by Gena Moore, CFSA Organic Research Coordinator

An unfortunate reality of farming is that there will be failure.

I’m sure many of us can count back and remember a time when we experienced a significant setback or had a production challenge to which there was no readily available solution. Rather than give up, most farmers press on to solve their own problems with unique solutions. This is, regardless of scale, on-farm research.

Here at CFSA, we are fortunate to manage the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm, a certified organic farm located in Concord, NC. However, Lomax is not just an incubator farm, but it’s also an education campus and research facility. In 2016, we launched our research program with a grafted heirloom tomato study (see this Expert Tip on how to graft tomatoes), which was conducted in one of our high tunnels. We’re excited to have that initial project completed and are moving forward to our second on-farm study, Evaluating the Efficacy of Organic Pesticides. This project, funded through an NCDA Specialty Crop Block Grant was developed to answer YOUR questions and solve pest issues that many of our farmer members face. Please keep reading to find out more about this study and how you can set up and conduct your own on-farm research!


by Aaron Newton, CFSA’s Lomax Farm Coordinator

Photo by J.H Photo

Providing consistent access to nutrients during the early stages of transplant development is a problem many organic growers face. At Lomax Farm we’ve developed a strategy that addresses nutrient availability in transplant production and uses some key, low-cost equipment to accomplish the task.

This fall, we will be testing different seed-starting recipes, and we will share those results with everyone later this year. For this Expert Tiphowever, we will focus on equipment, and we’ll be using a standard recipe as an example.