The OSU Extension Service's annual open house offers a glimpse into a research world

From horsepower to berries with no names yet, there’s a little adventure around just about every corner at the annual North Willamette Research and Extension Center open house in Aurora. Those with adventurous tastebuds or just a desire to learn more about the bounty of foods being developed and available in the area, will get a unique chance to indulge. Oregon State University will hold its annual community open house Wednesday, July 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. by: JOHN BAKER - Visitors to Wednesday's OSU Extension Service open house in Aurora can taste a variety of berries, some of which are still under development.The extension center, at 15210 NE Miley Road in Aurora, is across from the Charbonneau development, just south of Wilsonville. It’s going to be a chance to see some pretty special things. “It is our one time when we invite the public to see what we’re doing and why it might be important in their lives,” said Mike Bondi, director of NWREC. “We work with the agricultural community to make sure we not only have a healthy food supply, but that our programs support the agricultural industry, in general. It’s the largest economic driver in Clackamas County. The important of agriculture and the work we do might be interesting to people.” “We’re going to feature the blueberry tree again and have a similar setup to what we’ve done in past year,” Bondi added. One scientist is working to develop a blueberry tree, rather than the bush blueberries currently grow on. The goal is to make blueberries harvestable by machinery, rather than by hand. There will be an opportunity to drive a tractor, show off the area that will soon feature a solar array to power the extension center, and a station set up to provide information about invasive species and disease pests that have arrived in the last few years. Educational displays will include latest research and community outreach, berry tasting to compare new and long-time favorite cultivars, free vegetables provided by local farmers and a hay ride tours of the farm. A walking tour of the facility will be available, as well as 45-minute farm hay wagon tours at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. These tours will showcase field research and demonstration projects conducted at the center. Included will be work being done on strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, fresh market vegetables, wheat and flax. “Last year we had a great turnout and I’m hopeful we’ll have another one this year,” Bondi said. For more information, Bondi at 503-705-2434 or email at HYPERLINK "" This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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