers about how to access conservation resources. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA.

    Farmer Kimberly Raikes

    Farmer Kimberly Raikes teaches about using a string trellis to grow tomatoes in a high tunnel at Whitelock Community Farm. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School series. Photo by Jessica Duerstine, USDA NRCS.

    Andrew Ristvey teaches

    At the July 13, 2021 Urban Farmer Field School, Extension specialist Dr. Andrew Ristvey gave a hands-on demonstration of how to test the pH and electrical conductivity of your soil or growing substrate. Photo by Jessica Duerstine, USDA-NRCS. 

    Andy Kness teaches

    Extension educator Andy Kness taught about disease management at Whitelock Community Farm, as part of the 2021 Urban Farmer Field School series. Photo by Jessica Duerstine, USDA-NRCS. This training was supported by funding from Maryland USDA-NRCS.

    Cucumber beetle and hairy galinsoga

    Cucumber beetle is an important pest of cucurbits, because it can spread bacterial wilt disease. Hairy galinsoga is an important weed of vegetable crops, because it grows quickly and produces a lot of seeds. Photo by Neith Little, UMD Extension. 

    Dave Myers teaches IPM

    Agriculture and Food Systems Extension Educator Dave Myers taught about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the June 21 Urban Farmer Field School at Oliver Community Farm. IPM includes prevention, scouting, and treatment based on pest thresholds. Photo by Neith Little, UMD Extension. 

    Professor and Extension Specialist Dr. John Lea-Cox taught about soils and growing media at the June 2021 Urban Farmer Field School. Choosing the right fertility test depends on what material you are growing in. Salinity and pH are also important metrics to monitor. Photo by Neith Little, UMD Extension.

    Marcus Williams teaches about food safety

    UMD Master Gardener Coordinator Marcus Williams teaches about food safety. 2021 Urban Farmer Field School Series. Photo by Preston Keres, USDA.

    Missed one of the classes above.  Check out Urban Farming YouTube channel to find the recorded sessions.

    Urban Farming YouTube channel