The Kerr Center’s horticulture program shows farmers and gardeners, from beginners on up, how to sustainably grow vegetable crops, focusing on Oklahoma organic horticulture’s unique challenges.

The six+ acre Cannon Horticulture Project, certified organic in 2011, is founded on organic system design and management.  Organic certification was allowed to lapse in 2017, but organic management continues in order to permit easy re-certification in the future.  Demonstrations are tailored to organic home and market gardens in the same size range.

Through its history, the Kerr Center has grown a diverse variety of crops, focusing heavily on heirloom varieties in recent years.

Harvests go to local food pantries, into meals served at Kerr Center events, and to staff.

Both cover crops and some cash crops (e.g. sunflowers), as well as border plantings, provide habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators.

Production practices emphasize:

In addition to demonstrating organic production methods, the Cannon plots serve as an outdoor, on-farm classroom for college interns, farmer training programs, and public field days.

Our four-year bio-extensive rotation starts from the ground up, building healthy soil with on-farm resources, using techniques including

Organic Farming News/Tips and Recent Publications

The Kerr Center is planting a large number of highbush and rabbiteye blueberry varieties to evaluate for eastern Oklahoma.
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Timing in planting a fall cover crop is critical for both coverage over the winter and biomass production the following spring. 
+ Read more
Insects have been declining rapidly - but insect pests are still damaging more crops than ever, says newly published research.
+ Read more
There's a new third-party certification process and label, for farmers and ranchers wishing to market their products as “regenerative.”
+ Read more

Learn About:
Pest Management

We use cover crops and rotations to successfully control weeds and grasses such as Bermuda in our hort plots. We have beneficial insect habitat and build healthy soils with a balance of microorganisms.  Learn more

Learn About:
Season Extension

Shade (and grasshopper barriers) for hot weather; extra frost protection (including the popular Hanley-style hoop house) at season’s beginning and end.  Learn more

Learn About:
Organic Agriculture

What do the national organic standards actually say? How do they apply to small farms? How did they come to be? Learn more

Learn About:
Building Soil

Build healthy soils with cover crops and rotations, compost, and biochar. Learn more

Learn About: Horticulture Crops

Heirloom Variety Trials and demonstrations (of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, sorghum, okra, and other crops) are one of the latest in a long series of horticultural undertakings at the Kerr Center. Learn more

Learn About: Tools & Equipment

Photos and explanations of the right tools for the right job, with a focus on small-scale market farming. Learn more

Horticulture/Organic Library

Find a wide assortment of resources  in print and multimedia. Browse our library