OSU and Noble Foundation Hosting Spring Market Gardening School in ChickashaThu, 08 Dec 2011 10:58:46 CST
In an effort to provide fresh market producers with the most up-to-date information on management, production and marketing techniques, Oklahoma State University is teaming up with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, to host the spring 2012 Oklahoma Market Garden School.
The eight-week course will begin Jan. 17, 2012 and will meet weekly on Tuesday evenings through March 6 at the Grady County Extension Office, located at 828 W. Choctaw in Chickasha. Classes will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration is $75 per individual or $95 per couple. Couples will receive one set of handouts.
Lynn Brandenberger, OSU Cooperative Extension horticulture food crops specialist, said the school is geared toward those who are established in the business as well as those who are interested in exploring a new enterprise. Each week's session will focus on a different area related to fruit and vegetable production, such as getting organized, soils and fertilizer management, crop establishment and irrigation, guidelines for producing fruit and vegetable crops, season extension, pest management, food safety and marketing.
"We have a great bunch of specialists from the three groups hosting this event who will share their expertise during the eight sessions," he said. "Whether you're already established in your business or just starting out, we'll be offering something for everyone."
The class is limited to 50 participants and preregistration is required. Click here for the online registration website. Click on Horticulture/Landscape once you are at the website. To register by mail, download the registration form from the department of horticulture and landscape architecture's website, and send it, along with the payment, to Oklahoma Market Gardening Course, attn: Stephanie Larimer, 358 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078-6027 or call her at 405-744-5404.
"We continue to see the public's interest grow for locally grown fresh produce. In addition, there are a growing number of public schools around the state that want to purchase fresh produce from local producers for their lunch programs," Brandenberger said.
Produce that is grown, harvested, and sold in the same area has many benefits, including freshness, food safety due to a localized food production system and lower costs due to lack of transportation expenses.
"You don't have to have a large operation in order to benefit from this course," he said. "The information we'll provide is valuable to both small and large producers."
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