Apr 7, 2016
Illinois Horticulture Field Day set for June 9

Raoul and Jodie Bergersen, owners of Valley Orchard in Cherry Valley, Illinois, will welcome the 2016 Horticulture Field Day on Thursday, June 9. The field day provides the opportunity to learn about Valley Orchard’s farm operations. The 35-acre farm grows apple trees, small fruits, vegetables and pumpkins. Their farm market offers fresh cider, made-from-scratch apple pies, apple cider donuts, caramel apples, and other treats and gifts.

Valley Orchard will host the 2016 Illinois Horticulture Field Day. Photo: Illinois State Horticulture Society
Valley Orchard will host the 2016 Illinois Horticulture Field Day. Photo: Illinois State Horticulture Society

In addition, the field day will highlight other specialty growers in Illinois and neighboring states. Raoul and Jodie will share their knowledge about the farm business and University of Illinois Extension specialists and educators will discuss a range of topics related to specialty crops. Integrated pest management, fruit thinning, high density apples, trellised blackberries and varietal information are a few of the topics that will be covered.

After lunch, Liz Vaenoski, owner of Vaenoski Honeybee Farm in Clinton, Wisconsin, will discuss honeybees and pesticide impact. Vaenoski is a lifelong beekeeper, dedicated to raising money for honeybee research through her beeswax sculptures.  She also serves as a mentor beekeeper to clubs, teaches beekeeping classes, and gives educational talks to all ages.

Immediately following, will be a presentation on Aronia berries by Jeff Warren, owner of Berry View Orchard in Mount Morris, Illinois. Jeff began growing Aronia berries in 2010. He will discuss growing and management practices. He will also talk about the market development, the nutritional aspect and value added products.

The event will conclude with a tour of Four Sister’s Organic Farm. The farm was founded in 2012 by Richard and Barbara Kanak. Named for their four daughters, the 12-acre organic farm features 209 varieties of vegetables, several different fruits, and a perennial herb garden round out the offerings. Richard Kanak will discuss the challenges and rewards of growing organically and answer questions based on his experience.

The event is sponsored by the Illinois State Horticultural Society, University of Illinois, and the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

Advance registration is $27 and includes lunch. To register and for more information visit Illinois State Horticulture Field Day website.

For questions, contact Rachel Coventry at 217-853-6048.

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