Apprenti Emily and Farmer Allyson were able to attend the 100th Anniversary Plant Science Day which was held on August 4 at Lockwood Farm in Hamden, a research facility of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Plant Science Day is a chance for people to come out and observe some of the field research that is being done by scientists at the Experiment Station. There were many research plots to observe, from composting with oak and maple leaves, to the “use of earthworms and bio-char to suppress fusarium crown rot of asparagus.”
The Plant Science Day event also included presentations by some of the scientists, exhibits, walking and bus tours, a “question and answer tent,” and activities for kids. Many organizations had tables set up at the event, such as the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the Connecticut Farm Bureau, the Connecticut Farmland Trust, and Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station was founded in 1875 and is the first agricultural experiment station in America. They make “scientific inquiries and experiments regarding plants and their pests, insects, soil, and water.” Their website can be found at www.ct.gov/caes.
The experiment station is ready to help with any plant or insect issue. People from the public can bring an unknown insect or a diseased plant to the experiment station to find out what it is. The experiment station also does soil testing for people in the state at no charge. Jones Family Farms has worked with the experiment station to conduct research here at the farm. Currently, we are using our mulch piles for an experiment in growing edible mushrooms. Stay posted for how it turns out!