August 11, 2006 | By: Aimee Nielson

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will host the Bluegrass Fruit Showcase, a joint national meeting of the North American Fruit Explorers and the Southern Fruit Fellowship, Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 in Lexington.

Members of both groups are interested in the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of superior varieties of fruits and nuts. The meeting will take place at the Holiday Inn North on Newtown Pike.

Horticulture and Cooperative Extension specialists as well as fruit enthusiasts from across the United States will speak regarding a diverse range of topics. The festivities will kick off with a welcome reception on Aug. 30 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a tasting of Kentucky wines. After a joint session at 8 a.m. on Aug. 31, participants will be able to choose between several concurrent sessions involving fruit varieties, including minor and obscure fruits; worldwide fruit culture, including southern Asia and eastern Russia; professional and amateur fruit breeding; propagation (including a hands-on demonstration); fruit culture history; and processing and winemaking.

Following dinner, John Clark of the University of Arkansas will provide entertainment with his speech titled “Pouring Cold Molasses or New Variety Introduction: Which Moves Quicker?”

On Sept. 1, participants will travel to the UK Horticulture Research Farm to look at plots of blackberries, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, apples, vegetables, woody ornamentals and flowers. The tour continues to Boyd Orchards, a premier retail operation in Versailles consisting of 24 acres of apples (many newer varieties), six acres of peaches, two acres of Asian and European pear, and three acres of strawberries. After lunch at the orchards, the group will travel to Frankfort to tour the Kentucky State University Research Farm, home of the National Germplasm Repository for Pawpaw. In addition to viewing the pawpaw planting at KSU, participants will see a Primocane blackberry variety trial, currant and gooseberry variety trials, and KSU’s honeybees.

To register or get more information, contact Pam Compton at 859-257-2909.


John Strang 859-257-5685