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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Next OARDC Fruit, Vegetable Polyculture Tour Is June 24

June 15, 2010

WOOSTER, Ohio € Plan to learn, and also to snack, on the next tour of Ohio State Universitys fruit and vegetable polyculture plots in Wooster.


“We„¢ll be eating more fruit this time € blueberries, raspberries, maybe the tail end of the strawberries, said project leader Joe Kovach, head of Ohio States Integrated Pest Management Program. “Well also have more vegetables planted  popcorn, pumpkins, tomatoes.

The 44-by-60-foot plots grow various combinations of high-value crops € tall, short, annual, perennial, in raised beds or not, under high tunnels or not € to determine the effects on pest control, yields and profits.

The plots are ideal for urban and small-scale farming, said Kovach, who holds joint appointments with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension.

 They use only minimal pesticides  only when theres no alternative;

 produce a lot of food in a relatively small space;

• and grow foods that are both good to eat and easy to sell, such as apples, berries, peaches, green beans and salad tomatoes.

The tour will look at the plots’ designs and the ecological principles behind them.

It’s at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, at 2305 Dover Rd. (U.S. 250) in Wooster, just south of OARDC’s main campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Call 330-263-3846 or e-mail for more information.

Additional tours are set for July 22 and Aug. 19. The first one took place May 20.

OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Caption: Joe Kovach's polyculture plots rely on diversity — in genetics as well as in spacing and timing — to hold down pests and ramp up yields. (K.D. Chamberlain image)

Note: Read previous press releases about Kovach’s project at and, and an “Our Ohio” (Ohio Farm Bureau Federation) story about it at


Kurt Knebusch
Joe Kovach