Field Day: A Northern Nevada Tradition


Field Day Bioplastic Pots
Experts from Cooperative Extension, including bioplastic compostable plant container researchers and Master Gardener Volunteers, will be on-hand to answer your research, gardening and landscaping questions. Photos by Bill Kositzky.

My world revolves around northern Nevada gardening traditions. I plant peas (and other cool-season crops) on Saint Patrick’s Day, and you won’t catch me putting tomatoes into the ground before the snow melts off of Peavine Mountain. Another tradition I enjoy as a battle-born gardener is attending Field Day.

Field Day is a University of Nevada, Reno event held yearly in fall to highlight the latest scientific breakthroughs in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. The event is an offering of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station; and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, with support from the Nevada Agricultural Foundation and Truckee Meadows Water Authority.

This year, the Field Day partners have joined together to provide a variety of all-ages activities, organized around the theme “Innovation for the Sustainable Future,” to showcase the University’s statewide impact. The event will be held on September 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station’s Valley Road Greenhouse Complex located at 910 Valley Road in Reno.

Activities of particular interest to Nevada gardeners include beekeeping demonstrations, hoop-house building demonstrations, greenhouse tours, an “Ask a Cooperative Extension Master Gardener” booth and a display about bioplastic compostable plant containers staffed by the project’s researchers.

Those of us with a passion for supporting local food will also enjoy the Reno Local Food Group’s cooking demonstration and samples event. Featuring local chef Mark Estee and ingredients from the University’s Wolf Pack Meats and Desert Farming Initiative, this demonstration is sure to be delicious. Other foodie Field Day offerings include a farmer’s market with Desert Farming Initiative produce, growing and brewing tips from the Urban Roots’ Desert Hops Project, information on low-water-use alternative crops and more.

Not a gardener or locavore? UNR has you covered; there are Field Day activities for people of all interests and ages. Learn about radon– a cancer-causing, colorless and odorless gas– and receive a free radon test kit from Cooperative Extension’s Nevada Radon Education Program. Or, check out sheep and wool-spinning demonstrations as well as equestrian demonstrations. Plus, Battle Born and All Wrapped Up food trucks will be selling their wonderful wares on site.

If you will have kids in tow, be sure to stop by Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire program’s Ember House for an interactive educational activity that shows how wildfire embers can ignite homes. Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Programs area is also a must-stop for children and young adults. See dairy goats and small animals, and pick up a take-home science experiment for kids. Nutrition information, including samples of vegetables and healthy beverage alternatives for kids, is another youth-friendly offering of Field Day.


Field Day admission and parking are free, and the event is open to the public. Please RSVP online at or 775-784-1660. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance are asked to call at least three days prior to the event.

Ashley Andrews is the Horticulture Assistant with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Have plant questions? Contact a master gardener at 775-336-0265 or, or visit For information on drought,

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