Title: Vegetarian
ALL VOLUMES CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00145
 Material Information
Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
Physical Description: Serial
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: February 1979
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00145
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

Vegetarian%201979%20Issue%2079-2 ( PDF )


Full Text

INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES COOPERATIVE
IFA UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA EXTENSION SERVICE


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
Vegetable Crops Deparbtent 3026 McCarty Hall

February 10, 1979

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist

C. B. Hall
Acting Chairman


R. D. William
Assistant Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor


G. A. I1arlowe, Jr.
Professor


M. E. tIarvel
Professor


James 11ontelaro
Professor


TO: COUtfTY E:IErJSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLE AND HOFTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA

FROM: J. M. Stephens, Associate Professor & Extension Vegetable Specialist

VEGETAP.IAN NEWSLETTER 79-2

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NC JES OF iTIEREST

A. Certified Sweet Potato List from Georgia Available
B. Vegetable Crops Grad Needs a Job
C. Marvel and Iarlowe Leave Extension

II. COOP'ERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Watermelon Intentions to Plant Report for 1979
B. Spray Tank Mixes and Crop Injury in Vegetables
C. Are Tcnato Growers Using Too Iluch Fertilizer in the
Full Bed Mulch System?
D. Weed Control in Market Vegetable Gardens Cultural Practices

III VEGETABLE GARDENING


Asparagus Give it Another Try
Varieties for the Spring Vegetable Garden
Know Your Vegetables Swamp Cabbage


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


skh
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


possible




-2-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Certified Sweet Potato List from Georgia Available

Extension Agents may request a larch, 1978 list of growers in Georgia
who sell certified sweet potato roots or draws by contacting the Vegetable
Crops Extension Secretaries.
(William)

B. Vegetable Crops Grad Needs a Job

The Vegetable Crops Department will have one student graduating in
March, 1979, with a B.S. degree and looking for employment in the vegetable
industry. Delbridge Lindley Gibbs is particularly interested in production
work. He has a good background of course work including Pest Management,
Nematology, Water lanagenent, and Business Carmunications as well as our
vegetable crops and other agricultural courses. His work experience includes
the past year as a Coop Student and Supervisor Trainee with the Florida Farm
Bureau. He is a Florida native, unmarried, and willing to do sane traveling
if necessary, For more information contact Dr. B. D. Thcmpson at the Vegetable
Crops Department.

(Montelaro)

C. Marvel and Marlowe Leave Extension

Dr. Mason E. Marvel and Dr. George A. Marlowe, Extension Vegetable
Specialists with our department, are leaving for overseas work. They will
be missed by all associated with the vegetable industry in Florida. We wish
them well in their new ventures.

Until they are replaced, the ranaining staff will try to fill the void.
We hope you bear with us if response is not prompt.
(Montelaro)

II COMCERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. Watermelon Intentions to Plant Report for 1979

Following is the complete report issued by the Florida Crop & Livestock
Reporting Service on "Intentions to Plant" Watermelons for the 1979 season. In-
tended acreage is down. Let's hope growers don't use this report to increase
intended acreage. Even 53,000 acres, in a good production season, can result
in market gluts.

"Expected watermelon plantings in Florida for the 1979 season
are estimated at 53,000 acres, 10 percent less than the 59,000
acres planted in 1978.

Indications fran all areas of the state show that growers intend
to plant less acres in the west, north and central but more acres
will be planted in the southern areas.




-3-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

In the southwestern counties, planting was underway in Decenber. The
early plantings were up to good stands but a cold front passing over
the area in early January caused sane damage and spot replanting was
necessary. Planting and replanting is on schedule and will continue
into February.
In the west central counties, planting was underway in early
January. Reseeding will be necessary in low, wet areas where seeds
failed to germinate.
Land is being prepared for planting in the southeast and central
areas, but progress has been slow to date. Planting should begin by
late January and early February. There has been little activity in
the north and west but planting should begin by late February and
continue into April.
Final planted acreage may differ significantly frcm these inten-
tions for various reasons. Economic conditions, labor supply, cost
of fuel and fertilizer, transportation outlook, weather conditions
and the effect of this report could cause growers to change their
plans."



