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: July 1977
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00125
Source Institution: University of Florida
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AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


July 6, 1977

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

J. F. Kelly
Chairman


James flontelaro
Professor
G. A. Marlowe, Jr.
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor
R. D. William
Assistant Professor


Typist
Sandra P. Sanders


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

FROM: James M. Stephens Extension Vegetable Specialist 4/

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 77-7

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Revisions of Two Crop Production Guides Available
B. Tomato Growers' Institute Plans
C. Workshop for Salesmen and Technical Representatives

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. Soil Tests Timing and Use in Vegetable Production
B. Greenhouses and Hydroponics Construction and Management
Publications
C. Roadside Marketing for Small Farm Producers

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Timely Gardening Topics
B. Know Your Vegetables Chufa


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


Whenever


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research,
educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS, STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING


FLORIDA
COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICE






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. NOTES OF INTEREST


A. Revisions of Two Crop Production Guides Available

The Sweet Corn and the Lettuce and Endive Production Guides were revised
and reprinted recently. We printed only 3,000 copies of each. County Extension
offices will get a small but adequate supply of each for their needs. Agents are
asked to use sound judgement in distributing these guides. They cannot be given
to home gardeners for use. Agents needing a few extra copies can obtain them
from a limited supply retained in the bulletin room.

(Montelaro)


B. Tomato Growers' Institute Plans

Plans have been finalized for the Annual Tomato Growers' Institute.
It is set for Thursday, September 8, 1977 and is to be held in the Mounts Agri-
cultural Building (county agents' office), West Palm Beach, Florida. The program
promises to be a good one. So please put this date on your calendar now and make
definite plans to attend.

(Montelaro)


C. Workshop for Salesmen and Technical Representatives

A workshop on leaf miner and pinworm problems will be held on Wednesday,
August 17, at the Manatee County Extension Auditorium, Palmetto. This is the
second annual workshop designed especially for this vital segment of the Florida
vegetable industry. Last year the topic was on applied plant nutrition.

County agents are invited to this workshop. County agents are asked to
alert salesmen and technical representatives of this meeting. We are not
extending an invitation to vegetable growers because many topics expected to be
covered are not suitable for recommendation at this time.

Copies of the program can be obtained from the Vegetable Crops Department,
Gainesville, or Terry Montgomery, Manatee County Extension Service, 1303 17th St.,
Palmetto, 33561, telephone (813) 747-3007.


(Marlowe)





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


A. Soil Tests Timing and Use in Vegetable Production

Delaying too long or omitting soil tests can be a costly mistake in
vegetable production. Timely soil test information, used correctly, may not
only contribute to bumper yields but reduce fertilization costs as well. In
order to obtain the greatest benefits from soil testing, it should be done two
to three months before planting time. This is especially true where lime may
be needed.

The most important soil test is the determination of pH. If lime is
needed, it should be applied two to three months prior to planting. Early
application is necessary to permit the lime to react in the soil to correct
low acidity. Together with pH, the determination of Calcium (Ca) and rlagnesium
(Mg) levels is important, also. These two soil test values help determine the
kind of lime to use. A need for magnesium can be satisfied inexpensively by
the use of dolomitic limestone. Growers should shoot for a Ca/Mg ratio in the
range of 5/1 to 8/1. In other words, use high dolomitic limestone if Ca/Mg ratio
is 8/1 or greater. Conversely, high calcic limestone should be used if Ca/Mg
is 5/1 or less. In between, it is a toss-up. The two materials can be alter-
nated from season to season or applied together each time.

Estimating fertilizer nutrient levels to use without adequate soil test
information is poor business. Phosphorus and potassium, two nutrients generally
used in large quantities, can be adjusted accurately only with good soil test
data. An excess of potassium is not only wasteful but may reduce yield by
injuring the crop. Many of our vegetable soils are high to very high in
residual phosphorus levels. On these soils phosphorus can be omitted in the
warmer seasons. A small amount of phosphorus placed close to the seed drill or
transplant roots is usually sufficient to tide seedlings over in cold soil.
Many vegetable growers in Florida are lowering fertilizer costs significantly
by reducing phosphorus application on soils showing high levels of this nutrient.

Every two to four years, old vegetable soils should be tested for levels
of micronutrients. The most important of these are the four heavy metals --
iron, manganese, zinc and copper. Micronutrient application for every crop or,
even every year can be wasteful and, in some cases, harmful. Periodic testing
for the heavy metals can help monitor significant changes in ratio and amounts
among these elements. Within the past few years, copper has been found to be
accumulating rapidly in soils where copper fungicides are used for disease
control. On these soils, growers would be wise to leave copper completely out
of their fertilizer applications.




