Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
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Creator: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: September 1973
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00089
Source Institution: University of Florida
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter


September 7, 1973





Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


J. F. Kelly
Chairman


James Montelaro
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


R. K. Showalter
Professor


TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA

FROM: J. M. Stephens, Assistant Vegetable Crops Specialist

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 73-9

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Potato Seed--Handling for Best Results
B. Small Vegetable Operations Can Succeed
C. Choosing Fungicides for Efficiency in Vegetable

D. Herbicides for Pepper and Tomato Production

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Unit Handling of Produce

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Does a Vegetable Garden Pay
Know Your Vegetables Sarsaparilla


NOTE: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
possible, please give credit to the authors.


Whenever


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Of -CIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGNIIC,-U.T -A-GR LBA.-4C OF COc T- 70..'-. -tC^' CO-,r .wii..





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Potato Seed--Handling for Best Results

It is probably more urgent now than in years past for growers to make
careful plans to manage their potato seed stocks as efficiently as possible
for the 1973-74 season. The reason is that potato seed is apt to be in short
supply and quite expensive. In fact, the increase in seed cost per acre of
potatoes will probably be greater than that for fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
Growers should aim to "get the most" out of their seed.

The following list of suggestions, although not complete by any means,
might serve as a guideline to efficient handling of potato seed stock for
the 1973-74 season.

(1) Use only certified seed. DO NOT USE table stock potatoes as
substitute for certified seed.

(2) Upon delivery of potato seed:
(a) Check the filled bags for wetness, stains, etc., which might
indicate problems with decay organisms.

(b) Inspect by pouring out a number of bags selected at random.
Check for dry rot, shatter bruising, grade, etc.

(c) Call an inspector of the Plant Industry Division, if se-d
appears to not measure up to standard.

(3) Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated room until planting time. Pre-
vent seeds from over-heating, freezing, drying out, becoming wet, etc.

(4) Check, clean and sterilize all equipment to be used in sizing, grad-
ing, cutting, treating, storing and planting potato seed.

(5) Run seed potatoes on grading belt.

(a) Remove diseased materials.

(b) Grade according to size for cutting into two or four pieces.
Jumbos might best be cut by hand for greatest economy.

(6) Select land carefully to avoid excessively wet or dry spots. Plant
only to land which is known to be productive.

(7) Test the soil to determine proper liming and fertilization. Treat
soil, if needed, for diseases, insects, nematodes, weed seeds, etc.
(8) Treat seed pieces with one of the approved fungicides. NOTE: The
sequence to follow is cut, treat and plant immediately. Do not attempt to store
treated seed pieces for any length of time. If the planting operation is
interrupted, stop cutting and treating until planting is resumed again.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(9) Check the planter for accuracy of drop of seed pieces. Double drops
and skips should be avoided.

(10) Throughout the production, check the crops often. Apply supplemental
fertilizer and pesticides, as needed. Do not over-use these materials. They
are not only costly, but may actually reduce yields, grade and quality of the crop.
(Mrn tel aro)

B. Small Vegetable Operations Can Succeed

There are many who predict that the small vegetable operation will disappear
completely from the scene in a few years. Their prediction is based on the fact
that farms in general have become larger in size and fewer in number with each
passing year. This development has been dictated in large part by the need to
grow in size to offset bigger and more expensive equipment used in all facets
of an operation. Small farm operations, not being able to justify large capital
outlays, have often fallen by the wayside.
Some small vegetable operations have survived and prospered without having
to grow in size. This was done largely by adapting rapidly to the changing
situation. Successful operators modified their production and marketing practices
to become proficient in specialized areas not commonly covered by the big pro-
duction unit. There is ample opportunity to do this now and even to expand the
number of small operations. To do this, it is necessary to tal:e stock carefully
of the resources available and to direct those resources to the best advantage
to a pre-determined, specialized market. Rather than attempt to describe in adtail
the process which might be involved in determining specialized areas to select,
it might be advisable to list some of those that have proven successful in the
past or are thought to offer possibilities of being successful' n' Florida.

(1) On-Farm Retailing Simply refers to systems of ii,ake'. wnereby vege-
tables are sold on the farm to the consumer. This method of aia.keting offers
considerable appeal to the consumer. Types available are:
(a) Roadside Marketing Offers good potential for many small opera-
tions throughout Florida. Production units need not be large or heavily
y'"it "!' ,,hcl --ilr "i cweet corn. fa7,rrin neac, ,ino-rine tomatoes,
strawberries and others are naturals for roadside marketing oa-cranons because
top quality is not generally available in the normal retail outiets. Most vege-
tables will sell in a roadside market at good prices.
(b) "Pick-Your-Own" Operations This type of c.E:ation appeals to
the consumer who is interested in good quality vegetables at reasonable prices.
Many of the vegetables sold this way are frozen or canned at nc-e. Pick-your-own
operations have gained much popularity because they offer lew=' prices generally
as well as an opportunity for families to "get out on the f~r ifor pleasure.

