Seminary Hill Farm at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio is holding the Certified Organic College Farm Tour from 5 to 6 p.m. June 12. The school is in Delaware north of Columbus. The farm raises heirloom vegetables, fruit and chickens. Visitors will interact with the farmers, “explore season extension techniques, learn about their young farmer apprentice program and meet their bees,” the event description says. The tour is part of the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series and is the specific presenter of this event.
In addition to the Growing Right Oral History Pop-up Tour in Columbus, there’s a second event set for June 10 in the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series: the Snowville Creamery Open House in Langville in southeast Ohio. The event includes a field walk, milking parlor tour, homemade ice cream and live music. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m.
On Feb. 12, a research team including CFAES soil scientist Rafiq Islam will present “The Dirt on Organic Matter.” It’s a special preconference workshop being held before the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Feb. 13-14 annual conference in Granville.
The team members have spent the past 15 years studying soil organic matter, its benefits to crops and the best ways to boost it on farms run organically; the workshop is based on their findings.
“Soil organic matter is the cornerstone of soil health,” Islam said. “As with any agricultural production system, maintaining a healthy and productive soil is the foundation of sustainable organic farming.”
The first principle of organic farming? Healthy, biologically active soils mean healthy crops. In fact, microbes and other organisms living in the soil affect every aspect of crop production, from weed competition to pest resistance to a crop’s nutritional quality, says research by CFAES scientist Larry Phelan. He’ll share what he’s learned on such topics as how crop plants actually recruit soil microbes and how farm practices affect those microbes — and a crop’s health as a result. “Inside the Black Box: Understanding Soil Biology in Organic Farming,” Session IV, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 36th annual conference.
There’s a new pest plaguing Ohio’s berry crops, and you can learn more about it — the damage it can do, how to spot it and how to manage it organically — from CFAES entomologist Celeste Welty. “Spotted Wing Drosophila: A New Berry Crop Pest,” Session III A, 9:30-10:25 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 36th annual conference.
Can so-called “naked oats” make it cheaper to raise organic chicken? Scientists in our college have received a USDA grant to find out. The oats have a special protein and amino acid balance, will be grown as part of an organic rotation, and will be tested in the diets of pasture-raised organic broiler chickens. They could make up to 80 percent of the birds’ diets. Why are they called naked oats? Read more …