-4-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Another test that may be of real value to vegetable growers prior to
planting time is soluble salt determination. Excessively high levels of
soluble salts are being found on some soils where full-bed plastic mulch
culture was used for two or more seasons. An excessively high soluble salt
reading on these soils might dictate a change to another crop or even
abandonment for a while.

Soil tests are important management tools to the vegetable grower.
They should be used to the fullest extent.

(Montelaro)

B. Greenhouses and Hydroponics Construction and Management Publications

During the past five years in Florida there has been a marked increase
in the number of requests for information about out-of-season vegetable pro-
duction. A typical letter may start with "Please tell me all about the growing
and marketing of tomatoes during the winter in hydroponic culture." This
question is, of course, far too comprehensive to answer in a letter. It is
felt that the county Extension Agent should have reading lists available to
send to persons for initial guidance on these broad topics.

A comprehensive reference list has been developed on each of four topics
for this purpose. The following lists are available from the Vegetable Crops
Department, 3026 McCarty Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida,
32611.

1. VC 77-12 Greenhouse construction, heating and operation (references)

2. VC 77-13 Greenhouse vegetable production (references)

3. VC 77-14 Hydroponics, soilless culture, and nutriculture (references)

4. VC 77-15 Plant production (references)

Some of the most significant publications appearing in these lists are
worthy of a brief discussion. Extension agents in counties reflecting high
interest in these topics may wish to order some of these key publications
directly from the source mentioned.


1. Greenhouse Construction, Heating and Operation

The University of Illinois Circular 905, 1965, entitled Plastic
Greenhouses is one of the most comprehensive publications in the list.
The University of Kentucky fathered plastic greenhouses in the U. S. in
1954. Publications from this source are among the most specific and
detailed. A USDA publication entitled Sources of Information on Greenhouse!,
is helpful to those desiring a broad look at greenhouse construction, control
devices, and uses.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


2. Greenhouse Production Publications

As would be expected, the state having the largest greenhouse
industry prepared one of the most complete publications on greenhouse
tomato production. Ohio State University Extension Bulletin SB19,
written in 1973, is an extremely valuable publication for the commercial
grower.

The USDA publication, Agri. Handbook No. AH382 provides a very
comprehensive discussion of production practices for greenhouse tomatoes
from a nationwide viewpoint. Growers interested in greenhouse vegetable
production in soilless media may be greatly helped by the VPI publication
MH94, entitled Greenhouse Schedules with Artificial Mixes.


3. Nutrient Culture Publications

The serious hydroponic vegetable grower would benefit greatly
from some of the more technical publications such as Soilless Growth of
Plants, 1974, by Ellis and Swaney; The Water Culture Method for Growing
Plants Without Soil by Hoagland and Arnon, 1950; and The Chemistry of
Nutrient Solutions, 1974, by Dr. Labanaiskas of University of California,
Berkeley, California Extension Service.

Hobby interests would find Beginners Guide to Hydroponics, 1972,
by J. S. Douglas, and Hydroponics as a Hobby in the Rutgers University
Extension Leaflet No. 432, worthwhile. Many British and Canadian
publications on greenhouses, hydroponics, and greenhouse production are
excellent but they are sometimes difficult to obtain.


4. Plant Production Publications

Plant growers have organized an international association, Bedding
Plants International. Printed proceedings are developed from each of
their yearly meetings. Serious plant growers should consider affiliation
with this group as it provides an outstanding opportunity to learn of the
latest methods and equipment related to this specialized field.

Three of the most detailed publications available are Growing
Vegetable Transplants, 1952, by Jones & Shoemaker, Ontario Dept. of
Agriculture, Bulletin No. 485; Courter and Vandermark's Vegetable Plant
Growing, 1964, University of Illinois Extension Circular No. 884; and
the North Carolina State University Circular No. 231 entitled Plant
Production for Commercial Growers, 1959, by Drs. A. Banadayga and J. Wells.


(Marlowe)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


C. Roadside Marketing for Small Farm Producers

Many small producers of fresh fruits and vegetables realize that a
basic knowledge of marketing and a consideration of marketing options is as
important as successful crop production. Dr. Bryan Wall, Extension Vegetable
Marketing Specialist, has recently developed a Food and Resource Economics
Fact Sheet entitled "Marketing Alternatives for Fresh Vegetables." In addition,
Dr. Wall and Mr. Manny Palada* offer the following suggestions for profitable
marketing of fresh produce.

A roadside market refers to a retail business located in a producing
area rather than in a consuming area. Although many types of roadside markets
exist, we will confine our remarks to fresh produce markets where the fruits
and vegetables are sold by the grower directly to the consumer. These markets
usually operate on a seasonal basis depending on the type and variety of produce
being grown and sold. The availability of fresh, crisp, or juicy vegetables
having superior quality is perhaps the major factor that motivates people to
purchase vegetables at a roadside stand. Also, most customers will regularly
travel within a six or seven mile radius for the fresh produce and occasionally
will travel further for larger amounts of produce. Thus, stand location and
maintaining quality produce in the sales area are major points to consider
when planning or operating a roadside stand.

