Tonight: Get thee to Coshocton

June 30.The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series continues with the Regenerative Vegetable Farm Tour from 6:30-9 p.m. this evening at the Amish-run Blossom Acres Produce in Coshocton. The 15-acre farm produces vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits plus pastured eggs, chicken and more. Get details here on pp. 28-29. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is co-presenting the series together with five other groups.

How to boost crop yields, protect water quality

CornfieldTwo field days on the best ways to use nutrients on farms are set for late July in northwest and western Ohio.

Both events aim to help farmers maximize their crop yields while minimizing nutrient runoff risk, says co-organizer Greg LaBarge, a field specialist with CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension.

Doing that, he says, can lower input costs, raise profits and limit water quality threats such as harmful algal blooms. Read about both events. (Photo: Nelson A Ishikawa, iStock.)

This weekend: Pick a peck of 4 farm tours

Image of big red pepperThe Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series continues this weekend with four events. Details are in the series booklet here. Scroll to the page numbers given for each.

Saturday, June 25

• Sunny Meadows Flower Farm Open House, 1 p.m., Columbus, p. 16.

• Pasture-Raised, Rotationally Grazed Livestock Tour, 2 p.m. at Pastured Providence Farmstead, Chillicothe, p. 8-9.

Sunday, June 26

• Creative Gourmet Produce Farm Tour, 2-4 p.m. at Peace, Love and Freedom Urban Farm, Columbus, p. 33.

• Hands-On Gardening Workshop, 2-5 p.m. at Earth-Shares CSA at Grailville, Loveland, p. 37.

CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is one of six co-presenters of the series.

Friday in Hillsboro: How to make your grass-fed beef even better

June 24.Next in the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series is Raising the Steaks: Finishing the Finest Beef on Grass from 1-5 p.m. Friday, June 24, at White Clover Farm in Hillsboro in southeast Ohio. The series booklet says Jim Linne of the farm and Troyce Barrett of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service “will delve into the finer points of managing a grass-fed herd to improve the marbling and flavor of your beef.” Details: Download the booklet here, then go to page 18.

How to help soils, crops and water, and also deal with climate

Dark skies looming over corn fieldsThe July 28 Soil, Water and Bioenergy Field Night at CFAES’s OSU South Centers in Piketon will feature new and innovative ways to grow soybeans, corn and wheat in a changing climate.

Growing cover crops, practicing long-term no-till and spreading gypsum on the soil — which offer a triple benefit of better soil health, crop yields and water quality — also are on the agenda.

CFAES scientist Rafiq Islam, an organizer of the event, says the topics, will “help farmers make knowledgeable decisions about best management practices that provide long-term economic and environmental benefits.” Read more …

Find them on a farm near you: ‘Ideas you can put to use’

Woman looks up on light bulbIt’s all about innovation. Starting in August, CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team will present 10 tours of Ohio farms to spotlight new crops and methods. “It’s an opportunity for participants to kick the tires on other farm operations and see how other folks are addressing sustainability issues,” said CFAES’s Mike Hogan, who’s a co-organizer of the series and a member of the team. Details about the tours here.


A handy new guide to the bees in your garden

Image of bumble bee 2Ohio’s bees are more than honey bees. They’re bumble bees (like this one), carpenter bees, cuckoo bees and others, and you can identify more than a dozen of them — types you’re likely to see in your garden — using a new pocket card from CFAES. (Photo: David Cappaert,