Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Vegetable Conference in Asheville

Winter Vegetable Conference
February 16-17, 2011
Crowne Plaza Resort, Asheville, NC

If you are a commercial vegetable grower, you don’t want to miss the 43rd Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Tomato Growers Association and Winter Vegetable Conference to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, February 16th & 17th, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, North Carolina.

The educational program, with associated pesticide credits, covers important issues related to growing the vegetables in this area. Some of the topics to be covered include controlling blossom drop and reduced fruit set in tomato, protecting vegetables from disease, stink bug control, food safety regulation updates, how to grow cucurbits in WNC, growing heirloom tomatoes, an update on the new east coast broccoli project, whether you should consider starting a CSA, and updates from two tomato breeding programs.

In one of the largest tradeshows of its kind in the region, you can visit with the representatives from over 43 agricultural companies and other businesses and organizations that support our industry.

Registration and the trade show will open at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 16th, with the program beginning at 12:30 p.m. A social is planned Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday's activities begin with registration, trade show and educational programs opening at 9:00 a.m., and end with a 12:30 p.m. lunch and awards program. A special workshop on the new fumigation regulations will follow the luncheon.

For the 16th year, the conference will include a silent auction with the proceeds going to the N.C. Tomato Growers Association’s scholarship fund. Association members donate all the items. This auction has become one of the highlights of the conference with great deals sold to the highest bidders. Results are announced during the sponsored lunch on Thursday.
Conference pre-registration is $20.00/per person prior to February 4, 2011. Registration will be $25.00/per person at the door. For more information, visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

Temporary Job Position Open in WNC-Broccoli and Hops Project with NCSU

Work Location: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, NC

Supervisor:  Dr. Jeanine Davis, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Temporary Job Title: Research Assistant
Hourly Pay Rate: $12

Length of Assignment: 10 months (From approximately mid February through mid November

Date Needed: February 21, 2011 (this is flexible)

Weekly Hours: Usually 40 hours per week, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F. Occasional nights and weekends

Job Duties:  The primary responsibilities for this employee will be to assist with two new projects on broccoli and hops. The employee will assist by helping construct a trellis, install irrigation, set out field plots, plant, fertilize, prune, train, install row covers, harvest, and grade. Employee will also collect and enter data, create photo journals, and maintain research notebooks. Research will take place at research stations in Mills River and Waynesville as well as farmers’ fields in Buncombe, Haywood, and Madison counties. Employee will assist with conducting field days, workshops, and other educational sessions. Some writing for and posting on websites and blogs will be expected. Employee will be expected to interact with other researchers, farmers, and the general public.

Apply for position number 11ASO8 at NCSU Jobs.  In addition, send a resume and a cover letter indicating why you want this position and why you think you are qualified directly to Applications will be accepted through February 11, 2011. 
AA/EEO In addition, NC State welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (919) 515-3148. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree verified at Degree must be obtained prior to start date

Friday, January 14, 2011

How is Our Truffle Demonstration/Research Orchard Doing?

With the support of Franklin and Betty Garland of Garland Truffles in Hillsborough, NC, we established a small demonstration/research orchard at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC.  Here is a quick overview of what we did and how it looks.

In October 2009, we started preparing the soil; opening up the beds where we planned to plant our trees.

We overwintered the inoculated filbert trees in an unheated greenhouse.

In mid-March 2010, we applied fertilizer and lime, tilled it into the beds and laid landscape fabric over the beds (actually, silt fencing).

We planted the trees on April 15.

Drip-tape was laid on top of the landscape fabric.

This is what the orchard looked like in late June.

This is what it looked like in mid-August.

And this is how it looked in late fall.

In spring, we will inspect the trees for insects and diseases and apply more lime to the soil.