This course will focus on the basics for soil testing and soil health, cover crops, choosing crops to grow, field preparation, season extension, an equipment wish list, marketing, weed management options, diagnostics for plant problems, disease management, insect management and pesticide application. We will cover some annual pest problems for several common vegetable crops.
Trainer: Matthew DeBacco is a three-time UConn graduate, receiving his Bachelor of Science primary major in Pathobiology and a secondary major in Horticulture along with a minor in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Education and a Masters in Agronomy studying organic suppression of powdery mildew in cucurbits and analysis of the degradation of fiber pots in a field plot setting. He has worked with farmers across the state as a Nutrient Management on Farm Planner where he helped growers allocate nutrients in a cost-effective manner. He also has provided one-on-one consulting along with diagnosing field problems while offering guidance for growers and providing reports for grower alerts. In addition to this, he has taught college and high school level science classes. As a hobby, he enjoys growing giant pumpkins and has held the Connecticut state record twice with his largest being 1,766.5 pounds.
Trainer: Shuresh Ghimire is the Extension Educator for vegetable crops with UConn Extension. Shuresh has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Washington State University (WSU) and was studying crop yield and quality with biodegradable plastic mulches for vegetable production before he joined UConn in July of 2018. He has also done work on the effects of organic manures and urea on bell peppers.
Prior to working in Washington, Shuresh was a Horticultural Development Officer for the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agricultural Development in his native Nepal. He worked extensively with farmers conducting trainings and plant clinics and created extension publications and reports. Shuresh also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Soil Quality – YouTube Video, Matthew DeBacco
Jude Boucher’s Online Training
This project is sponsored by the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Award #2016-70017-25416