(c) Combination roadside marketing and pick-ycLu-own operations -
This type combines some of the benefits of each of the abovw.

(2) Specialty Operations There are many possibilities which are lumped
together into this category for convenience purposes. Gener;. .', ".esc include





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


operations where: (1) vegetables of unique types or (2) regular vegetables
specially prepared and marketed are offered to the consumer. In other words,
this category of small farm operations caters to markets not normally supplied
by the large producers, buyers and retailers of standard vegetables. A few
examples might suffice to demonstrate the many possibilities which do exist.

(a) Vegetables for ethnic groups Many Americans of Asian, European,
Latin American and other extractions use some vegetables which are not commonly
found in the conventional retail outlets. When these markets are searched out
and serviced well, they can be very profitable.

(b) Vegetables for "organic food" enthusiasts There is a fast-
growing demand for vegetables grown "organically." Those operators capable of
finding these outlets and producing successfully for them stand an excellent
chance of succeeding since prices received for organically-grown food are
generally higher than those received for vegetables grown in the standard manner.

(c) Greenhouse, hydroponic or greenhouse-hydroDonic vegetables -
Many customers, like the "organic food" enthusiasts, feel that the quality of vege-
tables grown under specialized conditions is unsurpassed and are willing to pay
a premium for them. Vegetables produced in this way can be sold at the farm
level or through conventional retail outlets.

(d) Specially-prepared vegetables This category includes those
operations which capitalize on new and provocative ideas in preparing or pre-
senting vegetablee conrmodities to the consumers. A good example is fresh, shelled
or cut table legumes (lima beans, garden peas, southern peas, snap beans and
pole beans) properly handled and refrigerated, and sold at the producing unit
on the farm or through local retail outlets. There are many other items which
can be marketed profitably if some planning and imagination are used.
(Montelaro)

C. Choosing Fungicides for Efficiency in Vegetable Production

Growers often have a choice of several fungicides available to control
diseases in some of the vegetable crops. The decision on which to choose for a
specific application during the course of the growing season can mean the
difference between profit or loss at the end ot tne season. iere dre no set
"rules of thumb" which can be used to make the choice. The reason is that the
situation may be completely different each time a fungicide has to be applied.
There is, however, considerable information which can be used by the crop pro-
duction manager to help him make the best choice possible.

First and foremost, the grower should identify the disease or diseases
present and from past experience try to anticipate diseases which might develop
shortly. The next step is to choose the best fungicide available for the
particular disease present or anticipated. In choosing fungicides for subsequent
application, some of the following points should be considered.

(1) Consider cost when two fungicides of equal potential for disease con-
trol are available, use the less expensive one.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(2) When using fungicides containing the heavy metals manganese, zinc,
copper and iron, be sure to consider the fact that the heavy metals can be
absorbed by plants and used in their growth processes. Excessive use of one can
cause a toxicity of that element or a deficiency of one of the other heavy
metals. It may be advisable to alternate these with each other and with those
containing no heavy metals. Alternating fungicides may be beneficial from
another standpoint. Even though several fungicides are reported to be about equal
in disease control, scientists often observe small differences between fungicides
on a particular disease. Alternating fungicides may help to obtain more uniform
control of all diseases in addition to reducing the chance of developing
nutritional unbalances or other side effects in the plant.

(3) When need for a certain minor element is anticipated or noted in a
crop, it is often possible to supply that minor element to the crop and obtain
good disease control by applying a fungicide containing the minor element in
question. It is possible on some crops to supply copper, iron. zinc and manganese
in this fashion.

The points discussed here are but a few considerations entering into
management of the disease control program. These, however, are the ones often
noted to have been overlooked when something goes wrong with crop growth or the
control of diseases.
(Montelaro)

D. Herbicides for Pepper and Tomato Production

Herbicides are important tools in the production systems of most, if not
all, vegetable crops. Thus, herbicide recommendations are continually being
reevaluated and revised by extension and research personnel in the State. With
the increase in use of full-bed mulch covers in peppers and tomatoes, a change
in the format of herbicide recommendations has taken place. There are two major
categories: (1) conventional or strip mulch culture, and (2) full-bed mulch
culture. The latter category contains those materials recommended for use
beneath the cover or sprayed over the top to effect weed contr'-. "at the hole"
in the cover. At the present time, the materials listed in either section can
be used in combination with cultivation to control weeds in the water furrow area
hc P .ja1n rrnlrh."71" 'rni.w"

