Fall Fruit Field Night coming to South Centers

By Bradford Sherman
Ohio State University South Centers

PIKETON — Have you ever eaten an Ohio-grown fig? You can learn to grow these super sweet, flavorful exotic fruits right in your own backyard, or as a commercial crop on your farm, during an informative field night coming to The Ohio State University South Centers.

In addition to figs, other high-value specialty fruit crops such as blackberries, grapes, and raspberries will be discussed as part of the Fall Fruit Field Night set to take place on October 10. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a light dinner, and then the program will run until around 8:30 p.m.

Expert South Centers faculty and staff members will be on hand for presentations, demonstrations, and to answer your questions on a variety of topics related to high-value specialty fruit crops. The event is being hosted by Professor Gary Gao, a small fruits specialist, and Research Assistant Ryan Slaughter.

This particular event is a new one of the calendar for the small fruits team at South Centers, and a departure from the summer field night format held the past few years.

“We are really excited to deviate from our traditional summer field night, and be able to offer attendees information on management practices that should be completed at the end of the growing season,” said Slaughter, “as well as feature some of our late-maturing crops like hardy figs.”

The cost of the workshop is $25 per person, or $40 for a couple, and includes a light dinner. You will need to preregister by Monday, October 7 by calling Program Assistant Bradford Sherman at 740-289-2071 ext. 115 or by emailing your registration information to sherman.1473@osu.edu.

As an added bonus, the first 25 individuals to pre-register for the event will receive two free raspberry bushes (one Heritage and one Caroline). The bushes will be distributed at the close of the field night.

Topics covered as part of the Fall Fruit Field Night will include:

  • How to trellis hardy kiwis
  • Rotatable cross arm trellis for blackberries
  • Late season vineyard management
  • Weed badger demonstration
  • Raspberry cultivars
  • Hardy fig production

“Hardy figs are an unusual and exotic fruit. We believe that once you taste this unique fruit, you will be just as excited about them as we are,” Slaughter added.

Attendees will taking a wagon ride for outdoor field tours and demonstrations, and some walking may be required, so please plan to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The workshop will be held rain or shine, although the agenda is subject to change depending on weather.

OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon. Attendees should enter the Research and Extension Building upon arrival.