I learned how to grow crops by taking a Master Gardner class and by looking online for information available from the great people and organization of the Cooperative Extension Services. If you like audio, search for “farmers podcast” and I am sure you will find something you like. I have made at least two failures for every gardening success I’ve had.
All my vegetables are in raised beds. I don’t make a living at farming so my focus is definitely not as intense or as well skilled as a full-time farmer. I do raise 90% of the vegetables, fruit, nuts, and eggs we eat and share the extra with friends.
What is the Cooperative Extension? In 1914, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partnered with a nationwide network of “land grant” universities to create a system of “extension” services. The goal of these services is to improve life across the country with advice from local experts regarding all things agriculture and farming and much more. A wonderful Master Gardener program class is available to gain knowledge and increase your ability to raise food. To get some idea of what is available online simply search your state.edu and your interest. There are usually tips and information about your county where you live. Example: “iowa.edu growing peaches”. Pests are a big problem if you go organic and they have lots of research and tips on how to do it. Here is an easy way to find the nearest Cooperative Extension office near you: http://npic.orst.edu/mlr.html