Super Berry School is March 18 in Piketon

Blueberries. Photo: Thinkstock.

PIKETON, Ohio – Growers can learn how to assess whether blackberry crops or grapevines have experienced winter injury and how to determine the extent of the damage during a day-long workshop conducted by horticulture and viticulture experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

A Super Berry School will be offered March 18 designed to help berry growers — new and experienced alike — learn about the health benefits of so-called “super fruits” such as blackberry, blueberry elderberry and raspberries.

The workshop will also offer information on season-extending container fruit production, pest management, and pruning demonstrations of grapevines and several berry varieties, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon.

The program is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the OSU South Centers’ Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, in Piketon.

The berry workshops continue to be very popular among growers across Ohio, Gao said.

“Some attendees have come as far as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Marietta,” he said. “The attendances for our berry programs have ranged from 40 to about 100 participants each session. 

“This is because of the fact that there has been a strong demand for locally grown berries, especially super berries or super fruits. Super berries or super fruits are the fruit crops that are known to have high antioxidant content and many health benefits. Fruits such as elderberry, aronia and goji berries are called super berries because of their nutrition quotient, especially their rich antioxidant content.”

Conducting the workshop will be researchers and educators with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), including Gao, viticulture outreach specialist Dave Scurlock and research assistant Ryan Slaughter.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college. The OSU South Centers are also part of the college.

Registration for the workshop is $25 and includes the program, handouts, lunch and refreshments. Contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, to register or for more information. The deadline to register is March 14.

Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Gary Gao
740-289-2071, ext. 123