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Monday, October 28, 2013
This will be the last weekly posting of the update for this season. I will continue to send out relevant information for the next few months regarding many training opportunities that are upcoming. The weekly updates will resume Feb 1.
1.4 inch soil temp: 38.1 F
2.Growing Degree Days Since April 1,2013 = 3173.5 GDD Average** = 3042.5 GDD
3. Mushrooms in high tunnels at U of I Dixon Springs. The first harvest of wine cap mushrooms grown in a high tunnel at the Dixon Springs Ag Center occurred on October 23, 2013. Our goal at DSAC is to learn if mushrooms can be produced profitably in high tunnels so that they can be used as a fall and winter crop in rotation with tomatoes. In addition to wine caps, oyster, shitake, and lion's mane will also be part of the ongoing studies. We are evaluating different species and cultural methods to determine economic feasibility for small scale producers. (Jeff Kindhart, U of I)
4. University of Illinois Extension's Local Food Systems and Small Farms team has a You Tube Channel!
5. Sign up for these important training opportunities ASAP so they are on your to-do list.
2014 Small farm/Local Foods Webinar Series-a series of 12 sessions on timely topics for small farm producers (Jan-Mar). All sessions can be viewed from your home computer and will be archived for later viewing.
Illinois Specialty Crops Conference- Springfield, IL. Jan 8-10, 2014
Pumpkin Workshop- U of I Extension office, Galesburg, Il. Dec 5, 2013. A primer workshop for the beginning (or experienced)small farm pumpkin grower. Variety selection, soil fertility, pest management and marketing will be discussed.
A quick recap of this growing season. A slow accumulation of growing degree days in the early part of the season was reflected in the maturity dates of many varieties of crops. An April that witnessed rainfall 3 inches above normal transitioned into a July/August in many areas devoid of rainfall for 6 weeks. The value of drip irrigation systems was shown time and again. These tools give the grower the control over a critical input for their crops. 2013 was one of the more productive fruit crop years we have seen. Quality and quantity of apples, pears, cherries, plums etc was good. I have seen more high tunnel and other season extension techniques applied this year than in the past. This is important in terms of providing local produce throughout the year for local clientele.
Talk to you soon.