Thursday, April 26, 2012

Farmscaping at the Mountain Research Station

Horticulture students in Organic Crop Production have been learning about farmscaping practices and recently put their new found knowledge to work by visiting the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville.  Farmscaping involves increasing the biodiversity of a farm by planting species that will conserve and attract beneficials (insects, birds, bats, etc.).  This ultimately cuts down on pesticide usage along with other benefits such as reducing erosion, increasing organic matter content and increasing soil fertility.  Students, under the direction of Dr. Jeanine Davis of NC State University planted several insectary plants including pigeonpea, cowpea, buckwheat, nasturtiums and fennel.  The goal of this project is to develop a long-term relationship with NC State Extension by assisting in the evaluation of plant species useful for enhancing beneficial insect populations.

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