Dive into your specialty (crops) on Feb. 7

CFAES’s 2017 Southwestern Specialty Crop Conference, which offers some two dozen classes under five main tracks (fruit production; vegetable production; specialty cropping systems; pesticide safety and farm management; marketing, harvest management and food safety) is Feb. 7 in Loveland near Cincinnati.

Registration open for February hops conference

cone of hopThe 2017 Ohio State University Hops Conference and Trade Show is Feb. 24-25 at CFAES’s South Centers in Piketon. Online registration is available here. Hops are a main ingredient for making beer.

CFAES scientists, for their part, are continuing to develop ways to grow hops sustainably in Ohio.

fact sheet from CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension, says, “Locally grown hops could support a diversity of producers, with significant profit to be made on small acreage.”

Sweet story; or, heat things up with ice wine

Ice Wine GrapesSo this story is about the economic sustainability of Ohio’s $786 million grape and wine industry, the weather- and climate-related sustainability of the state’s valuable but cold-sensitive vinifera grape vines, and the taste-related sustainability of a “nice racy acidity” and a “long pleasing finish” on your palate and that of your Valentine. Check it out (includes links to a short video and a good short summary of how CFAES supports Ohio’s grape growers). (Photo: iStock.)

New co-op could help hop crop pop: OEFFA conference preview

hops for GBOn Ohio small farms, as a high-value niche crop, hops, yes, are hopping. And now a new program could help them hop higher. The Ohio Hops Growers Cooperative and Alliance will jointly help members with planting, promotion, group-purchasing and more. Brad Bergefurd, a leader of CFAES’s own (here it comes) nonstopping, bebopping, hop-popping efforts (thankyouverymuch), will talk about the co-op and how it can help you. “Cooperatively Growing the Ohio Hops Industry,” Session III B, 10:35-11:30 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 36th annual conference. (Also coming, in the first week of February, are two CFAES workshops on hops.) (They’re the tops.) (Photo: iStock.)