Florida watermelon acreage intended to be planted, by areas, 1979 with ccaparisons

Areas 1977 1978 1979
Percent of
Planted Harvested Planted Harvested Intended
last year
West 10,000 4,000 9,500 5,000 7,000 74

North 38,000 31,700 34,000 31,000 30,000 88

Central 11,500 10,100 10,700 9,300 10,500 98

South 5,500 5,200 4,800 4,700 5,500 115

State 65,000 51,000 59,000 50,000 53,000 90


(Montelaro)

B. Spray Tank Mixtures and Crop Injury in Vegetables

Injury to vegetable crops from materials sprayed on for one purpose or
another, without doubt, is a problem more serious than generally recognized by
growers and plant scientists. When foliage or fruit injury is noted, it may be
easily attributed to diseases if not checked carefully. What about injury that
is not readily apparent like reduced yield, plant and fruit size, quality etc?
It, too, can be attributed to other causes including adverse weather, moisture
conditions and nutrient status. The latter of the two types of crop injuries is
by far the hardest to recognize.





-4-


THE VEGETARIAN NEVSLETER

Probably the major contributing factor in spray injury to vegetable
crops is overloading the spray tank with too many materials. It is not uncommon
to see combinations of fungicides and insecticides, urea or mixed soluble fer-
tilizers, stickers and spreaders, micronutrients, buffering compounds, "miracle
products", etc. dumped into a tank all at one time. Combine that with chemicals
found in water and the diversity and total amounts of materials present in a tank
can be staggering. Chemical reactions possible in such a mixture might be too
ccmplex for even a brilliant chemist to ascertain.
For no other reason than potential crop injury, growers should beware of
dumping "everything but the kitchen sink" into the spray tank. The fact that the
practice may be unnecessarily wasteful makes it doubly important for growers to
scrutinize their spray tank mixtures carefully. Certain materials are capable of
injuring crops when used alone. When they are mixed with others, chances of in-
jury are increased tremendously. The fixed copper compounds fall into this cate-
gory. In a study of fungicide-insecticide combinations on peppers, Dr. J. P. Jones
and associates (FSHS Proceedings, Vol. 77, pages 248-251. 1964) in part summarized
their results as follows:

"The fruit injury (on pepper fruit) occurred during the spring and was
characterized by sunken circular lesions dark in color and ranging in size from
specks to 2 an in diameter. This injury occurred on only a few fruit and was
associated entirely with Tri-Basic Copper Sulfate combinations (with certain
insecticides) "

This type of information should serve to caution growers against indis-
criminate use of materials in the spray tank. The following considerations are
intended to help growers avoid this common mistake. Before deciding on spray
combinations:

1) Check compatibilities of compounds to be used on the labels and in
compatibility charts.
2) Use only the "bare minimum" number of compounds. This may be one
fungicide and one insecticide in most cases.
3) When using copper compounds, follow suggestions in number 2 carefully.
Leave out unnecessary materials and check compatibility chart to be
on the safe side.
4) Do not use any "additives" of any kind on the long-shot possibility
that it may help.
5) Check the spray-tank solution. A change in color may indicate a
major chemical reaction. If so, beware!!

Injury from foliar sprays will happen, on occasion, in spite of one's
best intention. The vegetable grower's aim should he to reduce this possibility
to a minimum.


(Montelaro)




-5-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER



C. Are Tomato Growers Using Too Much Fertilizer in the Full Bed Mulch System?

The adoption of the full bed mulch system and newer varieties for fresh
market tomato production has been responsible for significant increases in yield
during the past ten years. The question of how much fertilizer is necessary has
been the subject of a great deal of research and conjecture. A recent soluble
salt survey (1975-77) revealed that a large amount of fertilizer ranains in the
bed after the harvest is canpleted. This residual fertilizer contributes to the
salt build-up in many fields cropped with tomatoes for several consecutive years.

One very inquisitive grower in Ruskin asked us to have a "realistic" test
on his farm within his commercial operation. In response, a test was conducted
by IFAS workers G. A. Marlowe, R. T. Montgmnery, M. T. Pospichal, and D. J. Schuster.
The only variable was to be the three fertilizer application rates agreed upon for
the test. A soil sample was taken from the field immediately after first disking.
The "I and B" results in Table 1 show that sane residual plant nutrients were pre-
sent before any amendments were added.


-- Partial chanical composition of the soil solution in
prior to field preparation, Ruskin, 1978.
(Field had tomatoes in 1977 spring).


the field


Depth pH TSS NO3 NH4 P K Ca Na Mg Cl


0-2 in 6.3 2408 75 16 0 186 182 136 90 97

2-4 in. 6.2 1638 50 21 0 147 106 90 52 27

4-8 in. 5.9 1540 22 32 0 126 97 74 46 99



The field preparation that followed the initial sampling included bed
formation, incorporation of starter fertilizer, superphosphate, and minor elements.
These rates and the amounts of shoulder-placed high analysis fertilizer are shown
in Tables 2 and 3.


