Sunbelt Ag Expo: Hoss Sustainable Living Center
On this week’s episode, Greg and Travis talk about their yearly demonstration garden at the Hoss Sustainable Living Center. The Hoss Sustainable Living Center was started in 2014 as part of the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, which occurs every year in the third week of October. The Sustainable Living Center consists of an approximately half-acre demonstration garden in addition to a pavilion with exhibitors related to gardening and sustainable living. Over the years, they have been able to experiment and determine which crops perform best in this planting area. Because the garden is surrounded by a 400+ acre research farm, the insect and disease pressure is troublesome. In addition, the garden is located in an old airfield that is extremely flat and drains poorly. Crops that do well there include kale, sweet potatoes, corn, and chard. Although winter squash is timely for the annual agricultural expo, they don’t grow very well there due to whiteflies and powdery mildew. This year they are trying fall potatoes for the first time and hoping that will be a success.
Show and Tell Segment
On the show and tell segment this week, the guys talk about pears and okra. Greg is eating a pear that he got from his neighbor’s yard. He mentions that these old varieties of pears are harder, but tend to have great flavor and make great pies. Travis talks about his succession plantings of okra in his garden. He mentions that the first planting is getting too tall to harvest and that he may soon remove it and start harvesting the second planting.
Viewer Questions Segment
On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about drip irrigation and amending clay soils. Travis explains how to calculate your water flow rate using a stopwatch and a 5-gallon bucket. Once the flow rate is calculated, it’s easy to figure how much drip tape your well or water supply can support. Greg answers a question about amending clay soils and mentions that adding significant amounts of gypsum or land plaster can improve clay soils. In addition, adding organic matter via cover crops and compost will improve soil workability and drainage.