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Cannon Organic Horticulture Project

An overview of the certified organic horticulture plots at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture near Poteau, Oklahoma. Organic practices such as cover crops, biochar, compost and compost teas, as well as variety trials., habitat for pollinators and no-till and biointensive beds.

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Cannon Organic Horticulture Project

  1. 1. The Cannon Horticulture Plots...
  2. 2. ...were certified organic...
  3. 3. the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in June 2011.
  4. 4. George Kuepper managed the horticulture program from 2008 to 2016.
  5. 5. Kuepper's report, “Small-Scale Organics: A Guidebook for the Non-Certified Organic Grower,” is available free online.
  6. 6. The Cannon hort plots started out as a bermudagrass pasture...
  7. 7. ...but bio-extensive management got rid of bermudagrass, organically! Learn how: Market Farming with Rotations and Cover Crops
  8. 8. Bio-extensive management relies heavily on crop rotations...
  9. 9. ...keeping at least half the ground in cover crops, both summer... sorghum-sudangrass
  10. 10. ...and winter. crimson clover
  11. 11. In addition to suppressing weeds, cover crops add fertility.
  12. 12. Additional fertility comes from compost... ...made with on-farm materials, like hay and manure.
  13. 13. Compost tea boosts populations of beneficial microbes in the soil.
  14. 14. Biochar, made on the farm, can increase soil moisture capacity... well as increasing fertilizer efficiency and improving habitat for beneficial soil microbes.
  15. 15. Our heirloom sweet potato variety trials ran from 2010 to 2012.
  16. 16. Check out this overview, or the individual years' reports: 2010 2011 2012 Technology & Practices
  17. 17. We trialed heirloom tomato varieties in 2009 and 2010,and also ran a trial of grafted tomatoes.
  18. 18. Other heirloom variety trials have included: squash okra sorghum
  19. 19. We have also conducted heirloom variety demonstrations, on crops including organic no-till pumpkins,
  20. 20. flour and meal corn,
  21. 21. ...and the “three sisters” mix of corn, beans, and squash.
  22. 22. The Cannon plots manage cover crops to favor beneficial insects, including native pollinators.
  23. 23. Buffer margins provide more permanent habitat for beneficials. Here, yarrow has been left un-mown to finish flowering.
  24. 24. After several years free of bermudagrass, the horticulture program is establishing some perennial crops, like elderberries.
  25. 25. In 2016, the horticulture program began participating in statewide lavender variety trials, in cooperation with Myriad Gardens.