Explore Unique Horticulture Topics At Field Day

Explore Unique Horticulture Topics At Field Day

Local farmers and Scattergood Friends School students will hold unique field day Oct. 1 near West Branch in eastern Iowa. It's a great opportunity to see on-farm testing of timely horticulture topics.

A great opportunity to see on-farm experimentation on timely horticulture topics--that's how to best describe an upcoming field day on October 1 in eastern Iowa.

"We are currently exploring using green versus brown manure for fertilizer, using soybeans as a cover crop in asparagus to add fertility and examining the potential benefits of lifting vines to direct growth and improve production," says host farmer Mark Quee. "I look forward to showing folks how we grow a lot of the food we eat, how we try to live well in community and walk lightly on the earth."

Farmers Mark Quee and Dana Foster will share the latest research from Practical Farmers of Iowa on cover crops, sweet potatoes and asparagus. Join them Saturday, October 1 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Scattergood Friends School, 1951 Delta Ave., West Branch, Iowa 52358. Anyone who is interested is invited to attend this free event.

The field day will also examine such topics as whether free-range poultry makes economic sense, and will look at a collection of youth-led research projects. Other topics include using high tunnels to extend the growing season for vegetables in Iowa, and an explanation of NRCS programs and technical assistances available for non-traditional farmers. "I look forward to showing folks how we grow a lot of the food we eat, how we try to live well in community and walk lightly on the earth," says farmer Mark Quee.

"We grow our own food as much as we possibly can, and we try to live well in our community and walk lightly on the earth."

Scattergood Friends School is a small Quaker boarding school about 15 miles east of Iowa City, with approximately 10 acres of IDALS-certified organic gardens and orchards and about 30 acres of pastures, upon which they grass-finish beef and lamb. Scattergood also raises a few heritage breed Guinea hogs, a small flock of turkeys, occasional broiler flocks, and a laying flock of about 100 chickens. Scattergood primarily grows food for their school, but also markets some products through New Pioneer Coop in Iowa City and Coralville.

This is event is free, open to the public and includes a meal. Participants should arrive at 3 p.m., the farm tour begins at 4 p.m. and dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. This Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day is being held in conjunction with Iowa City's Field-to-Family Festival. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Sally Worley, 515.419.9551, [email protected].

"This field day will be a great opportunity to see on-farm experimentation on some timely horticulture topics. We are currently exploring using green versus brown manure for fertilizer, using soybeans as a cover crop in asparagus to add fertility and examining the potential benefits of lifting vines to direct growth and improve production," says host Mark Quee. "I look forward to showing folks how we grow a lot of the food we eat, how we try to live well in community and walk lightly on the earth."

Directions to the field day: Exit 254 off of I-80, north into West Branch; east on Main St., turns into Herbert Hoover Highway, 2 miles east; right (south) on Delta Ave. for a 1/2 mile. 

PFI and its members will be hosting more than 30 field days in 2011. Most field days are free, and everybody is welcome to all of them. For a copy of the 2011 Field Day Guide, you can call the PFI office at 515.232.5661 or down load a printable PDF at practicalfarmers.org/events/field-days.html.

Practical Farmers of Iowa recognizes the following sustaining sponsors: Albert Lea Seedhouse, American Natural Soy, Iowa Farmers Union, ISU Extension, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Seed Savers Exchange, USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, in addition to the following major sponsors: Iowa Forage and Grassland Council, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), CROPP Cooperative of Organic Valley/Organic Prairie Family of Farms and Iowa State University Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture.

Founded in 1985, PFI is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515.232.5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

TAGS: Soybean
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