Horticulture Projects

Horticultural crops are well suited to the small acreages so common in much of Oklahoma, and are ideal for value-added businesses and direct marketing. Finding the crops best adapted to Oklahoma climate and soils, as well as to the small farmer’s wallet, has always been an important goal of the Kerr Center.

Sweet potato trial

Red, white, sweet, dry: Sweet potatoes come in various hues, sizes and flavors. See the findings from our 2010 and 2011 garden trials of heirloom varieties.

Heirloom Variety Trials

Since 2008 the center has been conducting trials of heirloom varieties of vegetables and sorghum. Heirloom varieties are what some call old-fashioned – non-hybrids. Some of these were developed in specific geographic locations and so are well adapted to specific climates. Sometimes these varieties offer greater disease resistance and sometimes better flavor. Often they come in a greater variety of colors and shapes.

The Kerr Center’s informational resources on heirloom varieties include an overview of their importance for sustainable agriculture (see resources below).

In previous years, Kerr specialist David Redhage conducted several trials of traditional vegetable varieties. In 2008, the Kerr Center's School of Sustainability began a series of variety trials of different heirloom crops:

Contact: George Kuepper

Educational Resources:

Season  Crops Evaluated
(click on crop name for trial report)
2008  Okra
2009 Tomatoes
2010 Sweet potatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes

Grafted Tomatoes
2011 Sweet Potatoes
Flour & Meal Corn (demonstration)
Organic No-Till Pumpkins (demonstration)
2012 Sweet Potatoes
Three Sisters (demonstration)
2014 Small-Scale Technology and Practices for Sweet Potato Growing in Southeast Oklahoma (2014)


Heirloom Vegetables, Genetic Diversity and the Pursuit of Food Security (2008)
by George Kuepper

Where We Shop
Sources of seed, tools, & supplies for the Kerr Center's Cannon Horticulture Project.

Click here for a slideshow and further information on the 2009 trials of heirloom tomatoes and squash varieties.


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The Kerr Center
for Sustainable Agriculture
24456 Kerr Road
Poteau, OK 74953-8163
Phone: 918-647-9123
Fax: 918-647-8712

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