Farm Walk, Seed-saving Workshop, Sept. 8
Join Nash Huber on a tour of his farm Sept. 8 and discover how growing on-farm seed is a viable diversification strategy that can build a farm’s financial and environmental sustainability. Nash’s Organic Produce began maintaining their signature carrot variety “Nash’s Best” ten years ago and since then has been producing seed for on-farm use, variety security, livestock feed, and as a contracted crop. More than 100 types of produce are grown in the unique micro-climate of the Dungeness River Valley. Seed crops are integrated into 400 sustainably managed acres in the mineral-rich soil. Owner Nash Huber grows grains, legumes and other seeds as a source for his cover crop seed material which drives his soil-fertility program. Micaela Colley from Organic Seed Alliance will join Huber on the Farm Walk, demonstrating the benefits of on-farm seed production. A Seed Saving workshop will follow during which participants will discover how to harvest seeds this fall. The Farm Walk is Monday, Sept. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The Seed Saving Workshop will be from 1 – 4 p.m. The address is 1865 East Anderson Road in Sequim. The cost for the Farm Walk is $10 for Tilth Producers members and $15 for non-members. The afternoon class is also $10 for Tilth members and $15 for non-members. Register on-site or pre-register by mailing a check to Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA 98145. Brown bag lunch recommended. Beverages provided. Details about all Farm Walks are available www.smallfarms.wsu.edu. More information on Organic Seed Alliance is available at www.seedalliance.org. The Farm Walk is sponsored by Tilth Producers of Washington and the WSU Small Farms Team.
Plant Defense Researcher Named Martin Professor
Regents Professor John Browse has been named the Charlotte Y. Martin Distinguished Professor in Agricultural Research. Browse is the second scientist to hold the Martin Professorship, which was created in 1991. The first was C.A. “Bud” Ryan, who died unexpectedly in late 2007. “The research theme during the time Bud Ryan was the Martin Distinguished Professor centered on the importance of protecting plants against insect attack and fungal pathogens,” Browse said. “My intention is to continue those themes by focusing on the plant-defense hormone jasmonate. My focus will be to identify promising young researchers and to train them as the next generation of agricultural plant scientists for the Pacific Northwest and the nation.” Jasmonate, the main component of the lush scent of jasmine, is a hormone plants use to regulate reproductive development, immunity to pathogens, defense against insect herbivores and other critical aspects of their biology. Browse led the team that first identified the family of proteins which enable plants to perceive and respond to the jasmonate hormone. “With the new discoveries in jasmonate signaling, we have the opportunity to make rapid progress in understanding the mechanism of action of this essential defense hormone,” Browse said.