These meetings are free of charge to members of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and NOFA-VT members. Non-member registration is $3 per person. Everyone is asked to help prevent the spread of soil-borne plant disease by wearing the plastic booties which will be provided by UVM Extension at all the meetings. Thank-you for your cooperation.
April 10, Tuesday, 2-5 pm
Greenhouse IPM, Killdeer Farm, Norwich
This is the 20th season that Jake and Liz Guest have been growing crops at Killdeer Farm. They have 9 greenhouses and high tunnels for the production of their own vegetable transplants, as well as bedding plants, hanging baskets and greenhouse tomatoes for retail sale at their farm stand. Jake has long been experimenting with biological controls and cultural practices to manage pests like thrips. Maragaret Skinner and Michael Brownbridge from the UVM Entomology Lab will join us in a discussion of greenhouse IPM strategies, including scouting procedures, pest identification, and use of bio-rational pesticides. Directions: Take exit 13 (Norwich) off I-91 onto route 5 north. Stay on route 5 for about 2 ½ miles. Just after the vet clinic on left, turn left onto Butternut Rd. The farm is at end of road.
May 22, 2-5 pm
Strawberry IPM, Norris Berry Farm, Monkton
Norma and Rick Norris converted their dairy farm to horticultural production 17 years ago. They now grow about 40 acres of vegetables and 8 acres of fruit and they have several greenhouses. The 4 acres of strawberries are among their most profitable enterprises, and also the most demanding in terms of insect, disease and weed management. Using Integrated pest management is one of the Norris’s keys to success. Sonia Schloemann, UMass small fruit specialist will join us for a discussion of strawberry pest scouting, identification and management. Directions: take exit 12 off I-89 onto route 2A south, to route 116 south into Hinesburg. At the very sharp corner just past the IGA stay to the right and get on Silver St., go 5 miles to the first right, Davis Rd., the farm is one mile on the left.
July 23, Monday 2-5 pm
Sweet Corn IPM, Kestrel Farm, Westminster
Tom Harlow grows 12 to 15 acres of organic sweet corn for wholesale and retail markets. For many years he has practiced IPM, scouting his crop and monitoring moth flights using traps for European corn borer, fall armyworm and corn earworm. To control weeds, he relies on timely cultivation with a tine weeder and rolling cultivators. He sprays B.t. for control of caterpillar pests. Recently, he has been applying a mixture of corn oil and B.t to corn silks to manage corn earworm, using a hand-held applicator called the Zea-Later, developed by Ruth Hazzard of UMass Extension. Ruth will join us to explain the technique and the results of her on-farm trials. Directions: take Exit 5 off I-91, go east about a half mile to Route 5. Turn right, and go south on route 5 for about 2 ½ miles. Immediately after the village of Westminster, turn left onto Greenwood Rd, which leads to the farm.
August 2, 4-7 pm
Pumpkin IPM, MacLennan Farm, Windsor
Alex MacLennan has been growing pumpkins for 16 years, half of them in Vermont. He raises about 20 acres of them, in rotation with sweet corn, primarily for wholesale markets. His production practices include cover cropping with hairy vetch and use of the pre-sidedress nitrate test to optimize fertilizer application. Dale Riggs, a vegetable crop consultant from New York and former extension agent, will join us for a discussion of crop scouting and identification of cucurbit insect pests and diseases. Directions: from the south take exit 8 off I-91, turn right off the ramp, then left onto Route 5 north. The farm is about 3 miles up on the left. From the north, take exit 9 of I-91, turn left off the ramp onto route 5 south. Go through Windsor, the farm is 3 miles south of town, on the right.
September 13, 2-5 pm
Vegetable Research and Teaching at the UVM Horticultural Research Center
There has been renewed activity in the area of vegetable research and teaching at UVM during the past few years. Come see some of the experiments that a recent addition to the Plant and Soil Science faculty is conducting. Dr. Buddy Tignor and his graduate student, Nate Sands, will discuss heirloom tomato cultivar trials and alternative cover crop research utilizing potatoes as a model crop. Additionally, student farmers that operate the Common Ground Educational Farm will explain this experiential learning opportunity that provides hands-on experience for undergraduates, as well as 3 tons of produce for the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf and the Salvation Army in 2000. The UVM Horticultural Research Center also has resources such as the Cary Award Collection of outstanding landscape plants for New England. Directions: Take Exit 13 from Interstate I-89 onto I-189 West. Turn left (south) on Shelburne Road (U.S. Route 7) and go 1.5 miles south. Turn left at the traffic light onto Green Mountain Drive after the state highway sign indicating the UVM HORT. FARM. Travel .3 miles on Green Mountain Drive and turn right onto the Horticultural Research Center access road. Questions? Contact Buddy Tignor at Milton.Tignor@uvm.edu or (802) 656-0466.