Which skill level should I use?
There are two versions of the FFGC one for gardeners and one for farmers. The Garderner's version of the FFGC is the basic calculator. The Farmer's version includes a Retail Sales Calculator component.
There are three skill levels* in each version. If you have never gardened before or if you've only had a garden for one season or just dabbled in gardening for a couple of years, use the Beginner skill level. If you do not use, or have not used, bio-intensive methods, use the Beginner skill level no matter how many years of gardening experience you have. If you have 2 or more years of serious bio-intensive cultivation experience and are familiar with using all bio-intensive techniques, use the Intermediate skill level. If you have had 5 or more years of serious bio-intensive cultivation experience, have had consistent success using all bio-intensive techniques, have highly developed soil structure in your planting beds and are in an area where the growing season is very long (i.e. Zone 7 and above), use the Advanced skill level. Consider the following when deciding about your skill level:
A Beginner user can grow x amount of produce on y amount of land.
An Intermediate user can grow 2x amount of produce on y amount of land.
An Advanced user can grow 4x amount of produce on y amount of land.
Because you will not be able to switch skill levels within a particular season without paying additional user fees, please be conservative in your skill level estimate. It is better to use a lower skill level and produce more than anticipated than it is to use a higher skill level and produce less than anticipated.
* Skill levels are based on information from How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons --- Ten Speed Press, 2006