2019 MOSES Organic Field Day

 

Add Unusual Fruits to Your Farm

Wednesday, August 21 |  10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  |  Free 

Blue Fruit Farm
31762 Wiscoy Ridge Road
Winona, MN 55987

 

Highlights from the field day:

 

An awesome group showed up for the field day! Lots of great questions! The day started with samples of aronia juice, aronia lemonade, and various jams made with Blue Fruit farm berries. After that Jim and Joyce led us on a tour of Blue Fruit Farm. Jim filled us in on the nitty gritty of his composting procedures and shared tips about fencing and netting while Joyce shared how they grow their many different fruits, including details about planting, pruning, pest and disease management, and harvest.

 

Prairie Moon Nursery is part of the 358-acre Wiscoy Valley Land Coop that Blue Fruit Farm and other farms share. Jim and Joyce sell seed from their established prairie to Prairie Moon. Presenter Kaitlyn O’Connor shared how to incorporate native perennials on your farm. Here is an example where Jim and Joyce have incorporated plantings of hairy mountain mint in this row of plum trees.

 

 

 

Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator for Fruits and Vegetables, shared several ways to organically deal with the ever-increasing spotted wing drosophila problem for fruit growers. Using exclusion netting, of at least 80-gram mesh, is one technique Annie shared.

 

 

Joyce demonstrated how to test and adjust soil pH levels. Blueberries need the soil pH level to be between 4 – 6. Then Jim gave us a tour of  his irrigation system. The pipe attached to the rain gutter collects rainwater and takes it to a huge tank, which is used to irrigate the orchard. It is all solar powered. The speaker is used to broadcast cries of predator birds to scare other birds away from the fruit crops.

 

 

Presenters:

Jim Riddle and Joyce Ford, Blue Fruit Farm

Jim Riddle & Joyce Ford have had a profound impact on organic agriculture, not just as farmers, but also as educators, policy advocates, and advisers. They have worked at local, state, and national levels to promote organic agriculture, and helped shape the country’s founding organic standards in the 1990s. To honor their contributions, they were selected as the MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. They’re also really great organic farmers with lots of knowledge to share!


 

Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator for Fruits and Vegetables

Annie Klodd is a statewide University of Minnesota Extension Educator for fruit and vegetable production. She works with fruit and vegetable farmers to develop and deliver research-based education on growing a range of crops. Her recommendations focus on organic and sustainable solutions, as most of the farmers she works with grow organically. She manages the new UMN Fruit and Vegetable Newsletter and co-hosts the UMN fruit and vegetable podcast called “What’s Killing My Kale?” Annie grew up on a vineyard in Iowa and has an M.S. in Plant Science (Horticulture) from Penn State University.

 


 

Kaitlyn O’ Connor, Outreach Specialist, Prairie Moon Nursery

Kaitlyn O’Connor works for Prairie Moon Nursery, which provides over 700 species of native plants for woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Jim and Joyce sell seed from their established prairie to Prairie Moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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