It has been a great year at Upstart University, thanks to our amazing community of farmers and students! We are thrilled to see so many people working together to improve the agriculture and food systems in their communities and to provide their neighbors with fresh, healthy, and tasty produce.
To this end, the students on Upstart University have been busy! Wondering what they’ve been up to this year? Here are the top 5 trending courses of 2018:
Before choosing which production method you will primarily use to grow produce on your farm, it’s important to understand the construction, biology and proper design factors of each. This course introduces each of the most popular modern production methods. You will learn what each method is, how it works, and the important decision-making factors based on the construction, biology, and design for the following methods. We strongly recommend that every student complete this course before choosing their primary growing technique so they understand how their farming and business goals are affected by the production method they choose. This course includes methods like:
- Deep Water Culture (DWC)/Raft
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
- Media beds
- Bato buckets
4: Intro to Hydroponics
Hydroponic farming has become increasingly popular as countries, their economies, and their populations realize that arable land is disappearing while demand is growing. Whether you’re interested in starting your own hydroponic farm or just want to know what all the fuss is about, this is the course for you. One of our more advanced, more involved courses, its topics range from the origins of hydroponics to managing a hydroponic farm to the best crops for hydroponic systems. So, if you’re looking to get a well-rounded introduction to hydroponic growing, take the course!
3: Growing and Selling Microgreens
If you’re a first-time grower looking to develop your “green thumb” while starting to build a profitable basis for your farm, this course is for you!
Microgreens have become an incredibly popular crop choice for both consumers and growers. They are easy and cheap to grow, are salable for a premium, and have incredible margins. As a result, many new growers are finding microgreens to be a “gateway crop” into farming.
Starting with microgreens will allow you to get in touch with your markets, practice growing at a low-cost level, and pull in a revenue stream while building out your full farm and product line. Just remember – people can only eat so many microgreens; there is a market cap!
Ready to start growing microgreens?
2: Goals & Action Planning
Setting goals and action planning are two pivotal steps in the success of any business. Upstart University is here to guide you in their creation in order to help you get your Upstart Farm up and running. To get started, let’s assess your farm goals, analyze your current position, and organize an official timeline to keep things moving forward.
This course is for anyone who is considering starting an Upstart Farm. It will provide prospective farmers a place to begin by urging them to think critically about what they want to accomplish and to write actionable goals based on those considerations. In addition, this course provides guidelines to describe and list possible limitations to the goals, develop a timeline to complete them, and create a mission statement which describes what those goals mean for the farmer, their families, and their communities.
1: Hydroponic & Aquaponic Crops
From origins and history to growing timelines to markets and pricing, this course will help you make the decision of which plants you should grow in your hydroponic or aquaponic systems. Learn about the most common greens, herbs, fruiting crops, and specialty crops that indoor farmers have grown over the years, and find inspiration for your own farm!