A permanent stand located near a populous area or along a major highway
where produce can be sold during a long growing season will have the greatest
potential sales volume. The stand should be convenient for persons entering
from both highway lanes and be surrounded by a large, accessible parking lot.
An interesting building and surrounding, including trees, landscaping, and
perhaps a "country atmosphere" will attract customers also. Depending on the
expected sales volume a stand containing 300 to 600 square feet which includes
ample display area for most vegetables and a refrigerated storage and display
area for highly perishable items will provide adequate facilities. In addition,
smaller or portable stands may be erected near the production site, the grower's
home, or busy intersections for marketing a limited amount of mixed produce or
specialty items such as sweet corn or watermelons. However, total sales are
generally reduced in these smaller stands because the number of regular
customers also declines and the season may be reduced. When establishing a new
stand, the grower is advised to carefully evaluate traffic patterns, accessibility,
and competition from other types of markets that also sell similar produce.

Growers who market a wide variety of quality produce invariably sell
greater amounts than people who sell only a few items. Consequently, the
grower should plant a large array of vegetables throughout the entire season
that are adapted to the growing area. Usually, an 8 to 20 acre farm will be
sufficient size to produce a wide variety of vegetable crops. In addition,



*Mr. Manny Palada is conducting his doctoral research on alternative vegetable
production systems for North Florida.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


the (rower should pick the produce at peak maturity and ripeness. After picking,
the vegetables should be graded according to uniformity in size and :-olor,
maturity, and quality. Poor quality produce should be discarded in the field
or disposed of properly. Every attempt should be made to maintain the produce
quality by refrigerating or storing in a cool, shady location.

Attractive and colorful displays of vegetables and fruits can be as
important as the congenial and friendly sales person. Bright red, crisp green,
deep purple, glowing orange, and brilliant white vegetables can be arranged in
colorful minibaskets, square produce boxes, bushel baskets, or any attractive
container. When arranging the produce, keep an eye on beauty and appealing
displays.

Establishing prices for produce can be simple, but the grower or manager
must know the local market prices for each item both wholesale and retail if
possible. After establishing the local wholesale and retail prices, most roadside
market managers establish an intermediate price that is both consistent with the
quality of produce and the supply and demand of that product in the neighborhood.
Also, note that in Florida, produce sold by weight must be sold on an approved
scale. Otherwise, growers should sell on a volume basis such as by the bushel,
box, or number.

Advertising along the road will alert customers and arouse their senses
if the signs are colorful, simple, and brief. Signs should be located approximately
500 to 1,000 feet on either side of the stand and should be located according to
the highway regulations for state or county roads. Newspaper or radio advertising
can also be used to inform more people about the roadside market and the types of
vegetables being sold.

Successful roadside marketing can be both profitable and pleasurable for
the small vegetable grower. Total farm profits can be increased substantially
for a small farm operation with rather small capital expenditures where family
labor or neighbors can be hired to help harvest, grade, and sell the fresh produce
in a roadside market. In addition, the salespersons should become acquainted
with the customers and their preferences. Salespersons can encourage the return
of customers, especially if their requests can be satisfied.


(William)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


A. Timely Gardening Topics


1. Spider Mites on Summer Eogplants

During the most intensely hot days of early Florida summers,
foliage and leaves of eggplants and tomatoes may become completely
encased in a thin web. This, in most cases, is the web of the spider
mite. Both top and bottom are covered by the web, and scurrying about
the webbed surface may be seen hundreds of tiny (1/50 inch long) reddish
mites. These tiny mites, which are not insects but are related to
spiders, injure plant leaves by piercing the surface and sucking out
juices. Since there are so many feeding at once, they give the plant
surface a scorched, greyish look. The plants end up stunted and non-
thrifty. Kelthane has been the old standard control on eggplant and
tomato, but recently has been withdrawn from the label for use on
eggplant due to plant injury. Kelthane still may be used on both
for mite control. On both crops, the gardener can control the mites
to a satisfactory degree by spraying with malathion or diazinon. Spray
once a week until they are controlled. Allow three days between spraying
and harvesting fruits.


2. Spring Garden Potatoes Storing

The problem of how to store all those potatoes grown in the
spring and dug in the early summer confronts many gardeners at this time
of year. Actually, Florida summers make it very difficult to store
potatoes for more than about five weeks out of refrigeration. The main
consideration is temperature.

