[Market Farming] Fwd: [SANET-MG] Learn How to Grow a “Super Food” at Sept. 17 Oklahoma Event
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 25 01:51:31 EDT 2011
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Learn How to Grow a “Super Food” at Sept. 17
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 15:20:10 -0500
From: trinity.red <trinity.red at GMAIL.COM>
To: SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU
In November 2007, the Wall Street Journal, in a front page story,
panned the sweet potato.
The venerable newspaper pointed out that annual per capita consumption
(4 lbs.) hadn't changed in 40 years and trailed even celery. The
conclusion: once the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are over, the
sweet potato "might as well be a turnip."
It now appears that this unassuming vine, with its sweet fleshy roots,
did not take this dig lying down.
Fast forward to 2011 and the sweet potato is everywhere: in an array
of colors at farmer's markets, in recipes, in restaurants, in bags of
"fries" in the frozen foods aisle.
Why this reversal of fortune?
In 2007, the sweet potato also made the list of ten "super foods" that
Americans should eat on a regular basis for good health. Its
popularity has been climbing steadily ever since, leaving the turnip
in the dust.
For farmers and gardeners in Oklahoma, where the sweet potato grows
well, this is good news. The vine is heat loving and heavy bearing,
and according to OSU Extension, “can be one of the most profitable
vegetable crops grown in Oklahoma.”
Whether for market or home use, the public can learn how to grow sweet
potatoes at a field day on Saturday, September 17, from 10-4:30 at the
Kerr Center, near Poteau in eastern Oklahoma.
The “Organic and Heirloom” Field Day topics will include varieties,
planting and harvesting methods, irrigation, and pest management.
Pre-registration is required by Sept. 7. For a list of all topics, or
to register online, visit www.kerrcenter.com or call the center at
Featured speakers include Dr. Warren Roberts of OSU/ARS Lane
Agricultural Center and Gary Schaum of Duck Creek Farms in Mounds,
Oklahoma. Roberts' topic will be sweet potato production for field and
garden. Schaum will talk about heirloom varieties.
Tools useful for small scale production of sweet potatoes, and
machinery designed for use on small farms such as the Italian-made BCS
walk-behind tractor, will be on display.
In addition, organic production techniques will be covered. ODAFF
experts will be on hand to talk about organic certification. Brian
Freking, LeFlore County extension educator for agriculture, will cover
assistance and resources available to farmers and ranchers.
The Kerr Center is in the second year of a project growing “heirloom”
or old fashioned varieties of sweet potatoes organically. Okinawa
Purple, Carolina Ruby and Oklahoma Heirloom are just three of the
twelve sweet potato varieties being grown in the trial being funded
with a specialty crops block grant from the Oklahoma Department of
Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF).
More information about the marketfarming