Alternative Crops and Organics Research Highlights Tour-August 20

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Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC

8/10/2015 – (this event is over) Join us on August 20th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a tour and discussion of our current organic and specialty crop research projects at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC. Map and directions.

What you will see: the certified organic Mountain Organic Research Unit, with studies on breeding organic melons, squash, and cucumbers for organic growers; breeding tomatoes with disease resistance for organic farmers; a participatory study to select summer broccoli varieties for organic farmers; growing tomatoes for testing out organic produce wash solutions; and organic farmscaping and trap cropping. We will visit a study looking at the feasibility of growing stevia on a commercial scale in western NC and our two Black Perigord truffle orchards; The large multi-state, private-public breeding project to develop broccoli varieties specifically for East Coast producers will also be included on the tour. We will transport you around the research station on covered trailers equipped with benches. Let us know if you have special needs so we can make it comfortable for you.

What you will do: You will hear from the researchers about these projects and see the results of the studies designed to help farmers and gardeners in our region. You will have the chance to interact one-on-one with the scientists and their research assistants. Where possible, you will get to taste some of the varieties of tomatoes and cucurbits we are trialing. You will definitely get to taste the stevia!

What to bring: Please dress appropriately for field conditions, including shoes or boots, hats, and umbrellas. Bring a water bottle or snacks for the morning, and feel free to bring your cameras, questions and curiosity! If it rains hard, we will move inside to talk.

This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required but it would help us for planning purposes if you would just drop a quick email to let us know you are coming.

This tour is highlighting the work of the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program run by Dr. Jeanine Davis in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. You can learn more about her program on her website at and on her blog at

Questions should be directed to

The highlighted projects are funded by grants from the USDA/NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, the Organic Farming Research Foundation, USDA/NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, and the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program administered through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.