FROM READERS: MU's Bradford Farm hosting Organic Agriculture Field Day

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:12 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Kerry Clark, Jill Staples and Molly (unknown last name) are planting cowpeas, sorghum and sudan grass as summer cover crops between rows of organic tomatoes. The cover crops maintain higher soil moisture and prevent weed growth, among other things.

Steven Easterby works at Bradford Research and Extension Center, which is run through MU.

Bradford Farm is hosting its first ever Organic Agriculture Field Day. This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on August 1st from 1- 6 pm.

Wagon tours will lead groups to many of the important research plots at the farm, where visitors will learn about the latest organic vegetable and grain management techniques.

There will also be equipment demonstrations, lessons on interpreting soil tests, an introduction to composting, free soil carbon testing, and many other exhibits. Organic snacks will be provided, as well as door prizes.

Bradford Farms is located at 4968 S Rangeline Rd, Columbia, MO. You may RSVP by emailing or calling 573-884-7945. (An RSVP is suggested but not required to attend.)

More information can be found below, and on the event's Facebook page.

Conference Center Activities

  • Equipment demonstration for vegetable and grain crops — Morgan County Seeds and MU
  • How to read and use your soil test results.
  • Adding native plants/pollinators to your farming operation — Becky Erickson, Columbia Native Plant Society
  • Free soil carbon testing (bring about ½ cup of soil from each field you want tested. You must also bring soil from an old fence row or yard area that has not been disturbed so we can test a baseline soil from your farm to compare to the fields).
  • Mobile flash freezer demonstration. Missouri Department of Agriculture flash freezer facility will be open for tours.
  • Organic food that has been raised at the Bradford Research Center will be available throughout the day
  • Door prizes will be given out at the end of the day

Field Tour 1

  • Organic vegetable research at MU
  • Organic hoop house production
  • Soil health assessment

Field Tour 2

  • Organic grain crop research at MU
  • Winter cover crops
  • Cover crops and no-till

Field Tour 3

  • Heirloom tomato production
  • Biochar and other soil amendments
  • Composting
  • Trap cropping for insects in vegetable production — Liz Graznak, Happy Hollow Farm

What is going on in your world that you wish the community knew more about? This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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Richard Saunders July 23, 2013 | 2:16 p.m.

Sounds interesting. I'm at a loss to understand what an "organic hoop house" is, though. Mine, for instance, is made out of plastic. ;)

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