The sequence of operations in full-bed mulch culture and the relationship
to herbicide application is important. Some herbicides need to be incorporated
to be effective. When these types are used under the cover treatments, they
usually should be applied as close to the cover laying operation as possible.
Frequently, this can be incorporated into the program without a great deal of
difficulty by using a sprayer, a tiller to incorporate the material into the top
of the bed, and a bed press or shaper to reform and firm the bed prior to the
application of the mulch.
Don Burgis (Professor and Horticulturist) at AREC Bradentor, has done
extensive weed control work with peppers and tomatoes under both jnmulched and
full-bed mulch cover systems. In a previous Vegetarian (72-1V), the herbicide
and full-bed mulch culture research of Mr. Burgis was described in some detail.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


The following tables contain evaluations from his work and others in the State.
The tables are subject to last minute alterations prior to inclusion in
Circular 196 (Chemical Weed Control for Florida Vegetable Crops), but for the
most part will constitute the recommendations to be included. NOTE: Always
check and read the container label before using the material. The following
tables are abbreviated and labels should be consulted for remarks on application
methods and precautions.


PEPPERS


Lbs./Acre Time of
(Active Ingredients) Application Remarks on
Herbicides Sandy Soils to Cropn Application

Unmulched or Strip Mulch Culture

Dymid or Enide 4-5 Preemergence
Treflan -1 Postthinning Incorporated
Paarlan 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
.2lanavin 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Tillam 4 Pretransplant Incorporated
Treflan -1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Vegiben 3 Posttransplant

Full-Bed Mulch Culture

Dymid or Enide 4-5 Preemergence
Planavin 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Treflan -1 Pretransplant Incorporated


(1) All treatments are "preemergence" to weeds.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


TOMATOES


Lbs./Acre Time of
(Active Ingredients) Application Remarks on
Herbicides Sandy Soils to Crop Application

Unmulched or Strip Mulch Culture

Dymid or Enide 4-6 Preemergence/
Postthinning
Treflan -1 Postthinning Incorporated
Paarlan 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Planavin 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Tillam 4 Pretransplant Incorporated
Treflan -1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Vegiben 3 Posttransplant
Dymid or Enide 4-6 Posttransplant

Full-Bed Mulch Culture

Dymid or Enide 4-6 Preemergence
Paarlan 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Planavin 1 Pretransplant Incorporated
Tillam 4 Pretransplant Incorporated
Treflan -1 Pretransplant Incorpor: ted
Dymid or Enide 4-6 Posttransplant

(1) All treatments are "preemergence" to weeds.


NOTE: The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose
of providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of
the products named and does not signify that they are approved to the
exclusion of others of suitable composition.


(Kostewicz)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING


A. Unit Handling of Produce

Consumers had the luxury of purchasing food supplies in 1972 with
only 16 cents of every dollar earned which is the lowest on record. Since
then, consumers have been increasingly resentful of rising food prices.
When the government tried to control prices, more and more items were missing
from the supermarket as industry refused to operate at a loss. Consumers
need to be informed why food costs what it does, and that production and
marketing expenses have risen and will continue to rise. For each dollar
spent for fresh vegetables and fruits, the grower receives 32 cents, whereas
marketing charges amount to 68 cents.

At the 1973 Convention of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable
Association, it was emphasized that no single factor will have a greater
benefit in holding down produce marketing expenses than the successful use
of unitization and palletization. By this we mean the method of field
assembly, precooling, handling, transporting and storing containers of
vegetables and fruits on a horizontal platform or other unitizing device
to hold the containers together. A survey of the supermarket industry
showed that the 48" x 40" pallet was the standard pallet already in use
by their industry. A survey of shippers showed that only about 36% of
them were using 48" x 40" pallets, and the main objection of the non-users
was unsuitable conLainer sizes.

Industry members of the UFFV Association's unitization committee
strongly urged the use of modular type containers constructed with
standardized units or dimensions to make unitized shipments possible.
January 1975 was established as the target date for achieving unit handling
throughout the produce industry, and after that date receivers could refuse
shipments of produce if they did not arrive in containers unitized on a
48" x 40" pallet. Incidentally, this pallet size is almost identical to the
standard European pallet of 100 x 120 centimeters. The advantages and
savings which the industry hopes to achieve with unitization would be
realized by:

(1) Less labor with quicker and easier handling of p;'Uauce.

(2) Better utilization of field trucks, fork lifts and other
equipment.
(3) Better control of quality with less damage, less breakage and
better arrivals.


(Showalter)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


A. Does a Vegetable Garden Pay

I'm sure it is not news to anyone anymore to hear that backyard
vegetable gardening is regaining the .momentum of The Victory Garden era
throughout the country, and certainly here in Florida. Lest anyone should
doubt this, take note of a routine "public welcome" meeting on vegetable
gardening held August 29 by the Extension Service in Sarasota. In the
past, 100-200 people attending such a meeting would be a ciowd. This time,
over 1,000 people showed up.

