Title: Vegetarian
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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: November 1979
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00154
Source Institution: University of Florida
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INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES COOPERATIVE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA EXTENSION SERVICE

I VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


November 5, 1979

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

D. N. Maynard
Chairman


R. D. William
Assistant Professor

R. K. Showalter
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

James Montelaro
Professor


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

FROM: J. M. Stephens, Associate Professor and Extension eget Specialist

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 79-11

IN THIS ISSUE

I. NOTES OF INTEREST


Florida 4-H Horticulturists Win Top Honors
Visiting Professor To Help With "Master Gardening"


II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


Strawberry Production in Florida A Success Story
Inside Florida's Worst Weeds


III. HARVESTING AND HANDLING


Per Capita Vegetable Consumption 1978
Developing County Extension Vegetable Marketing Programs -
Product Quality, Marketing Losses, and Market Reputation


IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Poor Pollination and Other
Know Your Minor Vegetables


Causes of Misshapen Strawberries
- 'Sugar Snap' Peas


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

dnd
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





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. NOTES OF INTEREST


A. Florida 4-H Horticulturists Win Top Honors
Our congratulations to the Marion County 4-H team for placing 2nd in the
national horticultural judging, identification, and information contest,
October 27, in St. Louis, during the National Junior Horticultural Association
Convention. Teresa Piotrowski was the high individual in the nation. Marion
County also entered the Open Division of the Contest and placed first in the
nation. Congratulations also are extended to Liz Olsen, Brevard County 4-Her
who won first place in the National Horticulture Demonstrations. St. Johns
County 4-Hers also participated in the events. The Florida delegation was led
by Susan Gray, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Julian Sauls, Extension Fruit
Crops Specialist, Bob Renner, Marion County 4-H Agent, and Nettie R. Brown,
St. Johns County 4-H Coordinator.
(Stephens)




B. Visiting Professor To Help With "Master Gardening"

Dr. J. S. "Joe" Vandemark, retired Illinois Extension Vegetable Specialist
is a visiting professor in our department until January 1. Joe will be assisting
with the establishment of a "Master Gardening" program in Florida similar to the
one he had so much success with in Illinois.
(Stephens)


II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Strawberry Production in Florida A Success Story

An almost unbelievable 800% increase in average strawberry yields over the
past 20 years in Florida is a success story worth telling. Yields have increased
from less than 2,000 pounds in the mid-fifties to 15,000-pound average per acre,
presently. Yields in the 30- to 40,000-pound range are common among the better
growers now. Groups and individuals attacking government-sponsored research and
extension should take note. Their claim is that these agencies "work for the big
operators only". Nothing could be further from the truth in Florida strawberry
production as the vast majority of Florida growers are small, independent operators.

This phenomenal success story is a tribute to the American system. The
developers and manufacturers of plastic, fertilizers, pesticides, and other supplies
made their contributions. Government sponsored research and extension workers made
their contribution in the development of new varieties, adaption of plastic-mulch
culture, better liming, fertilization, and pest control practices. Least of all is
the ingenuity of the grower.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Today, the effort is still very intensive. Research and extension workers
are striving to develop ways and means of producing strawberry transplants economically
on every farm. This, in itself, could mean thousands of dollars in savings annually
to many of our strawberry growers.

Another effort is worthy of note. Strawberries are being promoted as a
natural for "U-pick" operations. This type of enterprise can be a boon to small,
under-capitalized, part-time farmers all over the state of Florida as well as the
consuming public. It permits them to buy fresh, high-quality strawberries at reason-
able prices while enjoying the outdoors. Similar stories, possibly not as dramatic
as the strawberry story, could be told for a number of other vegetable crops in
Florida.

(Montelaro)


B. Inside Florida's Worst Weeds

While inspecting vegetable fields for proper plant growth, insect or disease
outbreaks, fertilizer salt accumulation, adequate moisture, or a multitude of
other crop problems, certain weeds are often recognized as dominant species
in most fields. These weeds include pigweed (Amaranthus sp.), purslane (Portulaca
oleracea), nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), goosegrass
(Eleusine indica), crabgrass (Digitaria sp.) and many others.

Externally, these weeds appear more competitive due to their height, leaf
succulence for conserving moisture, rapidity of growth and flowering, or perhaps
their perennial nature. However, these weeds and other subtropical and tropical
weed species and crops such as corn, sorghum and sugarcane are more competitive
in their internal physiology or the way carbon dioxide (C02) is fixed to form a
4-carbon sugar. Instead of fixing C02 into a 3-carbon sugar in the mesophyll cells
of C3 plants, these C4 plants form a 4-carbon sugar in special mesophyll cells
that surround both the bundle sheath, and xylem and pholem tissue in the leaves.
This special physiology and morphological arrangement allows these plants to
produce at higher temperatures and light intensities, and with less water and
nitrogen fertilizer.