For those who can, potatoes should be stored at around 40F and
in moist conditions. Unfortunately, most refrigerators are already jam
packed with other more perishable produce from the garden, so potatoes,
generally, end up outside at temperatures ranging from 70 in some homes
up to 900 in some carports and garages. Needless to say, at these higher
temperatures tuber decay progresses very rapidly. Where storage under
less than desirable conditions is necessary, one can take the following
steps to keep the potatoes usuable as long as possible.

a. Spread the unwashed potatoes out onto hardware cloth,
screenwire, a shelf or the floor. Make sure they are
well ventilated and that they are not piled on each other.

b. Sort out and discard any tubers showing watery breakdown
or soft rot. Such rot spreads rapidly to adjacent tubers.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


c. If possible, store in a screened area so that maggots
are eliminated. Fly maggots invade rotten tissue and
hasten rotting, helping to spread decay all over the pile.

d. Keep tubers out of the light, as they turn green on
exposure to light.

e. Store only sound, uninjured potato tubers.


3. Storing Squashes and Pumpkins

Summer squashes, such as crooknecks, straightnecks, zucchinis,
and scallops, do not store well for more than a week. They can be
held a few days in the refrigerator, but chilling injury occurs rapidly
after three or four days at 32F 40F. For longest storage, up to
two weeks, maintain the temperature at 450F 500F. If left in a bag
on the kitchen counter or on the porch, they can not be expected to
last longer than 3 to 4 days in an edible condition.

Winter squashes, however, get their name due to their being
stored long enough to be used in the winter. Main types grown in Florida
gardens are acorn and butternut. These will keep two to three months
at 500F. Even at normal temperature, these winter squashes will keep
up to five weeks. Pumpkins usually do not keep as well as winter
squashes, but in general about the same storage conditions are best
for them. In all cases, pumpkins and winter squashes should be well
matured, free from defects and rots, then kept dry and cool (50'F)
for longest storage.


4. Sunburned Tomatoes

One of the most noticeable defects of garden tomatoes each year
is sunburning. Unlike Florida sunbathers who get too much exposure,
Florida tomatoes do not peel. Instead, their shoulders turn yellow
instead of red. In severe cases, the shoulders have white sunken areas
which is labeled sunscald.

Sunburning usually results from overpruning. The determinate
or bush-type varieties should be pruned only lightly, if at all. Even
the indeterminate or staking varieties should not have all their suckers
removed. With only one main branch, there is not enough canopy of
foliage to prevent sunburn or sunscald. Two or three main stems should
be encouraged. Tying or staking the vines in an upright fashion exposes
the tomato fruits to the sunlight. Therefore, on bush-type tomatoes,
it is advisable to let the bush settle on the ground. Be sure to cover
the soil with some form of mulch, however, to prevent fruits from
rotting due to soil-borne decay organisms.




- I U-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


When harvesting, be careful not to pull the plant apart
unnecessarily, exposing unpicked fruits to the sun. Actually, there
mioht be some merit to attaching a paper shield over each hand (cluster)
of tomato fruit. Do not cover leaves, as they must receive the sunlight
to manufacture needed food for the plant.

Sunburned fruits are edible. Usually, only one to two slices
are lost near the stem end. They are unsightly, and most gardeners
would prefer to have the fruits reach a deep red color over the entire
surface of the fruit.

(Stephens)


B. Know Your Vegetables Chufa

Chufa (Cyperus esculentus) has other names such as tiger nut, zulu nut,
yellow nutgrass, ground almond, edible rush, and rush nut. It is one of two
major species of the nutsedge genus Cyperus found throughout Florida or all
types of soil from rockland to muck. Its close relative, Cyperus rotundus,
is called purple nutgrass politely, but has many impolite names due to its
severity as a weed problem. Both are weed pests, but rotundus is a more wide-
spread problem than the esculentus chufa, which has often been cultivated as
a livestock food. On occasion, it is cultivated for human consumption, with
the tubers eaten raw or baked.

Chufa is a perennial sedge which produces small tubers (1/2 to 3/4" or
less in diameter) underground in a chain-like fashion. The top of the plant
is grass-like, from 6 to 36 inches tall.

Certainly it is easy to grow vegetatively. The chufas are planted in
late spring to mid-summer by dropping the dried nuts 6 to 12 inches apart in
rows spaced 2-3 feet apart. Planting rate is 15 to 40 pounds per acre. The
tuber germinates, developing into a plant with several tubers bunched together
directly beneath the plant and a few stragglers some distance away. Although
bunched together, each nut is attached to a thin underground stem (rhizome)
which connects the single tuber to the growing shoot.

Although seldom grown as a food item in home gardens, chufas were
grown on about 2,000 farms in the U.S. in 1944, mostly in Florida. In 1941,
7,000 acres were hogged-off in Florida and over 3,000 bushels were dug from
170 additional acres. The nuts weigh about 44 pounds per bushel.

(Stephens)


Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $76.70
or 171 cents per copy, for the purpose of communicating current
technical and educational material to extension, research and industry
personnel."




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