Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Have Been Awarded a New Grant for Organic Broccoli Study!

This is Emily in our 2010 organic broccoli study in Waynesville
I am just beside myself with excitement!  My program has been awarded a new grant by the Organic Farming Research Foundation to conduct a project entitled "Participatory Screening of Broccoli Varieties for Organic Systems in Western North Carolina."  The two main objectives of this project will be 1)  to identify the best new and existing broccoli varieties adapted to the organic farms and markets in western North Carolina and 2) use participatory varietal selection to facilitate farmer involvement in choosing and evaluating the broccoli varieties.  Varieties will be trialed at the Mountain Organic Research and Extension Unit at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC.  We will be proceeding with our organic certification on that research land now.  We will be working closely with the New River Organic Growers up in the high country because of their extensive experience in growing organic broccoli. This study will dovetail with the broccoli research we are already doing at that station as part of the Eastern Broccoli Project.  I am especially excited about the timely of this project because Amy's Kitchen, who is starting a new plant in Greenville, SC, just announced that they want to buy lots of organic broccoli from this region!  Credit for this grant really goes to the research specialist in my program, Emily Bernstein.  She is the one who developed this idea and wrote the proposal.  Congratulations, Emily!

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