During the afternoon of Thursday, July 26, 2012, NC Cooperative Extension and Ivy Point Farms will lead a field day on producing and managing day-neutral strawberries in the NC High Country. The Strawberry Field Day will take place at Ivy Point Farms, located at 1789 Beaver Creek School Rd. in West Jefferson, NC, from 4:00 PM through 7:00 PM. This field day is free and open to all area farmers and large-scale gardeners with an interest in growing and harvesting strawberries. The field day will include the following teachers, specialists, and leaders:
· Farmers Jim & Kathy Barlow will showcase their recently-planted patch of day-neutral strawberry varieties, including Albion, Seacape, Mara des Bois, and Evie 2. Unlike traditional strawberry plants that only yield in May or June in the NC High Country, these and other day-neutral varieties will produce berries throughout the summer and fall.
· Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan will give an overview of producing day-neutral strawberries on black plastic mulch, including field preparation, soil fertility, and disease prevention.
· Dr. Hannah J. Burrack, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Entomology at North Carolina State University, will discuss managing insect pests on strawberries, with a focus on her research into managing the recently-arrived exotic fruit fly pest known as the Spotted Wing Drosophila.
· Dr. Jeremy A. Pattison, Assistant Professor of Strawberry Breeding and Genetics at North Carolina State University, will discuss the relative merits of various day-neutral strawberry varieties available to growers today. He will also describe his own efforts to develop varieties specifically adapted to North Carolina growing conditions.
To insure adequate materials for all participants, pre-registration is encouraged. To register, or for more information, call the NC Cooperative Extension Watauga County Center at 828-264-3061.