Like any long-term commitment, it takes experimentation to keep things lively.
Such is the case at the Glenlea Research Station, home to Canada’s oldest organic rotation study, which opens its fields to the public next week.
Visitors will have the opportunity to check out some of the new and existing research being done at Glenlea during a field day July 8, hosted by the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE).
“We’re actually doing things slightly differently this year, because a new and different feature of the tour is looking at making compost and we’re going to be doing that on the main research station side,” said Joanne Thiessen-Martens.
What is being called “farm alchemy” will be on display, demonstrating how to turn waste into “compost gold.”
Visitors will also get an update on the long-running organic rotation study, and a look at alternative weed and soil fertility management practices.
“We’ll be walking right in the plots and we’ll be able to see how the crops are doing this year,” said Thiessen-Martens. “And we’ll see a couple of new aspects to that study, where we are looking at direct seeding wheat into a mulch, so it’s a short-term, no-till, organic system.”
Other research projects at Glenlea include inter-row tillage for small grain production and plots looking at oat varieties suitable for organic and ecological production.
“We are looking at ways to make the agriculture system as a whole more sustainable, by making better use of what is already in the system, and by finding ways to reduce what is added to and lost from the system without giving up productivity,” said NCLE research co-ordinator Christine Rawluk.
There is no cost to attend the field day and registration is not required. Those interested are asked to arrive at the rotation study site, west of Highway 75 and across from the main research station, at 1 p.m.
“We hope people can make it… there is a lot of interesting work underway,” she said, adding that there will be plenty of summer students and signs pointing visitors in the right directions.
For more information, or to let organizers know you’re planning to attend, email [email protected].