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Foodshed Field School

The Foodshed Field School operates without bricks and mortar, offering hands-on, peer-to-peer educational programming on farms and at food businesses across the Chesapeake region.

Who is it for?

The Foodshed Field School offers farmer education on the latest innovations in sustainable growing. Our programs range from introductory to advanced, and come in a variety of formats: panel discussions, field days, intensives, workshops, and even a year-long, intensive Beginner Farmer Training Program.

The field school begins each year with our annual winter conference, and then continues throughout the year, throughout the region: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. We cover a long and ever-changing list of topic areas, including but not limited to:

  • Sustainable fruit and vegetable production
  • Sustainable livestock production
  • Business planning for farms and foodpreneurs
  • And more! Cut flowers, small grains, tree fruit, mushrooms...

Visit our current listing of field programs here.  All programming and the winter conference are open to the public; members receive steep discounts on fees and registration.  

What Does a Typical Field Day Look Like?


While no two field days are exactly the same, most follow a similar format:

  • We gather and begin with introductions to meet everyone in the group and learn more about your background and goals.
  • The farmer or event host provides a farm tour, focusing on the topic at hand.
  • The farmer or event host goes a bit more in-depth with a presentation on the day’s topic.
  • Sometimes, a guest speaker gives an additional presentation. Presentations often take place in the pasture, field, hoop house, or other production space so we can get a real-time look at the decision-making process.
  • Sometimes, we participate in a hands-on activity to get a sense of what the farmer’s day-to-day looks like and gain some topical experience!
  • ​We gather for a potluck, meal, or snacks to wrap-up and continue the conversation.

Have an idea for a field event or a question? Contact us!

Niamh Shortt
Field School Director

Caroline Selle
Central Chesapeake Program Manager