In Florida, about half of the most troublesome or common weeds and most of the
world's most troublesome weeds listed in the Vegetarian Newsletter, 78-6 are
C4 plants. Because Florida's climatic conditions are especially conducive for
the growth and competition of these C4 weeds, growers need to develop year-round
cropping systems that suppress the reproduction and growth of the most troublesome
weeds in their fields. Cropping systems that involve competitive crop rotations,
cover crops, herbicides and crop management practices can reduce the growth and
resulting crop competition from these species. For more information, a readable
article by J. R. Ehleringer appeared in Hort Science, 14(3): 217-222, entitled
"Photosynthesis and Photorespiration: Biochemistry, Physiology, and Ecological
Implications". County Agents can request copies from the Extension Vegetable
Crops faculty.


(William)




-4-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


III. HARVESTING AND HANDLING


A. Per Capita Vegetable Consumption 1978*

Per capital use of fresh market vegetables increased slightly in 1978 to
103.0 pounds, up from 101.4 in 1977. (Home garden vegetable consumption and
potato crops are excluded).

Excluding potatoes, the most popular fresh vegetables in 1978 were lettuce,
at 26,6 pounds per capital annually; tomatoes, at 13.4 pounds; and onions at
10.1 pounds.

Watermelon consumption decreased in 1978 to 13.2 pounds per capital,
down from 13.5 in 1977.

Domestic production of 19 major crops increased slightly from 1977. Imports
of fresh vegetables, largely from Mexico, were record large in 1978, moving up to
18.5 million cwt. or 8% of our total supply, if one includes the rough estimate for
commercial production of minor vegetables.

(Showalter)


*The PMA Report, Volume 11, Number 16


CHANGES IN VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION
PER CAPITA BETWEEN 1970-72 and 1976-78*


TOTAL LBS.
1976-78

102.4 FRESH

102.0 CANNED

21.1 FROZEN

225.5 TOTAL


4%
8%


*FRESH WEIGHT BASIS; EXCLUDES POTATOES, SWEET POTATOES
AND MELONS. DEHYDRATED ONIONS INCLUDED IN FRESH.


Changes in Freh Vegetable Consumpln
Per Capita Between 1970-72 and 1976-78
Total b. 1976-78


25.3 Lettuce&

129 Tomatoes

87 -2%5
10.3 -3%


7.9 -b
7.8 Corn


g9%

8%

ms
Cabbage
| roni*

Carrots
No chWan


aincelud" aroe. *lncludln oou 3 Ib. ol dehydrated onlonc.


---






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

B. Developing County Extension Vegetable Marketing Programs:
Product Quality, Marketing Losses, and Market Reputation

One of the first steps that can be effectively used in a County Extension
vegetable marketing program is to help growers and shippers understand the impor-
tance of the quality of their packed products, the relationship of that quality to
marketing losses and their market reputation. Types of "pack quality" problems
are (1) packing too low or sometimes rarely too high a quality for a specific market
or changing marketing conditions; (2) excessive variability of quality within packs;
(3) lack of understanding of the handling requirements needed for different levels
of packed quality (lower quality products need more careful handling than higher
quality ones); (4) lack of understanding by growers and shippers of the quality
of products received, handled, and sold in various wholesale and retail marketing
levels. These problems generally occur because growers and/or shippers do not
know the quality or condition of their own products at the time they are either
sold or discarded in retail stores. This is generally the case with small volume
growers and it is not uncommon with large volume, commercial growers and shippers.
However, the underlying causes differ for each.

It is difficult, but possible and generally worthwhile for County Agents to help
improve the packed quality of growers' or shippers' products. Here are some ideas
to consider if you want to try. To be effective we need growers or shippers who really
want help, or who need help but don't recognize it.

Arrange a visit to a nearby terminal market and some retail markets to observe
the growers' own products in these channels. Encourage them to ask market handlers
about quality problems experienced. You may have to go with individual or a few
friendly growers on initial marketing trips.

Encourage growers or shippers to keep a packed sample of an occasional lot in
their packing house, storage room, or garage and to examine the products after a
reasonable simulated distribution and marketing period. Only commercially packed
samples should be kept to be representative of lots shipped to markets. Quality
deterioration in the unshipped samples will generally approximate that in shipped
lots except for the influence of transit factors.

Hold a quality judging of commercially packed samples from several shippers.
This works when you have several, or better yet, most growers or shippers in a dis-
trict who are concerned about market quality. I have found the following technique
to be effective.

1. Meet with your potential cooperators either individually or collectively
to explain your plan (collecting of commercially packed samples, storage,
judging).

2. Select 1 or 2 commercially packed samples directly from the line or packing
house of each cooperator on the prearranged day. Be sure that you select
the samples, that all are of the same product sizes, date of harvest, and
grade (i.e. Fancy, US No. 1, US No. 2, etc.) used for the product.

