The Northern Hardy Fruit Evaluation Project will be the focus at one of four tours offered during the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center's annual field day set for July 14.
All field day events begin at 9 a.m. with a welcome from Blaine Schatz, center director. Tours will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Lunch will be served at noon. No preregistration is needed.
The Northern Hardy Fruit Evaluation Project field tour starts at 9:30 a.m. Kathy Wiederholt, Carrington Research Extension Center fruit project manager, will lead the tour of the center's fruit orchard.
The featured speaker for this tour is Steve McKay, a former Cornell Cooperative Extension fruit specialist. McKay's career has focused on currants (Ribes), elderberry and aronia. He will speak about black currants during the morning tour. In the afternoon, he will discuss small-scale processing, fruit products and marketing.
McKay was an award-winning vocational agriculture instructor for 15 years and then an Extension educator for 18 years. He farms and processes fruit at his company, Micosta, in eastern New York.
The Northern Hardy Fruit Evaluation Project was established in 2006 to introduce and demonstrate alternative, economically viable fruits that will grow in North Dakota.
The project features grape, black currant and Juneberry variety trials as well as demonstration plantings of University of Saskatchewan cherries and haskaps; apples; aronia; red, white and black currants; elderberries; gooseberries; honeyberries; and plums.
The Carrington Research Extension Center's livestock, crop and organic production tours also begin at 9:30 a.m.
For more information on the tours that are part of this year's field day, contact the center at 701-652-2951.
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