The Clemson Student Organic Farm offers research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students participating in special credit Creative Inquiry projects and directed on farm research.
One of the initiatives of the Sustainable Agriculture Program is to demonstrate successful examples of sustainable agriculture for the benefit of the community. Check out some of our recent research projects at the Student Organic Farm (SOF) and Calhoun Field Laboratory (below).
Cover cropping is a sustainable farming practice for both weed management and soil health. The SOF has experimented for several years now with "organic no-till" methods for vegetable production wherein a mature cover crop is killed and its residue left on the soil surface to serve as a weed barrier during the growing season. Two years of a replicated no-till vs. conventional till experiment at the SOF demonstrated the potential for cost and labor savings using no-till practices for summer vegetable production.
The purpose of this research is to determine the difference between using row covers with and without hydronic heating tubes for greenhouse production of leafy greens. Plant size and weight and nighttime minimum temperatures were recorded for each treatment. Preliminary results show that without row covers, hydronic heat tubes had little to no effect on nighttime minimum temperatures. Further, combining row covers and hydronic heat produced larger plants than uncombined treatments.
Organic growers are facing many challenges limiting their production of cucumbers, melons and squash. If you’ve ever tried to grow these crops in the eastern United States, you’ve probably had to fight with aphids, striped cucumber beetles, or downy mildew. To help address these challenges, an OREI grant known as ESO-Cuc, the Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit Project, is underway. ESO-Cuc is a collaboration of growers, extension agents, and university researchers working together to find solutions for you...more