Classes meet Tuesdays

4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

through November 6th 


Classes are held on the farms throughout the Nevada County region.  See schedule for details.  Directions emailed one week prior to class. 


Molly Nakahara
Sierra Harvest

Farm Crew Agriculture Skills Course, 2019

Hone your skills! The Sierra Harvest Ag Skills Course offers a season of in-depth classes all about production farming.  All classes are taught on farms in Nevada County by local farmers and agricultural professionals. Location details are emailed one week in advance of class.  This course is designed to for beginning farmers interested in production scale agriculture. 

Sign-up for the course at any of these levels:

$385 ($35/class) - The Entire Course - includes all remaining 11 classes.  Email kalita@sierraharvest to learn more about our payment plan option.

$280 ($40/class) - Half the Course - includes any 7 classes of your choice

$45 for any individual class

Register Now!


June 25th


Class 5:  Identifying Pests, Beneficial Insects and Management Options with Cindy Fake, UCCE Horticulture & Small Farms Advisor

Learn to identify the various pest and beneficial creatures that impact agriculture in Nevada County.  An in-depth conversation on Integrated Pest Management will cover methods of working within ecosystems to prevent pest damage and attract beneficial species.  Cindy Fake, UCCE Horticulture and Small Farm Advisor, has supported farmers in Placer and Nevada counties years and is an expert on crop production in the region. 



Class 6:  Pick, Process & Pack!  Post-harvest handling with Kali Feiereisel and Stone’s Throw Farm

Join Kali Feiereisel from the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and Steven & Bryanna Eisenhut from Stone’s Throw Farm and learn great post-harvest handling of vegetable crops.  We’ll look at what farmers can do to maximize the quality, freshness, and shelf life of farm harvests including packing shed design, cold storage and packaging.  This class includes a brief review of the food safety regulations that impact small farmers.  Kali Feieresel is a farmer and food safety expert with CAFF living in Grass Valley.  Stone’s Throw Farm is a certified Organic farm in Colfax, CA growing a wide array of vegetables and flowers for local markets. 



Class 7:  No-Till & Permaculture Farming with Leo Chapman of Chapman Family Farm

See a small, diversified farm in action. Leo will introduce us to a farm system that integrates animals into a No-Till fruit and vegetable system.  We will have an opportunity to take close look at the permaculture techniques he uses on his farm including hugelkulter, swales, and perennials.  If it can be grown in Nevada County, Leo has grown it!  Leo founded the Living Lands Agrarian Network and has trained countless aspiring farmers in the area. He is a true local agricultural hero and elder, with much wisdom to offer.    

July 30th 

Class 8:   Crop Sales and Succession Planting - From Field to Customer with Ken and Aleta Barrett of Starbright Acres Family Farm. 

Having the right quantity of a crop at the right harvest time is an art!  Join Ken and Aleta for a look at forward crop planning and production for commitments to grocery stores, restaurants and food hubs throughout the season.  They will also share how they sell direct to customers at farmers’ markets and their farmstand.  Starbright Acres Family Farm is a certified Organic, intensive farm that produces $100,000 + of vegetables per acre. 



Class 9:  Small Farm Machine Operation and Maintenance with Paul Glowaski of Dinner Bell Farm.  You go into farming to get your hands in the dirt, but every farmer spends a good amount of time with wrench in hand.  Knowing how to keep equipment in good working order is an essential skill. Learn tools and tips for keeping your farm machines in great working order.  Regular maintenance can save you time and money!  Paul Glowaski runs Dinner Bell Farm and has rebuilt everything from walk-behind tractors to weed whips, chainsaws to tractors.  He apprenticed with the infamous Lowell Webb of Webbs Farm Supply. 



Class 10: Fields in Forests:  A holistic approach to agriculture in the foothills with Tim Van Wagner of First Rain Farm 

What is the foundation of a sustainable farm?   How can we produce more from the resources of the land and import less?   Tim’s class will take a close look at First Rain Farm’s approach to integrated land management and farming through our livestock, forestry, fruit and vegetable operations.  He will share how these aspects of the farm are interconnected and how they support one another.   First Rain Farm produces vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, milk, forest products, compost and more on 40, certified Organic acres just outside of Nevada City. 



Biodynamic Agriculture & Farm Scale Composting with Marney Blair & Lisa Bjorn of Fulcrum Farm   Learn from the best compost makers in the county!  Fulcrum Farm’s compost is some of the highest quality, most alive compost available.  Lisa and Marney will share the basics of biodynamics and explain the secrets of creating high quality compost on a large scale.  We’ll visit the compost yard and tour their biodynamic farm and cow dairy.  Fulcrum farm has been developing their biodynamic & Organically certified 60-acre farm for the past 18 years. Their combined knowledge of soil health, animals & farming makes for a valuable afternoon of education. 




Class 12:  Crop Planning, Successions & Rotations with Missy Neville of Mountain Bounty Farm

The foundation of every farm is a great crop plan.  Learn to plan your season and extend your harvest window with well-timed crop successions and thoughtful plant rotations.  Missy Neville has been farming with Mountain Bounty for 7 years, and along with an amazing crew of folks, runs one of the oldest CSA’s in the Sierras, cultivating 18 certified Organic acres of fruits and vegetables. 




Class 13: Growing Crops in Fall, Winter & Spring with Shannon Ousley and Michael Whammond of Hillview Farms

“Shoulder” season crops can be a great way to increase sales and find a niche market.  Join Michael and Shannon from Hillview Farms and explore various methods of extending crops into cold and wet weather.  With many high tunnels and protected growing areas, Hillview Farms is a great example of year-round farming and intensive, low-till agriculture. 



Class 14:   Seed Production and Seed Saving with Sarah Silverheels of For the People Seeds   

With the current loss of our seed heritage from large corporations purchasing so many seed companies, seed saving has become paramount to life saving.  We will learn what and how to plant for seed harvest and be shown some seed saving, cleaning and storage techniques.  Sarah Silverheels includes among her vegetable crops many varieties of traditional native plants for basketry and forage.  Sarah will share her knowledge of production seed farming and teach us to be seed keepers. 



Class 15:  Reading & Understanding Soil Tests and Plant Nutrient Needs with Amigo Bob Cantisano of Organic Ag Advisors  

Amigo has interpreted thousands of soil tests and advised on soil health for some of the largest farms in California and elsewhere.  One of the most influential figures in California organic agriculture, Amigo Bob Cantisano is perhaps best known as the founding organizer of the annual Ecological Farming Conference.  His search for a reliable source of organic inputs led him to start one of the first west coast farm suppliers, Peaceful Valley.  Organic Ag Advisors, has assisted hundreds of farms in transitioning from conventional to organic agriculture.