Organic cucurbit growers face two main challenges, managing insect pests and using organic nutrient sources. Researchers at Penn State are investigating innovative strategies to manage cucurbit problems more sustainably through a multidisciplinary approach that integrates key components of pest management and soil fertility. The goal is to optimize promising strategies which apply to organic cucurbit production throughout the eastern United States.
Misha Moschera, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, shares her path to sustainable agriculture and the work she is doing to build sustainable local food systems in low-income communities.
What is in a seed? Some may answer germ or starch; but others, such as Tim Mountz, president of Happy Cat Farm, would answer culture.
Increasingly, Pennsylvania farmers are using cover crops to limit erosion from fields, control weed growth, fix nitrogen in the soil, feed livestock and produce biomass for energy.
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program of the USDA recently announced its funded projects for 2010. Twelve projects were funded in Pennsylvania for a total of $536,000.