MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 30, 2014

Upcoming workshop aimed at plasticulture producers


— The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will host its eighth annual workshop for plasticulture farmers on Feb. 8, states a media release from the Muskogee County OSU Extension Service.  

The workshop provides gardeners with the latest information as well as time-tested methods for producing bountiful crops.  

Extreme drought, persistent high temperatures and wind have a significant impact on agriculture.

Oklahoma’s growing seasons can be plagued by these challenges.

Appropriately so, the theme for this year’s workshop is “Extreme Gardening.”  Featured speaker and Israeli Horticultural Specialist Itzhak Esquira will offer solutions for navigating these challenges and producing a successful crop.  

Registration for the workshop, which will take place at the Donald W. Reynolds Technology Center in Okmulgee, begins at 8:30 a.m.

The general session begins at 9 a.m. The daylong workshop is scheduled to end around 3 p.m.

Participants are invited to a pre-conference visit to Deep Valley Farm on Feb. 8 from 2:30 to 5 p.m., weather permitting.  Morgan County Seed will be demonstrating their newly invented Plasticulture Machine.

The machine is more affordable, can be pulled by a smaller tractor and is built specifically for smaller vegetable growers.

Esquira will also be on hand to offer his thoughts and recommendations for the operation.

Deep Valley Farm is located at 1305 E. Eufaula, Okmulgee.

Plasticulture is a farming technique that creates raised soil beds covered with plastic sheeting and equipped with irrigation drip lines laid directly under the plastic.

Vegetable seedlings are planted in holes punched through the plastic.

Micah Anderson, ODAFF Plasticulture Program coordinator, will give an overview of the state’s plasticulture program including grants available to farmers.  

The Donald W. Reynolds Technology Center is on the OSU Institute of Technology campus which is located at 1801 E. Fourth St. in Okmulgee.

The workshop registration fee includes lunch and is $10 before Feb. 3.

Late and at the door registration is $15. Information and to RSVP: Janet Burns, (405) 522-5509.