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Cooperative Extension, High Country Local First Host Winter Crops Production Workshop Feb. 25

Photo Courtesy of N.C. Cooperative Extension
Photo Courtesy of N.C. Cooperative Extension

Feb. 6, 2013. North Carolina Cooperative Extension & High Country Local First co-host a Winter Crops and Season Extension Field Day in Glendale Springs (Ashe Co.), NC: Monday, February 25, 2013, from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension will lead a Winter Crops Field Day on producing specialty vegetable crops for winter harvests in the High Country region using High Tunnels and other Season Extension strategies. The Field Day will be held at three neighboring farms: Blue Ridge Organics, Berry Patch Farm, and Appalachian Trees. 

The Winter Crops Field Day will include a discussion of vegetable varieties suitable for market production during the ‘off-season’ with no added heat. Patryk Battle of Living Web Farms, Richard Boylan of NC Cooperative Extension, and host-farmers Alan Hanson, Hollis & Jay Wild, and Wayne & Jeanne Berry will lead the Field Day. The day’s speakers will jointly address issues of fertility, weed-management, insect-management, disease management, timing, and harvests. Participants will have the opportunity to scout growing crops at each of the three farms.

The Field Day will begin at 2:00 PM at Blue Ridge Organics Farm, located at 182 Calloway Gap Rd., in Glendale Springs. There, farmer Alan Hanson will showcase his greenhouse production that combines vermicomposting chambers with vegetables such as mache, lettuce, and chard, plus a high tunnel with a selection of both winter vegetable crops and soil-building cover crops.

The second stop of the day will be at nearby Berry Patch Organic Farm, where Wayne and Jeanne Berry will discuss their winter production efforts, from growing carrots in gutters, to starting organic seedlings under lights, and more. The day will conclude at Appalachian Trees, where Hollis & Jay Wild will demonstrate how sustainable soil management and succession plantings keep their unheated high tunnels yielding vegetable harvests throughout the winter.

Workshop co-leader Patryk Battle will bring his more than thirty years of organic growing experience to the event. He works as Head Gardener for the Mountain Air Community Garden. Some may have heard him as one of the passionate hosts of WCQS’s “In the Garden” show.

Others know him through his Burnsville farm – Pat and Carl’s Organics – or through the sustainable farming program he teaches at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. He has also worked as Head Gardener at the renowned Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, North Carolina, and recently helped to found Living Web Farms, where he presently teaches sustainable agriculture. More information about this work can be found at http://www.livingwebfarms.org/

The Winter Crops Field Day is co-sponsored by NC Cooperative Extension and High Country Local First, with a goal of increasing the volume of “High Country Grown” produce in the region during all times of the year. This Field Day is free and open to members of the public. Pre-registration is recommended.

For directions, more information, or to pre-register, call the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Office at 828-264-3061.