Table 1.




-6-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Table 2.-- Application rate of starter and shoulder-placed fertilizer, full
bed mulch system, 'Walter' tomatoes, Ruskin, 1978.
(Rows 6 feet wide, 7260 feet long per acre row).


Fertilizer or Low Level Medium Level High Level
Amendment Application Rate, Lbs. per 100 Linear Feet (HLF)

1. Bed Mixture
3-15-4 15.0 15.0 15.0
Superphosphate 20% 7.0 7.0 7.0
Minor elements,
fritted 1.4 1.4 1.4
4-8-8 15.0 15.0 15.0

2. Shoulder Bands, Total
18-0-25 15.0 30.0 60.0


Table 3.-- Pounds of N, P205 and K20 per hundred linear feet of row in full
bed mulch system 'Walter' tomatoes, Ruskin, 1978


Material Rate, Ibs N P205 K20


3-15-4 15 0.43 2.14 0.57
Superphosphate 20% 7 ---- 1.40 ---
4-8-8 15 0.57 1.14 1.14
18-0-25 (Low) 15 2.57 --- 3.57
18-0-25 (Mediun) 30 5.14 --- 7.14
18-0-25 (High) 60 7.71 ---- 10.71

The total pounds per hundred linear feet (HLF) of N, P205, and K20 are
shown in Table 4. If one wished to convert the HLF figures over to the old
method of pounds per acre the following factor may be helpful. There would be
approximately 73 (6 x 100 feet units) per acre. In the Ruskin area growers
plant about 3000 plants to an acre.




-7-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Table 4. --


Total pounds of N, P205, and K20 per hundred linear feet of row per
treatment, in full bed mulch system, 'Walter' tomatoes, 1978.


Treatment Total pounds per hundred linear feet
level N P205 K20

Low 3.57 4.68 5.28
r-edium 6.14 4.68 8.85
High 8.71 4.68 12.42

Soil samples were taken and analyzed (I and B saturated soil paste method)
three times during the growing season. Samples were taken at 0-2, 2-4, and 4-8
inch depths, from the alley between beds, the shoulder bands, the plant row, and
the area between the band and tomato plant row. The figures in Table 5 represent
an average of 4 replications at 3 depths in the plant row and mid-bed area only.
It is quite obvious that a rather large amount of fertilizer remained at the end
of the season with all treatment levels.

Table 5. -- Partial chemical composition of the soil solution in a full bed mulch
system for 'Walter' tomatoes, 1978, Ruskin.

Low Fertilizer Application Rate

Date pH TSS NO NH. P K Ca Na Mg Cl

16 March 6.0 2959 282 4 13 314 264 52 119 75
21 April 6.0 2156 96 5 12 115 208 78 106 73
17 May 5.9 1997 36 3 11 85 174 98 89 63
Medium Fertilizer Application Rate
16 March 6.1 3087 268 7 8 312 277 48 101 85
21 April 6.1 3178 267 5 6 261 272 94 109 105
17 May 6.1 2568 180 1 6 200 227 130 104 123
High Fertilizer Application Rate
16 March 5.9 4211 516 62 15 764 406 75 144 150
21 April 6.0 3606 350 16 6 260 314 98 112 114
17 May 5.8 5512 536 36 14 703 407 82 178 218


Measurements of yield, top growth, and
Table 6. The fertilizer level had very little


stem diameter are presented in
influence on total and marketable


yield. Increases in fertilizer level increased vegetative growth. Dr. David
Schuster, Entamologist, AREC-Bradenton evaluated this vegetative growth response
in relation to leafininer and pinworm damage, and a report may be presented in a
future "Vegetarian" Newsletter.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Table 6.--The number and weight of fruit of 'Walter' tomatoes
the level of applied fertilizer, weight in pounds


as influenced by


Fruit per plant Fertilizer level L.S.D
avg. of four replications Low Mediun High 5% level
Total, number 89.0 109.1 93.8 NS
Total, weight 10.9 12.8 12.1 NS

