COLUMBUS, Ohio - Those interested in learning more about how sustainable agriculture in Ohio works will have several opportunities as Ohio State University's Sustainable Agriculture Team hosts seven tours this summer.
The tours will focus on the plasticulture strawberry growing method, hops production, agritourism, organic farming and urban agriculture, as part of the 2013 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.
The series is a unique opportunity for growers and other interested people to experience what sustainable agriculture is all about directly from farmers, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of Ohio State's Sustainable Agriculture Team.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The tour is designed to share and update information among growers and people trying to promote sustainability and move the issues forward throughout Ohio, Hogan said.
"We want to provide farm families and anyone interested in sustainability a place where they can gain new ideas to make their farms or operations more sustainable by looking at alternative enterprises, alternative production systems and alternative marketing systems," he said. "Our goal is to help farmers, business and communities become more sustainable no matter where they are in the sustainability continuum."
Ohio State's Sustainable Agriculture Team works to get people to consider economic sustainability, the environment and social consciousness when farming.
Complete details and a list of all 26 tours in the series can be downloaded at http://www.oeffa.org/pdfs/farmtour2013.pdf#page=1.
The Ohio State team's tours in the series include:
* May 16: Strawberry Plasticulture Field Night - A look at plasticulture strawberry field research including winter protection techniques, Israeli drip irrigation demonstration and management, row cover management, cultivar evaluations, pest and disease control, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. Runs 6-9 p.m. at OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. Contact: 740-289-2071 ext. 132, email@example.com.
* June 21: Fulton County Sustainable Agriculture tour - A look at three successful and economically viable farms in Fulton County, including a winery, a goat cheese farm and a traditional family-run farm that has modified its production to include organic produce, community supported agriculture subscriptions, and high tunnel greenhouse production. The tour will include stops at Kinsman Farm, Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery, and Knotty Vines Farm and Winery. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5328 County Road 22, Archbold. Contact: Eric Richer, 419-337-9210, firstname.lastname@example.org.
* July 12: Fairfield County Managed Grazing and Direct Marketing Meats - A look at the 70-acre Berry Family Farm, which direct-markets freezer beef and value-added products, including beef snack sticks, jerky and summer sausage. Participants can learn how to direct-market beef to consumers. Runs 1-3:30 p.m. at 5500 Canal Rd., Pleasantville. Contact: Hogan, 740-653-5419, email@example.com.
* Aug. 15: Hops Production - A look at the new hops research planting effort and discussion of malting barley research. Participants can learn about new hop cultivars; innovative hop production techniques; insect and disease control methods; and harvesting, processing and marketing techniques that can be adopted by Ohio farmers wanting to provide hops for Ohio's breweries. Runs 6-8 p.m. at OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. Contact: 740-289-2071 ext. 132, firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Aug 17: Urban Community Garden - A tour of Magyar Garden, an urban community garden on the east side of Toledo, where some 15 to 30 families grow food. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2353 York St., Toledo. Contact: 419- 578-6783, email@example.com.
* Sept. 5: Hops Production - A look at the new hops research planting effort and discussion of malting barley research. Participants can learn about new hop cultivars; innovative hop production techniques; insect and disease control methods; and harvesting, processing and marketing techniques that can be adopted by Ohio farmers wanting to provide hops for Ohio's breweries. Runs 6-8 p.m. at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center research field, 5082 Oil City Road, Wooster. Contact: 330-263-3725, firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Sept. 5: Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Field Day - A tour of the Organic Valley corn variety plot, where participants will learn about an organic grain crop and Zeolite soil amendment research, pest scouting and organic controls. Begins at 5 p.m. at 13737 Middleton Pike, in Bowling Green. Contact 419-354-9050, email@example.com.