Hydroponic Certification

Interested in farming professionally? Sign up for an intensive course that will teach you everything you need to practice hydroponics and basic horticulture indoors and outdoors. During the Boswyck Farms Certification Course, we’ll build hydroponic systems (everything from small windowsill planters to large scale community projects), and grow any type of food crop imaginable without soil.

In addition to the class sessions, you’ll also learn through hands-on work on real Boswyck Farms projects so you can take your hydroponic knowledge back to your home or workplace with confidence. The Boswyck Farms Basic Certification Course is an excellent introduction to the industry, a great way to start establishing credibility, and a solid professional development program.

Certificates of course completion will be presented to graduating students (assessed through final day of testing).

The full cost of the course (35 hours of class time plus one day of testing) is $3,000.

We regret to announce that we are currently unable to run the hydroponic certification course. For more information, please email education@nullbowyckfarms.org.

The general course will cover the following:

What is hydroponics?

An introduction to the basics of hydroponics: learn the history of hydroponics, discuss the pros and cons of growing hydroponically vs. traditional soil growing.

Hands-on: familiarize all students with every component of their system so that they can identify, name, and handle each element. What kind of hydroponic system is it? How does it work? What are the different parts that make it work, and what does each one do?

Planting the Seeds

What are the different kinds of crops that can be grown in different hydroponic systems, and why? What can you plant in your system? How do you plant it? Starting the growth cycle: learn about the optimal conditions for growth.

Hands-on: Each student will become comfortable with the materials needed for seed planting. Initial crops will be planted in grow cubes and installed in the germination system.

Germination & Next Steps

What is crop rotation, and how do we know when to rotate? A discussion about the growth cycle of plants: how to notice each phase of growth and what to expect in terms of nutrient uptake and adjustments.

Hands-on: Students will share observations about their plants’ growth thus far. Review of log-keeping and journalling practices.


A more-in depth review of seedling botany, using plants in the system as examples. How do we know when to transplant? Introduction of the raft system in detail: how do we add nutrients, control air flow, monitor water levels and pH?

Hands-on: Students transplant their plants from the germination system into the raft system. Additional log-keeping for raft system begins.


What do you do if something goes wrong? A basic overview of common problems: system malfunctions, leakages, power outages, nutrient deficiencies, etc. An introduction of more complicated problems: pest control, diseases, mold and algae.

Hands-on: Students share logs and receive an in-depth review, along with hands-on feedback about any problems that may have occurred thus far.


A more intensive investigation of plant reproduction, including a discussion of genetics, heirlooms, and varietals. What are heirloom seeds? Why is it important to use non-standard varieties?

Hands-on: Log-sharing, troubleshooting (as necessary), and examination of where seeds were sourced from.

Why urban farming?

An introduction to food justice, and the role of hydroponics in the growing urban farming movement. How much food can the city grow for itself? What benefits does farming provide in addition to healthy produce? How do commercial urban farms work?

Harvesting, Overview & Summary

Harvesting: how do you do it? Growth cycle review and summary: what happened? What went right? What went wrong? How did we fix it? Journal review and wrap-up. Introduction of next steps for systems and introduction of DIY ideas for home growing.

Hands-on: Students will harvest their fully grown plants, and use the produce to prepare simple celebratory foods for the last day of class.


The course will conclude with a day of testing. All students who past the test will receive an official certification of course completion in basic hydroponics from Boswyck Farms.