Everyone is invited to attend the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s 2017 Organic Crops Field Tour, on Thursday, October 26. Visitors will learn first-hand about the latest research efforts and organic growing recommendations while enjoying the facilities at the UT East Tennessee AgResearch Education Center Organic Crops Unit.
Among the featured topics on the agenda for commercial producers are packing house design, true costs of vegetable production, bio-stimulants and bio-fertilizers, growing and marketing cut flowers and more. A grower’s panel discussion will round out the afternoon program.
Home gardeners will also be interested in a discussion of “top picks” and “to do’s” for fall gardens and a discussion of producing truffles and fruits.
UT Extension’s bee expert, Dr. John Skinner, will present an update on the state of bees and beekeeping, and the popular “Ask the Experts” tent will feature UT experts answering questions about weeds, insects and plant diseases. Guests are invited to bring samples for identification.
During lunch Steve Muntz, executive director of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, will present the keynote address, “Sustainable Agriculture in Tennessee – the Time Is Right!” An Exhibit Tent will be available to tour all day. The day will conclude at 3:30 p.m.
Preregistration is $10 and includes lunch. The deadline to preregister is October 16 to receive a discounted rate. After that date guests are invited to register on-site the day of the event for a cost of $15 per person. A vegetarian lunch option is available upon request for those who preregister. On-site registration begins at 9 a.m. EDT, with educational seminars and tours scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. For more information and to preregister, visit the website.
You may also call the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at 865-974-7201 to request an accommodation for accessibility.
The Organic Crops Unit is a 90-acre outdoor research laboratory located at 7315 Government Farm Road (off TN Hwy 168, Gov. John Sevier Highway). Approximately 21 acres of the site are in production, 14 of which are certified organic. Seven acres remain under conventional production for research comparison purposes. The facility includes several high tunnels and a greenhouse.