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Ohio Ag News Headlines
Statewide Tours to Feature Hops, Aquaponics, Urban Ag
Ohio Ag Connection - 05/15/2014

Hot topics in agriculture, including hops production, aquaponics and urban agriculture are featured in the 2014 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

From increasing consumer demand for fresh, locally grown, healthful foods, to the growing demand for local hops production to feed Ohio's rapidly expanding and increasingly lucrative craft brewing industry, the demand from producers and growers for information and resources on these agricultural options is huge, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of Ohio State's Sustainable Agriculture Team.

That's one reason why the team will host 12 of the 30 tours offered this year by the team and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The tours are part of the 2014 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, which provide a unique opportunity for growers and other interested people to experience these and other agricultural operations directly from farmers.

"The tours give people a chance to see other people doing various agricultural operations and production techniques which can help them figure out if this type of venture could work for them on their farms," Hogan said. "It gives participants the opportunity to see for themselves if it is something they may want to seek more information on to see it is something that they can do on their farm.

"Sometimes the answer is yes, but other times the answer is no, and that's OK, because our goal is to help people figure out what does and doesn't work for them."

Another goal of the Sustainable Agriculture Team is to help people to consider economic sustainability, the environment and social consciousness when farming. Complete details and a list of all 30 tours in the series can be downloaded at http://www.oeffa.org/documents/farmtour2014.pdf.

The Ohio State team's tours in the series:

-- May 22, Strawberry 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, spotted wing drosophila monitoring and trapping, and Integrated Pest Management techniques. From 6-9 p.m., OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. Registration is $15 and includes dinner. The deadline to register is May 19. Contact 740-289-2071, ext. 132 or mcglothin.4@osu.edu.

-- June 8, High Tunnel and Raised Beds Farm Tour. A look at how Mary Gzniak utilized 18 acres of hilly land with depleted soils to grow produce using one acre of raised beds, three high tunnels, and one hoop house. From 2 to 4 p.m., 14820 Township Road 211, Lakeville. Contact Gzniak at 330- 473-8206 or praisetohimgnizak@gmail.com.

-- June 14, Greenhouse and Garden Center Tour. A look at a greenhouse and garden center producing flowers, fruit trees, landscape plants and vegetable starts. The garden center provides organic gardening supplies, tools and garden decor, and also features a small cafe with locally sourced foods. View on-site poultry, cattle, goats, and alpacas raised on GMO-free feed. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Petitti's Garden Center and Greenhouse, 5828 Columbus Road NE, Louisville. Contact Cindy Petitti at 330-455-5997 or cindypetitti@gmail.com.

-- June 17, Organic Research Field Day. Learn about the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's research related to organic crops and inputs, including the multi-year organic pastured poultry and naked oats project. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., OSU West Badger Farm, Apple Creek Road, Wooster. Register by June 9. The center is the research arm of CFAES.

-- June 27, a free screening of "Growing Cities: A Film About Urban Farming in America," a documentary that examines urban agriculture as a way to help growers develop local food systems. A local foods reception and panel discussion will follow the film. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., Ohio Union, 1559 N. High St. in Columbus.

-- July 10, Managed Livestock Grazing Tour, at Paulus Farms, a beef cow-calf operation that utilizes stockpiled forage with small round hay bale production for winter feed in a strip-grazed system. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., 41800 Paulus Ridge Road, Woodsfield. Call 740-472-0810 or landefeld.6@osu.edu.

-- Aug. 8, Non-Profit Urban Farm Tour. A look at the Robert J. Anderson Urban Agriculture Center, 900 Oneida St., Toledo. The three-acre urban farm uses greenhouses and sustainable practices to grow produce along with bees, chickens and turkeys. The site is a hub for more than 120 community gardens in the Toledo GROWs network, providing support to the gardens in the form of free seeds, plants, tool loans, gardening advice, and workshops. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Yvonne Dubielak or Susan Noblet at 419-720.871 or yvonne.dubielak@toledogarden.org or susan.noblet@toledogarden.org.

-- Aug. 21, Hops Production. A look at the new hops research effort that is evaluating new hop cultivars, innovative hop production techniques, insect and disease control methods, and techniques for harvesting, processing, and marketing that can be adopted by Ohio farmers to provide hops for Ohio's growing brewing industry. From 6 to 9 p.m., OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. The cost is $15 and includes dinner. Contact 740-289-2071, ext. 132 or mcglothin.4@osu.edu to register.

-- Aug. 22, Community Revitalization and Urban Farm Tour. A look at Sophia Buggs' efforts to restore vacant lots behind her Youngstown home. She grows medicinal herbs, specialty crops, cut flowers, microgreens and mushrooms on her 1.2 acre urban farm, and sells products through her wellness business, and at on-farm, community and neighborhood events. From 2 to 5 p.m., at Lady Bug Farm, 519 Carroll St., Youngstown. Contact 330-272-6651 or ladybuggsfarm@gmail.com.

-- Sept. 6, Aquaponics Facility Tour. A look at Fresh Harvest Farm, which grows chemical-free produce using aquaponics. Aquaponics combines aquaculture, or raising fish in a contained environment, with hydroponics, growing in a soilless, recirculating water system. From 2 to 4 p.m., 33869 Fields Road in Richwood. Contact 614-264-9098 or info@freshharvestfarmllc.com.

-- Sept. 13, High Tunnel and CSA Farm Tour, a look at the Farm on Kenyon Road, which offers a community supported agriculture program. The farm uses high tunnels and produces pasture-raised beef and poultry. From 1 to 3 p.m., 11749 Kenyon Road, Gambier. Contact 740- 397-0401 or schirtzinger.55@osu.edu.

-- Oct. 9, Pumpkin Field Night, which will showcase OSU South Centers' pumpkin field research including cultivar evaluations, disease and insect identification and control, irrigation management, pollination, Israeli drip irrigation demonstration and management, and Integrated Pest Management techniques. From 6 to 9 p.m., OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon. Cost is $15 and includes dinner. Contact Charissa McGlothin at mcglothin.4@osu.edu or 740-289-2071, ext. 132.

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