Justin Duncan of National Center for Appropriate Technology introduced Pigeon Peas to the Rio Grande Valley as outreach portion of the Conservation Innovation Grant supported cover crop study on September 6th, 2018 at PPC Farms. Justin, a long time plant nerd and agronomist, cares for plants as you and I would rear our own children. He was super excited to trial various summer time hot weather cover crop choices for our south Texas heat. After waiting for a rain in May, he planted several species. Using the survival of the fittest model, Justin chose not to irrigate the field. The pigeon peas emerged as the sole survivor and winner of the contest. On September 6, 2018, Texas farmers who wanted to learn more about this super food crop gathered at PPC Farms research site in Mission, Texas, to witness a quarter acre of verdant, tall and dense population in the middle of a dry field. Dr. Alexis Racelis brought his sustainable agriculture class to the event. He led the students through the field, helping the students make the connection between the textbook and real life plants growing in local ecosystem.
PPC Farms will continue to host the Conservation Innovation Grant supported cover crop soil research, working together with NCAT and UTRGV. It was awesome to see so many people interested in and supporting sustainable and regenerative agriculture in our area.