From Stevia to Truffles, We Have Lots of Interesting Research in Waynesville This Year

— Written By and last updated by Cloe Nichols

Last Thursday I spent the day at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC checking out my research plots and participating in the annual field day. Here is a quick overview.

research plots
working in the stevia plots

In this study we are looking at the feasibility of growing stevia on a commercial scale in western NC. The study is being done in partnership with Sweet Green Fields and funded by the NCDS&CS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

broccoli plots

This study is part of the Eastern Broccoli Project which is developing new broccoli varieties for east coast production.

organic cucurbit study
organic cucurbit study

This is our organic cucurbit breeding study. This is party of a big multi-state, multi-agency project to develop squash, cucumbers, and melons for organic production. Cucurbit project website

organic broccoli study

This is the third year effort of the organic, participatory broccoli variety study funded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Note all the farmscaping we have included.

vegetable and herb trials
vegetable and herb trials
This is the All-America Selections vegetable and herb trial we conducted. The judges came through last month.
field day attendees on trailers
field day attendees listening to presenters
And here are a few pictures from the field day. If you didn’t attend, you missed out on a good time filled with equipment demonstrations, educational tours, a pork loin sandwich dinner (yummy!), music, and a raffle for a chainsaw.
And where, you might ask, are the truffles? The two truffle orchards are there, I just forgot to take pictures. Right now, just envision a filbert orchard. This coming winter we plan to bring out a trained dog to sniff out any truffles that might be there. We were also just awarded a grant to evaluate methods to determine if the trees you buy and your orchard soils are colonized by the truffle fungi.
And that is what we are up to at Waynesville this year. Watch for notices about our project field days.