Summer open houses highlight sustainable agriculture research at UGA
By Merritt Melancon
The University of Georgia is a hub for research that will shape farms tomorrow, and northeast Georgians will get a sneak peek at the future of farming at two farm tour open houses this month.
At the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Durham Horticulture Farm and J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, it’s a tradition to open the gates each summer and show off the research being conducted at each farm.
The researchers and staff at the Campbell Center, located at 1420 Experiment Station Road in Watkinsville, Georgia, will host their annual farm tour and corn boil from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m on Tuesday, June 25.
Conceived as a way to introduce neighbors to the farm’s research back when the 1,055-acre farm was operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the center’s annual corn boil is just what it sounds like: a feast made from the corn grown on the property.
Since 2013, the Campbell Center has served as the hub of CAES’ sustainable row crop and pasture research. From living mulch to rotational grazing for grass-fed beef, researchers here work to make traditional agriculture more profitable and sustainable.
Van tours will highlight the farm’s roughly 30 ongoing UGA research projects related to sustainable farming systems, nutrient cycling, water quality, organic production, livestock grazing systems, forage breeding and variety trials.
Lunch will be served at about 12:30 p.m. For more information about the corn boil, email Brooke Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Later that week, the researchers and farm managers at Durham Horticulture Farm, located at 1221 Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville, will open the farm gates for the 2019 Twilight Summer Field Day. This educational evening stroll around the farm will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.
For the past seven years, the summer tour at Durham Horticulture Farm has provided the northeast Georgia farming community—and those who are simply curious—about where their food comes from with a chance to stroll UGA’s 90-acre organic research and horticulture farm and learn the latest information about organic growing methods.
Faculty and researchers will be at their plots to talk about their research and to share best practices for small and medium vegetable and fruit producers. Topics covered will include natural pest and disease control, viticulture, no-till vegetable production, organic watermelon production, pollinator protection and beekeeping, and more.
The Twilight Summer Field Day promises to be compelling for anyone interested in fruit and vegetable production, organic farming, and the challenges that growers face and how they overcome those challenges.
Past summer tours have attracted more than 100 visitors to the Durham Horticulture Farm, and it’s a pleasant and informative way to wind down a summer evening.
In the case of inclement weather, the 2019 Twilight Summer Field Day will be held on Friday, June 28.
For more information on the open houses, email George Boyhan at email@example.com. To learn about sustainable agriculture at CAES, visit sustainagga.caes.uga.edu/news.html.