One of the programs we have in Napa is field testing. It has become very popular and we just finished the final reports on our egg plant field test this year. We grew 20 eggplant of 5 varieties in each garden. They had to be planted randomly and by number. Each plant was measured once a month for height and width. As the fruit ripened we weighed the total and number of each harvest. We had an event where we had cooked eggplant dishes and a taste test of each variety with nothing on them. The statistics of each variety from each garden were compiled and recommendations made on which variety over all was the best in home gardens in Napa County. I had a total of 143 eggplant!!
On the best things about these tests are the home visits to check the situation of each garden and how they were planted. Our final public information sheet will tell gardeners that ample watering seems to be of more importance than fertlizier. And that the sun exposure on the plants and the distance apart are very important for growth. We had them too close together in most situations.
It was really a worth while project and the professor who came to review our statistics said we have done more than many of the students in his college ag classes.
We want to do a similar test next year on another crop.