On Friday, March 21, 2014 I was a presenter at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Field Day at their Demonstration Farm near Goodman, MS. Topics for the event were high tunnel construction, mulching, irrigation, and fruit crops (site and variety selection). It was a beautiful day and Keith Benson, Farm Director, did a great job of putting the program together. I don’t know the final tally on number of attendees but I would guess between 50 and 60. Dr. Bill Evans, Associate Research Professor at the MSU Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station (@npkveg), was there as was Dr. Jairo Diaz, Assistant Professor from Alcorn State University, Jim Ewing, Outreach Coordinator, NCAT/ATTRA Gulf States, National Center for Appropriate Technology (@OrganicWriter), and folks from the University of Mississippi Transactional Law Clinic. Jim was live-tweeting during the morning sending out photos like the one below:
I was there to discuss two very important aspect of fruit production: site selection and variety selection. Of course site selection is important because the location and plant are married once put in the ground (for perennial fruit crops anyway). Variety selection is also important because of environmental adaptation. For us in Mississippi, understanding chilling hour requirements plays a big role in variety choice. In the photo below I am discussing slope and aspect to the group.
I put together short notes for each of these presentations, and they can be downloaded at the links below.
Overall it was a great experience. The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production is doing some great work. If you get the chance to attend one of their workshops I would recommend it — the lunch was great too!