Organic soil health is topic of Purdue field day at farm

June 25, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -  Vegetable growers will have the opportunity to learn about organic production and how to evaluate soil health during a July 12 field day at a farm that is part of a research project involving Purdue University horticulture faculty.

The event will be held 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Green BEAN Delivery's Feel Good Farm, 25325 Lamong Road, Sheridan.

Visitors will see cabbage nearly ready for harvest in research plots and learn how to conduct on-farm research trials and measure soil health.

The research is led by Lori Hoagland, a Purdue assistant professor of horticulture with expertise in soil microbial ecology. The project will determine how organic soil amendments change the community of microbes that live in the soil and how those changes influence growth and disease in vegetable crops.

"We know that soil microbes play a key role in helping plants fight disease, but we still have so much to learn about how to manage these communities in the field for agricultural benefits," said Hoagland. "Multiyear studies on working organic farms are essential to unraveling the mysteries of soil ecology and identifying practical approaches to improve vegetable production."

Purdue's partner in the research project, Green BEAN Delivery, provides expertise in fresh-market vegetable production and contributes research sites at three organic farms, along with management of the plots. The online home delivery service provides organic produce and natural groceries to members in the Midwest. The acronym in its name stands for “biodynamic,” "education," "agriculture" and "nutrition."

The research is supported by a grant from The CERES Trust. 

For more information about the tour and to register for it, contact Jessica Garvert at 765-494-9228.  Information on the Feel Good Farm is at

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722,

Source: Lori Hoagland, 765-494-1426,

Related websites:

            Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture:

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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