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June 3, 2003

Growing and marketing farm products focus of hort meeting

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Orchard growers and farm marketers will receive plenty of food for thought during the Indiana Horticultural Society meeting on June 23-24 at Tuttle Orchards in Hancock County.

Each year the society holds a summer meeting at a different orchard around the state. For the first time, the Indiana Farm Market Association will join the summer tour. The cost of the tour is $5.

"The synergies between fruit production and marketing led to the combined field day," said Peter Hirst, associate professor of horticulture at Purdue University and educational coordinator for the event.

Tom and Mike Roney of Tuttle Orchards will host the tour. Tuttle Orchards is located at 5717 N. County Road 300 W. in Hancock County, about 15 miles east of Indianapolis. The tour starts at 4 p.m. June 23 with a tour of the greenhouse production facility and vegetable planting, followed by a cookout and roundtable discussion. The tour continues at 8 a.m. on June 24 with a session on farm marketing and agritourism and orchard tours.

The marketing and agritourism session will include presentations by Kathy Altman from the Office of the Indiana Commissioner of Agriculture; Gary Truitt, of Truitt Communications, on the IndianaFarmDirect.com project; Liping Cai, on Purdue Rural Tourism Resources and Information Programs (Rural TRIP); and Ed Ashworth, head of the Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

"Tuttle Orchards have been quite innovative in their adoption of dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks in plantings for their U-pick operation," Hirst said. "These rootstocks keep the apple trees small so that most of the crop can be picked from the ground without the need for ladders."

The tour will visit these plantings and discuss the performance and management of these newer style plantings. Rick Foster, Purdue professor of entomology, will discuss his work on alternatives for codling moth control in apples.

The program is open to the public, as well as to members of the Indiana Horticultural Society and Indiana Farm Market Association. A complete agenda, directions and more information can be found at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/fruit, or by calling Hirst at (765) 494-1323 or Dick Hayden at (765) 463-6587.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722

Source: Peter Hirst, (765) 494-1323; hirst@hort.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/


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