In an effort to provide fresh market producers with the most up-to-date information on management, production and marketing techniques, Oklahoma State University is teaming up with Langston University and Noble Research Institute to host the spring 2018 Oklahoma Market Garden School.
The eight-week course begins March 6 and meets weekly on Tuesday evenings through April 24, at the E.L. Holloway Agricultural Building, 100 Success Ave., on the Langston University campus. Classes will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lynn Brandenberger, OSU Cooperative Extension horticulture food crops specialist, said the school is geared toward those who are established in the business, as well as those who are interested in exploring a new enterprise.
“Each week’s session will focus on a different area related to fruit and vegetable production, such as getting organized, soils and fertilizer management, crop establishment and irrigation, guidelines for producing fruit and vegetable crops, season extension, pest management, food safety and marketing,” Brandenberger said.
Micah Anderson, Langston University Extension horticulture educator, said specialists from OSU, Langston University, the Noble Research Institute and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission will be on hand to share their expertise.
“Those who are considering establishing a commercial fruit, nut or vegetable farm, or are looking for ways to improve an existing operation, should take note,” Anderson said. “Whether you’re already established in your business or just starting out, the course offers something for everyone.”
The class is limited to 50 participants and preregistration is required. Registration is $60 per individual or $90 per couple. Couples will receive one set of handouts. Online registration is available through a link on OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture website at www.hortla.okstate.edu. To register by mail, a registration form may be printed from this website and mailed, along with payment, to Oklahoma Market Gardening Course, attn: Stephanie Larimer, 358 Ag Hall, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-6027, or call 405-744-5404.
“We continue to see the public’s interest increase for locally grown fresh produce. Locally grown food helps to provide for the nutritional needs of people throughout Oklahoma and provides that nutrition in a delicious and appealing package,” Brandenberger said.
Produce grown, harvested and sold in the same area has many benefits, including freshness, food safety due to a localized food production system and lower costs due to lack of transportation expenses.
“You don’t have to have a large operation in order to benefit from this course,” he said. “The information we’ll provide is valuable to both small and large producers.”