Extra large, number 18.8 20.8 20.8 NS
Extra large, weight 4.9 5.4 5.4 NS

Large, number 18.1 20.2 21.3 NS
Large weight 2.4 2.7 2.8 NS

Medium number 13.6 15.6 17.8 NS
Medium weight 1.3 1.4 1.7 NS

Small, Number 6.6 9.0 8.8 NS
Small, weight 1.3 0.6 0.6 NS

Immature, culls,
number 31.9b 43.5c 25.la 3.9
Immature culls,
weight 1.9b 2.6c 1.5a 0.3

Weight of leaves,
stems, F.W. 7.8b 8.6a 8.9a 0.3

Diameter of Sten,
at soil line, an. 2.1 2.2 2.4 0.2

In surmuary, this test demonstration revealed several important, already
know facts. (1) Continued use of high fertilizer rates may contribute to an
increased soluble salt level in fields in which the full bed mulch program is
used. (2) The econanic benefit of fertilizer rate to yield relationships needs
careful study. (3) If you want to grow large vines, apply abundant fertilizer,
water, and tender loving care.
(Marlowe)
D. Weed Control in Market Vegetable Gardens Cultural Practices

Growing quality vegetables in market gardens is especially challenging.
Normally, several vegetables may be grown together in the market garden. Yet
each vegetable requires somewhat different cultural practices and weed control
methods. Because weed competition reduces crop yields and vegetable quality, most
weed growth must be controlled from the time of planting until harvest. Fortunately,
market vegetable gardeners may combine several weed control practices into a success-
ful weed management program.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Know the weeds Successful weed management often depends on the types of
weeds that infest fields and the choice of weed control practices. For example,
perennial weeds such as purple nutsedge, torpedograss, bermudagrass, and many
others require year-round suppression or control. For more information about con-
trolling these weeds in camercial vegetable production, read Extension Fact Sheets
VC-12 and VC-13.

Most annual grasses and broadleaf weeds must be controlled during the early
states of the vegetable life cycle or yields can be reduced. This weed-free period
usually represents the first third to half of the vegetable life cycle. However,
to maintain a clean, attractive product or to prevent interference during harvesting,
weed growth must be managed throughout the entire life cycle of the crop.

Crop rotations, cover crops, and cultural practices Many pest problems can
be minimized by rotating crops and fields. For example, close-spaced crops that form
complete canopies to shade the soil will compete against many light sensitive or low-
growing weeds. With careful selection of crop rotations, cover crops and vegetable
varieties, populations of same weeds and other pests such as nematodes can be reduced.
Examples include crop rotations with cover crops or vegetable varieties, that form
dense canopies, but do not host certain nematodes such as Crotalaria spectabalis
(Southern root-know), hairy indigo (sting and Southern root-knot), and Southern pea
varieties 'California Blackeye #5' and 'Mississippi Silver' (Southern root-knot).

Plowing weeds, plant trash, or cover crops under several weeks before planting
will control many established weeds and reduce interference with planting operations.
Complete rotting of plant roots and debris will increase the effectiveness of chemical
nematicides and reduce the severity of same soil-borne diseases. Preparing a uniform
seedbed or transplanting vigorous vegetable transplants at optimum plant densities
and planting patterns will also swing the competitive balance in favor of the crop.

Multi-purpose soil fumigants and mulches Mulching high-value crops such as
strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants with black or white-on-black plastic
mulch will increase yields of quality vegetables and will control most annual weeds
under the mulch. In addition, proper application of multi-purpose soil funigants
will control most pests including weeds when soil moisture is optimun for plant growth.
For more information about weed control for full-bed mulched vegetables, read Extension
Fact Sheet VC-14.

Cultivation The primary reason for cultivating most vegetables is to control
weeds. Effective cultivation begins soon after the seeds emerge when they are barely
visible. Shallow cultivation using a rolling cultivator or properly adjusted sweeps
can control most small weed seedlings. Avoid deep cultivation that will cut and injure
the vegetable roots. Under normal weather conditions, a couple of cultivations and
one hoeing within the row will be required to control weeds before the crop canopy
forms. Of course, extra cultivations may be necessary for a long duration vegetable
or under abnormally wet conditions.

(The conclusion of this article describing "chemical control" will be
printed in the March issue of the Vegetarian Newsletter.


(William)




-10-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

III VEGETABLE GARDENING


A. Asparagus Give it Another Try

Asparagus is generally considered to be a poor choice for the Florida
vegetable garden. After all, there is no commercial production of the crop
in the state at present and experiments to develop its ccrmercial potential
in Florida have met with less than satisfactory results.

