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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


New Ribes Trials and Compost Sock System Demo Part of Hort Field Night

July 15, 2010

PIKETON, Ohio – A new trial for currants and gooseberries at Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon will be featured at the upcoming OSU South Centers Horticulture Field Night Aug. 12, along with a demonstration of compost socks that are producing encouraging results for growing crops without soil.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with a wagon-tour program following at 6 p.m. Derma scan viewings for sun damage will be available until 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 8:30 p.m. when specialists will be available for questions. Registration is $10 per person. OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio.

The highlight of the wagon tour will be the newly established Ribes trial where currant, gooseberry and jostaberry plants are being studied as a possible new commercial crop for Ohio's small fruit growers. Ribes were grown in the state in the early 1900s, but were banned due to the serious threat to the white pine industry from white Pine blister rust. Ribes are the alternate host for the fungus. The new studies are on improved varieties that are naturally resistant to white pine blister rust, and are available to consumers through commercial fruit nurseries.

The evening will also include a demonstration of the compost sock system with lettuce. Researchers at OSU South Centers are using compost socks as a growth medium and comparing the crop's performance to in-ground production. A trial was done earlier this year using this system to grow strawberries, and provided good results on performance and yield to that of in-ground high-tunnel strawberry production.

Other stops will include the three-year-old winegrape vineyard that is in its first year of fruit production, heirloom tomato research, primocane-bearing blackberry trials, strawberry production and a pumpkin trial update. The irrigation demonstration and training unit will also be showcased, which features technology that is practiced in Israel for fertilizer injection and drip irrigation. This unit is sponsored by the Cleveland-based Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative (OIAI) of The Negev Foundation.

Those interested in attending the field night are encouraged to register by Aug. 10. For more information, contact Julie Strawser-Moose at (740) 289-2071, ext. 223 or e-mail

Candace Pollock
Julie Strawser-Moose