Training Tools and Handouts

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


  • 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.

Participatory Benchmarking Tool


  • Digital Download

This guide shows trainers and staff how to use the benchmarking/competency tool with participants to assess skills, knowledge, and performance through self- and staff-administered assessments. You may use the provided materials and tools, or you may develop your own criteria/competencies as needed for your program. This teaching resource was developed by International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, VA 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.

Income and Expense Tool


  • Digital Download

This guide will help you use the ‘Income and Expenses Tool’ with farmers. The tool is an Excel spreadsheet, intended to be used one-on-one with a farmer and a program staff person. This tool can be used after a farmer has completed at least one selling season, or it can be used to make an estimated budget for the upcoming year. This teaching resource was developed by Global Gardens in Boise, Idaho 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.

Independent Wholesale Sales


  • Digital Download

This is a tangible structure tool to teach farmers in a one-on-one setting to manage established wholesale accounts. You will spend ~30 minutes introducing the farmer to the steps in selling to wholesale accounts, introducing them to the resource, how it is laid out, and how to use it. The rest of your time is supporting the farmer in hands-on practice with the resource until they have reached competency.

Food Safety Signs


  • Digital Download

Global Growers worked with a graphic designer to create a set of food safety signs geared toward beginning English and / or beginning literacy farmers. The signs are designed to indicate food safety protocols that are common to most vegetable production farms with a FSMA-compliant food safety program. FSMA requires certain signs around the farm, and these signs are designed to meet FSMA requirements, as well as be geared towards English language learning farmers. The signs can be printed and posted at a farm site, and they can also be used as visual teaching aids in a food safety workshop. There are two sets of signs included: one set has graphics and text, and a duplicate set has only graphics in case the text is confusing to preliterate or non-English speaking participants.

If these signs end up on any of your social media or you share them, please give credit to Sarah Lawrence and either tag her or share her contact info.  Or just send her a message to say how much you love them. Thanks!

Global Gardens CSA Reimbursement Policies

This document provides the policies for how the Global Gardens CSA program reimburses their farmers throughout the season, including what might happen in the instance of crop failure. Intermediate. Keywords: CSA

Farmer Evaluation and Goal Setting

This worksheet acts as an evaluation for the end of the season and helps farmers set goals for the next season. Topics include: in the field, yields, logistics, family support, sales, costs, education, and future goals. Advanced. Keywords: Buisness, Farmer, Goals, Worksheet, Assessment, Season

Risk management and Insurance

Provides information on risk management including why farming is risky, ways to handel risk, types of insurance, and product liability insurance as well as other related information. Advanced. Other keywords: Finance, Entrepreneur

Schedule F Explanation

This document provides the 2013 instructions from the IRS for filling out the Schedule F. Advanced. Other keywords: Finance, Entrepreneur


Subscribe to RSS - Training Tools and Handouts