UTIA Partners with Local Growers to Find Answers


​​Local farmers provide answers to UTIA Extension and learn about new produce varieties in the process. Photo courtesy UTIA.

Gardening season is almost over, and many Tennesseans are looking back to see how well their crops did. How many tomatoes were produced? Was the squash too large or too small? Which pepper was the sweetest? These questions and many others are what Citizen Scientists all across the state are trying to answer.

Coordinated by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner and Dr. Virginia Sykes with University of Tennessee Extension, the UT Institute of Agriculture is partnering with home gardeners to test different varieties of squash, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and other produce to see how they perform in different parts of the state.

The information gathered from the Home Garden Trials will help growers discover new varieties of produce that can be more successful than the traditional, well-known varieties.

These trials are the feature for the UTIA’s latest “AgCast”, or podcast. Podcasts are a newer medium utilized by news outlets to cover all sorts of topics. Now, UTIA is using “AgCasts” to help deliver real life solutions to the great people of Tennessee as well. AgCasts cover everything from new plant studies to economics to family and consumer sciences to forestry, and there is sure to be a topic for everyone.

If you are interested in becoming involved as a Citizen Scientist, contact your local county Extension office. To hear the Home Garden Trials full AgCast, simply log on to
tiny.utk.edu/AgCast to access this and all other AgCast episodes. You can also subscribe, or “follow”, UTIA to receive new episodes automatically.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Dr. Natalie Bumgarner, UT Extension -  Plant Sciences, nbumgarn@utk.edu​