Why this resurrection of gardening? A desire for better quality
produce and ecological return to the land feelings are part of it, of
course, yet most of those queried on this point at the Sarasota meeting
indicated that by growing some of their own vegetables, they could do
something about the rising cost of living.

But does vegetable gardening pay, or does the produce grown actually
cost the gardener more than if he were to purchase it from a supermarket?

The answer is that gardening can pay, but does not always pay,
depending upon the mode of operation and success of the gardener.

One can get an indication of the economic feasibility of growing
vegetables at home by figuring the cost and returns for a sample garden.
Therefore, let us assume that only tomatoes were planted on a very tiny
plot, one row 4 feet wide and 25 feet long (100 square feet), and that
these tomatoes were successfully grown.

At a spacing of 2 1/2 feet between plants in the row, 10 plants
could be grown and expected to produce an average yield of 6 pounds of
fruit per plant. Thus, the total row yield of edible fruit would be 60
pounds. The total monetary value of the crop, figured at the price one
would have to pay at the store for the same produce, which is currently
35 cents per pound, would be $21.00.

Cost of producing the 60 pounds of tomatoes must be figured based on
hypothetical inputs, with a complete gardening program assumed. Items of
cost would be: (1) seeds (351); (2) fertilizer (25 pounds for $1.65);
(3) pesticides ($3.00); (4) water ($5.00); (5) equipment ($5.00 note:
entire cost of a sprayer should not be charged to the tomatoes, as it would
be used for more than one season and for more than one crop). Total cost
(money expended) would be $15.00.

Therefore, net earnings on the row of tomatoes woulc be about $6.00.
Another way to look at it is that this reprenrits a savir.;.: of $6.00, since
the person cets 521.00 worth (60 pound .) of uiiatoes for S15.00.

Of course, a lot of variables miaht be inserted which would alter
the net earrings one way or the other. For example, the gardener could
utilize imnr:.ised equipment, such as an old sock for apulyinu dust, and
reduce the ecuipinert cost from $5.00 to $1.00 and total ccst from $15.00
to $11.00. The net "savings" would then amount to a total of $10.00






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


received from 10 tomato plants. The elimination of pesticides altogether
might further reduce production costs by another $3.00, and total costs
from $11.00 to $8.00. Providing that yields were not also reduced, the
net "savings" could then be $13.00.

Should yields exceed the 6 pounds per plant figure, then, of course,
the value would increase even further. Without further expenditures, yields
could go up to 10 pounds of edible fruit per plant for a total of 100 pounds
of tomatoes valued at $35.00.

Given the possibility of high yields (10 pounds per plant) in combina-
tion with minimum inputs (no pesticides drid equiiiiklni imrriuosions), the net
"savings" could be maximized at $27.00.

On the other hand, total crop loss could result in a minus net value;
the same would be true for excessive expenditures, such as a gasoline powered
roto-tiller (note: such equipment could pay off, however, over a long time
and given sufficient scope of production).

Labor inputs and crop value are other factors which must be considered
in order to get a true picture of the monetary value of a garden. Labor
costs have not been charged to the production costs since one is assumed to
do the gardening in his own free time. Tomatoes are a relatively high valued
crop, at 35 cents per pound compared to potatoes at 15 cent: per pound. The
costs of production would be similar for both crops (excluding r:)or) yet
yields and returns per pound would alter the net return value.

Further obscuring the picture is the fact that yields occur during
such a short period of time that surpluses would result. Waste and spoilage
would then reduce the net value, unless ways of preserving cr storing were
utilized, such as canning or freezing. If processing. were ut'ilzed, further
costs would have to be assessed against the crop, with the possibility of
reduced values accompanying the comparison of fresh produce pricing with
processed produce pricing.

So the overall answer to the question, "Does a vegetable garden pay?"
must be answered by a somewhat wishy-washy, "It depends."

Monetarily, some will profit and some will lose. However, there is
something of value to be gained by anyone endeavoring to have a vegetable
garden in Florida. Whether or not these values are ever obtained depends
on the circumstances surrounding each individual case.
(Steohens)

B. Know Your Veaetables Sarauarilla

While not vegetables according to the usual classification. sarsaparilla
and sassafras should be mentioned ';-er due to their minor importance as aromatic
herbs.

Sarsaparilla, the "good uuy" drink of thi early Amer'can western movies
is made from the dried roots of several various [iecies of Snm4ax. Three of
these species are Smilax officinalis, Smilax papyracea. or Smilax medical. It
does not come from the sassafras tree as some have bern led to believe.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Sassafras is a tree of the laurel family, Sassafras variifolium. The
leaves, stem bark, and root bark contain volatile oils and odors. In Florida,
sassafras spreads rapidly over abandoned fields by means of suckers from the
roots. The bark is sometimes used in water as a tea. Also, the oil is some-
times distilled from the roots.
(Stephens)




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