The usual pessimism for this crop results from unfavorable environmental
conditions, particularly temperature. It seems that the asparagus plant being
a native of the north temperate regions of Europe requires several months of
cold weather to induce a dormant rest period. With the recurrence of growth
following such dormancy, new crowns (storage roots attached to underground stem)
are produced which give rise to spears.

Florida winters are normally mild, punctuated only occasionally by freez-
ing weather which lasts but a few days. Asparagus tops are killed by frost, but
upon resumption of warm days, new growth appears. In south Florida the tops may
never be killed back, while further north in colder counties the tops may be
killed back two or three times. Each time new shoots (spears) are regenerated,
but these cmae from new weak crowns whose reserve food supply is depleted. After
the first year or two, the spears become very spindly and woody.

Those who have tried asparagus in Florida report varying degrees of success.
Many have experienced results similar to what has just been described. On the other
hand, there are sane glowing testimonies of success. A few gardeners have been able
to maintain a bed in fair production for three or four years.

At one time, back in 1930, a 275 acre trial planting was made on muck soil
in the vicinity of Canal Point. A considerable cutting of spears was made during
December, January and February following planting of one and two year old roots
shipped front California. New and vigorous crowns had been formed in four months,
which were producing large succulent spears. The crowns were planted March 1, and
15 months later, there were as many as seven healthy crowns on scme plants. From
these and other trials, one thing at least has been determined, and that is the
plants will not go dormant on account of natural means. There is not enough cold
or dry weather, and cutting, bending, or breaking the ferns have not worked. What
shoots (spears) are cut must be taken from the growing plants.

There are two suggestions for die-hard asparagus loving Florida gardeners
to try: first, make the growing medium (soil) so rich and luxuriant, similar to the
muck of Canal Point, that new crowns and shoots are produced in abundance regardless
of dormancy.

Second, peel the spears before eating where continuous growth has resulted
in woody, fibrous shoots. Peeling of the outer, woody surface is customary in
other warm season production areas of the world, such as Taiwan. The central por-
tion may be highly acceptable and surprisingly tender and tasty.


(Stephens)




-11-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

B. Varieties for the Spring Vegetable Garden

The 1979 editions of seed catalogs are alive with new offerings for the
spring garden. Many gardeners will try out sane of these, but most will go with
the old reliables. Actually, planting same of both the old and the new is
good advice.

Old reliables generally are no worse than was experienced the year before.
Unless, of course, growing conditions may have worsened in the off-season with the
encroachment of pests such as soil-borne diseases and nematodes.

When garden space is sufficient, new varieties should be tried on a small-
scale along with the old stand-bys. Many times, a "new" variety is just an "old"
variety with an additional, improved feature such as a better disease resistance.
Naturally, one seldom knows beforehand just how well a new listing will perform in
in a particular garden. Catalog listings are usually quite appealing in their de-
scriptions of the variety. If the variety is an All-American medal winner, it pro-
bably will grow well in Florida, for to receive such recognition, a variety must
have scored highly in trials all around the country.

The "Planting Guide for Florida Gardens," Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, lists varieties suggested for planting in Florida vegetable gardens.
Changes are in-press now which will reflect new additions.

Following is a list of additions for 1979: 'aRoa' bush snap bean; 'Green
Comet' broccoli; 'Bok Choy' Chinese cabbage; 'Florida Staysweet' sweet corn; 'Black
Beauty'; 'Long Tom' and 'Ichiban' eggplant; 'Atlantic' and 'Superior' potatoes;
'Dixie' and 'Scallopini' sumner squash; 'Sweet Mama'; winter squash; and 'Cherry'
and 'Flora-Dade' tomatoes.

Here is a brief description of the newcomers: 'Rcma' is a green-podded
snap bean that is similar to 'Romana', the large, flat-podded pole bean. 'Rcma' is
used fresh as a snap bean, but also may be used shelled as a horticultural type bean.

'Green Comet', an All American award winning broccoli hybrid, is offered
by many seed companies. It produces a large single head.

'Bok Choy' is a non-heading form of Chinese cabbage, with several thick
white leaf stalks and smooth, glossy, dark-green, round leaf blades forming a celery-
like cluster. This type of Chinese cabbage is represented by several varieties such
as 'Crispy Choy', 'Canton Pak Choi', and 'Pai Tsai White Stalk'.

