Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tomato and Vegetable Field Day at Research Station in Mills River


Photo by Steve Schoof
 
Annual Tomato and Vegetable Field Day

Date and Time:  Thursday, August 8, 2013 starting at 12:30 pm
Location:  Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759. 
For More Information: Contact Jeanine Davis at Jeanine_Davis@ncsu.edu or 828-684-3562 

Western North Carolina is well known for producing high quality tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, and other vegetables. Agricultural scientists with NC State University provide support to these growers by developing new varieties and researching the best practices to grow safe, nutritious vegetables that can yield a profit for the farmer while protecting our mountain soil and water. To help diversify agriculture in the region, they are also exploring potential new crops such as hops for the craft breweries and medicinal herbs for the natural products industry. The field day will open with a trade show, tomato taste test, and registration.  Participants will then tour the research station on event trailers (with comfortable seats and protection from the sun). The event will conclude with a pig pickin’ at 6:00 pm at Lake Julian (about 10 minutes away). The field day will take place regardless of the weather, so dress accordingly. This is a free event sponsored by NC State University, the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the NC Tomato Growers Association, and the industry.

Directions to the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station: From I-40 in Asheville, take I-26 South (Exit 46). Travel approximately 9 miles to Hwy 280 (Exit 40). Follow Hwy 280 South approximately 2 miles to Ferncliff Park Drive on the right. Turn right onto Ferncliff Park Drive (used to be Old Fanning Bridge Rd.).  At the entrance to Ferncliff Park, turn left onto Old Fanning Bridge Road. Cross the river and turn right onto Research Drive. IF THERE IS A ROAD CLOSED SIGN AT FERNCLIFF PARK DR., FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS BELOW.

Revised temporary directions to the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station:  Construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near our facilities resulted in a temporary road closure. Old Fanning Bridge Road at Hwy NC-280 has been renamed to Ferncliff Park Drive. If that road is still closed on the Hwy NC-280 side at the time of the field day, people coming in from I-26 should follow these directions: continue south on Hwy NC-280 past Ferncliff Park Drive.  At the third light, turn right on Hwy NC-191 (Old Haywood Road).  Go several miles and turn right on Old Fanning Bridge Road.
Research Stops:
  • Incidence and Persistence of Salmonella & Escherichia coli in Environmental Samples from North Carolina Tomato Production Systems
  • Tomato Taste Test: Ensuring Good Flavor in New Varieties
  • Sweet Corn Yields from a Long Term Tillage & Production Management Experiment
  • Effects of Organic and Conventional Production Systems under Conservation and Conventional Tillage on Water Quality
  • Examining the Feasibility of Hops as a New Crop for Western North Carolina: A Variety Trial 
  • Seed Source Effects on the Growth, Yield and Biochemical Composition of the Medicinal Herbs Echinacea purpurea and E. angustifolia
  • Evaluating Fungicides for the Management of Early Blight, Late Blight, and Phytophthora Blight
  • Tomato Variety Replicated Trials 2013
  • Comparison of Foliar versus Drip Irrigation Application of Insecticides on Pepper and Cucumber
  • Tomato Insecticide and Miticide Trial
  • Cucurbit Downy Mildew: Prepare, Predict, Prevent
  • NC Comments on Proposed Produce Safety Rules

 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Event: New Opportunities for Biodynamic and Organic Farming in Western NC





Event:  New Opportunities for Organic and Biodynamic Farming in Western NC

Date:   August 1, 2013

Time:   2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Where:  Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759

To reserve a space: Call Erin at 267-372-0339

Description: There are new business opportunities for organic and biodynamic production in western North Carolina and this is the event to learn all about them!  Jim Fullmer from Demeter, the biodynamic certifying organization, will discuss what is involved in being a commercial, certified biodynamic farmer.  “Coach” Mark Smallwood the executive director of the Rodale Institute will discuss their plans for western North Carolina. And Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor of Horticulture at NC State University will lead a panel discussion to cover the rising demand for large-scale organic and biodynamic vegetables from the region.  This event is sponsored by Brad’s Raw Foods, Demeter, NC State University, and Rodale Institute.

Detour: Construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near our facilities has resulted in a temporary road closure for road widening.  Old Fanning Bridge Road is closed on the Hwy NC-280 side; that is the direction most people come in on from I-26.  So, to get to our facilities from I-26, continue south on Hwy NC-280 for several miles.  Turn right on Hwy NC-191 (Old Haywood Road).  Go several miles and turn right on Old Fanning Bridge Road. 

For more information, contact Jeanine_Davis@ncsu.edu  or Erin at 267-372-0339.

After Dinner Party:  Join us for an after dinner raw chocolate, kombucha, and biodynamic wine garden party by: Ashevilleage Institute starting at 8:00 pm at 80 Buchanan St., Asheville, NC 28801 (come around to the back!)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Late Blight Confirmed in Asheville, NC


Late blight alert:
 
Dr. Kelly Ivors, plant pathologist at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River sent out this alert this evening:

Late blight was detected in a West Asheville tomato garden. It is now in our general area. Details on the disease can be found here:
http://plantpathology.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/07/pest-news-late-blight-found-in-north-carolina/
And details on how to manage it, can be found here:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Tomato_late_blight_ki.pdf

***************************************************************************
From Jeanine Davis:
There is a good article by Dr. Margaret McGrath, plant pathologist at Cornell University on late blight on tomatoes and potatoes in organic production.  It can be accessed here:
http://www.longislandhort.cornell.edu/vegpath/organic_late_blight_management.pdf

In western NC, we have had some success in the past with holding off late blight by alternating copper and Serenade.  Some organic growers have reported success with alternating copper, Serenade, and Regalia.  As both of the pathologists point out in their articles, however, these products have to be present on the foliage before the late blight spores land on the leaves. With all the rain we are having, it is making it very difficult to keep spray materials on the foliage.

Good luck, everyone!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Volunteers Needed to Help Us in Our Woodland Herb Demonstration Area!


You are Invited to Help with the Woodland Botanicals Clean-Up!

Many of you have been out to tour our beautiful woodland medicinal plant demonstration area at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station. The heavy summer storms have made a mess and we need a lot of extra hands to help clean up debris so we can keep offering walking tours and mini-workshops. This is an opportunity to see these woodland botanicals up close and personal, exchange knowledge with other interested individuals, and learn more about our current research and education efforts.

The volunteer work day will be July 16th starting at 9 am. Please bring work gloves, water, and wear appropriate clothing. You can pack a lunch and we can eat in one of the conference rooms in the Center. Come for an hour or two or spend the day with us.

 Please meet in the gravel parking lot to your left as you enter the Research Station (this is the facility down near the river where the greenhouses are). Note, the construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near the research station has resulted in a temporary road closure. If you come in via I-26 please follow these directions to get to our facility:
Old Fanning Bridge Road is closed on the Hwy NC-280 side. So, to get to our facilities from I-26, continue south on Hwy NC-280 for several miles. Turn right on Hwy NC-191 (Old Haywood Road). Go several miles and turn right on Old Fanning Bridge Road. The research station will be on your left (74 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759).

Questions? Please contact Margaret Bloomquist at margaret_bloomquist@ncsu.edu or 828-684-3562 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting x257.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hops Variety Trial Tour-Friday, July 12

Tour the NC State University
Hops Variety Trial!
Friday, July 12, 2013
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station
Mills River, NC
 
 
In direct response to the expressed needs of hops growers in North Carolina, three years ago we established a hops variety trial at the research station in western North Carolina. Ten varieties were planted on a 20 foot trellis.  The first year (2011), we had one of the prettiest hop yards in the Southeast.  The second year (2012), Downy Mildew, spider mites, and Japanese beetles took a terrible toll on the plants and the differences between varieties really became apparent. We lost one variety completely; Newport.  Downy Mildew actually killed the crowns. This spring we took the opportunity to informally test a few new varieties by planting them where the Newport crowns had been planted.  This year we have taken a much more aggressive approach to controlling diseases and insects.  We have also done some cultural practices, such as spring pruning in an effort to increase lateral formation and yields.
 
So, come on out late Friday afternoon.  Take a look at these varieties and let's share our experiences growing hops in western NC. As many of our longer-term growers will attest, research such as the variety trial here is so important to the success of this industry.  It can help you, the grower, prevent some costly mistakes.  When a variety, spray material, or practice doesn't work in our yard, it is "lesson learned for all of us". When it doesn't work in your yard, it is time and money lost.
 
Note, the construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery next to the research station has resulted in a temporary road closure.  If you come in via I-26 please follow these directions to get to our facility:
 
Revised temporary directions to the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station:  Construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near our facilities has resulted in a temporary road closure for road widening.  Old Fanning Bridge Road is closed on the Hwy NC-280 side; that is the direction most people come in on from I-26.  So, to get to our facilities from I-26, continue south on Hwy NC-280 for several miles.  Turn right on Hwy NC-191 (Old Haywood Road).  Go several miles and turn right on Old Fanning Bridge Road.
 
No registration is required. This is an outside event, so dress accordingly. Suggested donation of $5 per person.  If you have questions, please email or call Kelly Gaskill, Kelly_Gaskill@ncsu.edu or 828-684-3562.