Horticulture Crops

2008 marked the start a new era for horticulture projects at the Kerr Center – the Cannon Horticulture Project:

  • almost seven acres (not quite three in production) of bermudagrass pasture converted to organic horticulture
  • certified organic since 2011 (Certification was allowed to lapse in 2017, but organic management continues in order to permit easy re-certification in the future.)
  • bioextensive production system: cover crops on half the cultivated area both feed and weed the soil
  • heirloom variety trials and demonstrations of crops including sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, sorghum, okra, and others

Kerr Center horticultural projects 1985-1989 included:

  • U-pick blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries
  • greenhouse bedding plants (using composted chicken litter as a potting medium)
  • vegetables
  • ornamental trees
  • Christmas trees

In 1989, Alan Ware headed a project to grow shiitake mushrooms on small oak logs. These tasty Japanese mushrooms sell for high prices, and are relatively easy to grow. This project’s popularity led to a shiitake mushroom outdoor production manual.

For many years, the Kerr Center has also grown sweet sorghum:

  • grows well in the area
  • common in pre-WWII Oklahoma
  • continuing demand for the syrup as a value-added specialty crop

A Kerr Center manual, Sweet Sorghum: Production and Processing, describes a small scale commercial operation with extensive background information.

Learn About: Heirloom Variety Trials

Reports of results of trials and demonstrations with heirloom varieties of several different crops. Learn more

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