'Florida Staysweet' is a super sweet hybrid developed at the University of
Florida. Not only does it have more sugar than average varieties, but it remains
sweet long after harvest. This variety should not be planted near other varieties,
or there is a possibility of its losing its sweetness.

'Black Beauty' is an old popular garden variety that produces a blocky,
globe shaped fruit. Although the fruits sanetimes are rough at the blossom end, it
is back on the list due to its popularity. 'Long Tan' and 'Ichiban' are oriental-
type eggplant hybrids which produce a large number of very slender, long purple
to black fruits. 'Ichiban' plants are an attractive purple-green color.




-12-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

'Atlantic' is a fairly new round white Irish potato variety that is
gaining commercial acceptance in Florida. 'Superior' is a round, white Irish
potato variety that has been around a while. It has a roughed, drab outward
appearance, but it does store better than many fresh varieties under Florida
home storage conditions.

Three new additions have been made for squash growers. 'Dixie' a
yellow surner crook variety, and 'Scallopini', a green scallop shaped cross be-
tween scallop and zucchini, are additions to the summer squash category. "Sweet
Mama' is an All American award winning winter squash which should do well in
Florida.

For tomatoes, 'Cherry' is again included on the list for those who want
a small size fruit; 'Flora-Dade' has been added especially for gardeners in Dade
County where calcareous soils are prevalent.

Keep in mind that varieties are recommended on the basis of (a) seed
availability (b) performance in Florida (c) disease resistance and (d) additional
benefits over already established varieties. It is recognized that the list of
recommended varieties amits many good varieties which might prove to be very
satisfactory. For that reason gardeners are advised to experiment, but in a small
way as space permits.

If seeds or plants of desired varieties are not available locally in seed
and garden supply centers, check listings in seed company catalogs. Usually, not
all desired varieties will be found listed by any one company, so order catalogs
from several companies well ahead of the planting season.

(Stephens)


C. Know Your Vegetables Swamp Cabbage

Swamp cabbage is an old time Florida "cracker" favorite vegetable obtained
fran the heart of the cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The cabbage palm is the offi-
cial state tree of Florida. It is known by such other names as palmetto palm, sabal
palm, and swamp cabbage tree.

The cabbage palm grows wild all over the state in such abundance that it is
not cultivated for harvest as a vegetable. The cabbage palm grows as an individual
plant scattered across the horizon, or thickly clustered together in "hammocks."
It is greatly valued as an ornamental tree both for home and industrial landscaping.
Most nurseries sell them for $50.00 each or more, depending on their size and shape.

Although it grows wild, it is protected from indiscriminate cutting by its
designation as Florida's state tree. Yet, large numbers of swamp cabbage are cut
and sold each year, mostly as a prelude to land clearing operations.

The cabbage palm reaches a height of 80 to 90 feet at maturity, although
most are more like 20-30 feet tall. It is at the 8-10 foot height that the "swamp
cabbage" is cut from it. To remove the heart, the outer leaf stems are cut away
and the trunk is severed near the ground level and again about 3h feet above.




-13-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


The woody base of the leaves which wrap around the trunk are called "boots". These
are left on until such time the cabbage is prepared. At this stage, the untrimmed
swamp cabbage weighs 15 to 20 pounds. At the proper time, "boots" are stripped
from the 3 foot long section until the tender, closely wrapped central core is
reached.

The central core thus exposed is called swamp cabbage. It is cylindrical
in shape, creamy white in color, and is composed of layers of undeveloped "boots"
(leaves) of the consistency, tenderness, and texture of regular cabbage. The taste
is unique and quite different. The trimmed edible product may weigh 5 to 10 pounds.

Following training, the swamp cabbage may be prepared in various ways for
eating. The most popular old "cracker" way is to cut it into thin slices like cole
slaw and cook with meat seasoning until done. Thoroughly cooked, the whiteness
changes to a greyish brown, and the taste becomes quite unique sort of smoky and
wild.

Another popular way to use it is to slice and place the thin pieces into
a tossed salad. A pinch or spoonful of guava paste adds the final touch.

Again the reader should be reminded that the utilization of the palm for
food usage as swamp cabbage neccessitates the total destruction of one state tree
of Florida. Therefore, unless total authorization is obtained, indiscriminate
cutting of the trees is discouraged.

(Stephens)


Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $201.82 or 29g
per copy, for the purpose of communicating current technical and educational material
to extension, research and industry personnel."




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs