Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tomato Workshop This Friday!!

Tomato Workshop:

Highlighting Studies on Growing Organic Heirloom Tomatoes

And Growing Tomatoes with a Microbially Active Biochar Product

When: August 21, 2009 10:00 AM

Where: Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, NC
Directions at:

The Studies:

Organic Production of Heirloom and Heirloom-type Hybrid Tomatoes by Jeanine Davis and Dilip Panthee
Farmers and gardeners have been very interested in the organic heirloom tomato studies that we have conducted at this research station since 2004. This year, 11 heirloom tomato varieties and 9 new heirloom-type hybrids are being grown with an organic insect and disease control strategy that we have developed from results from the previous years’ studies. For the first time, we are growing these indeterminate tomatoes on a high-stake, string and weave system instead of a standard trellis system. There will also be a taste test to compare all the varieties.

Assessing the Effects of Fertilizer Rates and Carbon-based Soil Inoculants on Tomato Growth and Yield by Jeanine Davis
Everyone is talking about biochar and how it can improve crop yields, remediate soils, reduce fertilizer use, sequester carbon, and as a byproduct of its manufacturing, be a source of an alternative fuel. This study is one of several in the Southeast testing CHARGROW, a biochar product inoculated with beneficial soil microorganisms. Different formulations of the product were used to grow the transplants at two rates. The plants are being grown under three fertilizer regimes. Organic disease and insect control products are currently being used. A member of the Carbon Char Group will be present to discuss biochar and CHARGROW.

Tomato Sandwiches Provided: Back by popular demand-free tomato sandwiches! Make your own sandwich-we’ll provide the tomatoes, bread and mayonnaise. Chips and tea will round out this light lunch.

Come Prepared: This is an outdoors workshop. We will have canopies set up, tables, and chairs. If we have heavy rain, we will move inside for the taste tests and lunch.

For More Information: Please call Terri Schell at 828-684-3562 or email her at

Funding: Funding for these two projects was provided by Brandt Consolidated ( and a member of the Carbon Char Group (

Who is Conducting These Studies: These studies are being conducted by Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, and Dr. Dilip Panthee, Assistant Professor, in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. They are located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, NC. The Mountain Research Station maintains the research plots and provides technical support for the projects.

There is word that some representative from Ingles Supermarket plan to attend the workshop. The representatives would like to meet with local farmers with an emphasis on "organic" and "local". Ingles is making a big effort to buy local, so you might want to rearrange your schedule to attend!

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