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NC Cooperative Extension Offers Free Squash and Cucurbit Field Day to Area Farmers, Gardeners Aug. 21

Aug. 13, 2012. During the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, NC Cooperative Extension and Fishel Farms will lead a field day on producing and managing squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons and other varieties of cucurbits in the High Country. The Cucurbit Field Day will take place at Fishel Farms, located on John Halsey Road in Grassy Creek from 4 to 7 p.m. This field day is free and open to all area farmers and large-scale gardeners with an interest in growing and harvesting cucurbit crops. The field day will include the following teachers, specialists and leaders:

  • Farmers Deb & Sanford Fishel will showcase the squash, cucumber, and pumpkin varieties they have planted as part of the certified organic vegetable component of their farms. The Fishels now market this produce across the region via the New River Organic Growers Cooperative as well as through Eastern Carolina Organics
  • Kelly L. Ivors, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, will discuss disease management on cucurbits, covering cultural, organic, and conventional options for powdery mildew, downy mildew, angular leaf spot, and other common and rarer plant diseases.
  • James F. Walgenbach, Professor and Extension Entomologist, North Carolina State University, will identify the common insect pests that attack squashes and cucumbers, and discuss organic and conventional options for managing insect pests on cucurbits.
  • Mike Adams, North Carolina State University Department of Plant Pathology Research Associate, will discuss the forecasting of downy mildew, giving growers a tool to more effectively protect their crops in advance of this disease’s arrival in the region.
  • Jonathan R. Schultheis, Professor and Departmental Extension Leader, North Carolina State University Depatment of Horticultural Science, will discuss the details of cucurbit crop management, from variety choices for virus and disease resistance, to establishment and fertility. He will share results from recent cucurbit variety trials and other research.
  • Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan will give an overview of producing cucurbits in the High Country climate, including field preparation, soil fertility, mulching options, and timing of plantings. 

The Fishel’s farm is located north of Jefferson in the Grassy Creek region of Ashe County. To reach the farm from downtown Jefferson, take 221 North, and turn left to stay on 221 N. / 16 N. where they diverge from Highway 88. Travel straight on 16 N. for exactly 13 miles from this turn (US 221 N. will have turned right toward Sparta shortly after this first turn – do not take it). At nearly 13 miles, look on left for the Rural Fire Department sign, and then pass Sussex Rd. as helpful landmarks. Immediately after Sussex road, turn right onto John Halsey Rd. Look for Farm Field Day signs at the third drive way on John Halsey Road.

Although this farm does not have a 911 address or residence on the property, it can be easily found using the directions above. An accurate Google Map and aerial photo is also available by searching for John Halsey Rd Grassy Creek, NC 28631.

To insure adequate materials for all participants, pre-registration is encouraged. To register, or for more information, call the NC Cooperative Extension Watauga County Center at 828-264-3061.