AURORA — It’s like a 160-acre experiment. In various corners of the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, experts are attempting to grow blueberry trees, turn seedlings from Turkey into Christmas trees and raise organic flax.
They’re also figuring new ways to kill bugs, revive strawberries and make compost. They’re helping new farmers get started and developing low-maintenance landscape plants. Meanwhile, the gravel parking lot is filled with pickup trucks as growers attend a meeting on how to increase production. A notice on the bulletin board announces an April 21 workshop on spotted wing drosophila, the destructive fruit fly.