Holmes County farmers attend annual muscadine propagation workshop at Alcorn
On June 13, 2012, seventeen Holmes County small and limited resource farmers attended the annual workshop on clonal propagation of muscadine offered by Alcorn State University Center for Conservation Research.
The experienced and novice farmers that belong to the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production based in Holmes County learned about valuable technique of muscadine air layering from Dr. Girish Panicker, director of the Center for Conservation Research at Alcorn, and his staff.
“We are happy to train small and limited resource farmers and have been conducting this workshop for a number of years,” said Dr. Panicker. “The farmers mastered air layering today, a useful technique that allows production of a large-sized plant in a short time.”
He added, “This method is valuable for producing relatively small number of plants of good size with minimum propagation facilities particularly when outdoor stock plant space is not a limiting factor. This method is successfully used for muscadine if it is done in June.”
Keith Benson, founding director of the Alliance, shared, “The main focus of our Alliance is growing specialty vegetables and fruit. We are so thankful to Alcorn for hosting us today and affording the farmers an opportunity to learn about muscadine propagation.”
“I learned a lot today, I never knew that muscadine can be propagated like that,” said Alliance member Robert Lewis. “Some of the propagated vines will be planted on our demonstration farm in Holmes County and the others will be planted at individual farms.”
“I market muscadine jelly to the farmers markets,” said Alonzo Lewis, one of the original members of the Alliance. “Now that I’ve learned this propagation technique I am going to grow my own muscaidne and cut down on my expenses. I would recommend attending this workshop at Alcorn to anyone who wants to grow muscadine either commercially or for individual consumption. Plus, it's fun!”
Holmes County farmers mastering air layering technique.
Workshop participants (front) and Center for Conservation Research staff (back) at the muscadine production plot.