October 13, 2022

Getting Into Commercial Horticulture

Join Horticulturist Rob Spencer for a dive into key considerations for growing horticulture field crops.

Horticultural ventures are high value, high intensity operations, with crops having very specific requirements for successful production. On October 26 and November 8, Horticulturist Rob Spencer will be presenting two online sessions called “Choosing Land” and “Preparing to Plant.” These free sessions are part of a series of extension events taking Alberta growers from planning to production and marketing of commercial horticulture crops.

The Choosing Land session includes general site requirements for a range of fruit and vegetable crops along with steps and online tools that shed light on soils and site suitability.  “Getting off on the right foot with the right location that is suitable for your plans is critical. It is a process that involves gathering as much data as possible from 10000 feet above to 2 feet below the surface of the soil. It is also important to assess other factors, like climate, to ensure the greatest opportunity for success.”

During the Preparing to Plant session, Spencer will give an overview of the essential steps for getting land ready to plant. “With soil health in mind, we’ll discuss considerations such as soil amendments, pre-plant weed control, types of equipment, and strategies to meet the early fertility needs for a range of horticulture field crops.”

Speaking about the potential for horticulture crops in north-central Alberta, Spencer said, “The demand for quality, locally-grown produce has been increasing steadily. The past couple of years has highlighted the value of our Alberta-grown products.”

These sessions will benefit both new producers looking to buy or rent land as well as established farmers looking to expand into new ventures. The sessions will be presented via Zoom and the 90-minute webinars include time for questions. Participants have access to the recorded sessions for 30 days following the presentation.

“Choosing Land” will be presented on October 26 at 7 PM via Zoom, and “Preparing to Plant” will be presented on November 8 at 7 PM via Zoom. Registration is free, and to register you can visit www.eventbrite.ca/d/canada–alberta/getting-into-horticulture.

More information is on Lac Ste. Anne County’s website at www.LSAC.ca or you can contact Lorraine Taylor, County Horticulturist, at LTaylor@LSAC.ca or 1-866-880-5722.

These sessions are hosted in partnership with the MD of Greenview and the counties of Barrhead, Lac Ste. Anne, Leduc, Parkland, Sturgeon, Woodlands, and Yellowhead.