3. Take the collected samples to your office, or a prearranged constant tem-
perature room (e.g. at a nearby IFAS AREC center) and store the samples
for the agreed upon (with your cooperators) simulated transit and marketing
period.




-6-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

4. Completely mask all identifications on each container and assign a randomly
selected code number to the sample. Because some growers or shippers may
pack in specific styles of shipping containers it may be necessary to
transfer all samples to new containers of the same style. You can normally
get samples from commercial container suppliers. Be sure to keep a
record of the code numbers and their respective samples.

5. Prepare a market quality evaluation sheet that includes categories for
overall visual quality and for each of the major defects influencing the
market quality of that product. Refer to USDA grade standards for specific
crops being judged. You might contact a local USDA supervising inspector
in setting up judging sheets.

6. Conduct the judging meeting. Ask all cooperating growers and shippers to
participate. Have each participant rate each sample on the evaluation
(rating) sheet. The samples will be identified only by code numbers so
there will be no danger of embarrassment to any of the cooperators. After
all evaluations are completed you might ask for comments regarding any of
the samples.

7. Analyze the resulting data from the evaluation sheets, prepare a summary
report for the cooperators. Let each cooperator know the identity of their
sample code numbers) only.

After growers or shippers have seen how their products compare wth the same
products) from other suppliers they can determine the causes of their market quality
problems (if any). The cause of packing too low or excessively variable quality can
generally be determined. Causes are (1) failure to understand or use grades and
standards; (2) the owner or manager does not realize the quality being packed by
packers (Yes, this happens.) (3) variation in adherence to grades and standards
according to supply and demand conditions prevailing; (4) deception in packing;
(5) unknowingly packing otherwise good but mechanically damaged products. The
damage caused by rough handling in harvesting and packinghouse operations is not
often visible at time of packing but definitely is when the products are examined
at markets. I will discuss damage caused by rough handling in a future Vegetarian
issue.

County Agents can help interested growers and shippers to market the quality
of products needed by marketing outlets. It takes patience and tactfullness, but
it can be rewarding.

(Kasmire)*

*Robert F. Kasmire is Visiting Adjunct Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist,
Davis, California.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Poor Pollination and Other Causes of Misshapen Strawberries

Quite often a gardener will observe that strawberry plants are healthy and
productive, but the berries are mildly or extremely deformed. One of the main causes
of misshapen strawberries is poor pollination. Although the strawberry is dependent
upon good pollination for good yields of uniform fruits, pollination is seldom
considered due to the fact that most varieties set a reasonable amount of fruit with
no outside help.

The strawberry is considered to be self-pollinating. However, studies have shown
that bees also play a role. To better understand how the strawberry is pollinated,
let's take a look at the flower. Inside the ring of white petals, the central portion
contains the female reproductive structures consisting of a cone-shaped central
receptacle covered with 50 to 500 individual pistils. The receptacle enlarges
into a strawberry fruit after pollination and fertilization. Each fertilized ovary
at the base of each pistil develops into a seed, called an achene. These seeds
acheness) dot the outside surface of the mature strawberry.

When most of the stigmas (receptive surfaces of the pistils) receive pollen,
a well-developed fruit results. Without sufficient pollination, the berry is smaller
than normal and frequently deformed due to the irregular expansion of the receptacle.
The severity of the deformity is directly related to the number of unpollinated or
destroyed pistils.

Pollen is produced in the bright yellow anthers, which are part of the stamens
that surround the receptacle in a narrow ring. When a strawberry flower opens, the
stigmas are immediately receptive to pollination. A little later, the anthers dry
and split open, propelling their pollen onto the nearby stigmas. The wind helps to
spread the pollen within and between flowers. The primary flowers that bloom first
are sometimes shy of pollen. Their unpollinated pistils remain receptive up to a
week in cool weather. Insect visits are of great value at this time in bringing pollen
from other flowers. Furthermore, varieties differ in their flower structure. Some
have tall stamens which contribute to self-pollination. Others have short stamens,
making help from bees more useful. After pollination, pistils that were yellow-green
become darker. Mottled coloration rather than a uniform darkening usually indicates
incomplete pollination.

Honey bees are the primary insect pollinators of strawberry blossoms. A lack
of bees around strawberries at blooming time results in reduced yields (perhaps up
to 25%) and deformed fruits. In Michigan studies, the greatest benefit from bee
pollinators came during the primary (first) blooming period.

Not all deformities of strawberries are due to lack of pollination. Frost
injury is one of the main causes in Florida gardens. Frost may injure the buds,
the blossoms, or developing fruit. When all of the pistils are killed, the center
of the flower turns black and, of course, there is no berry. If some pistils
survive the frost, a deformed berry develops. The extent of the deformity is de-
pendent upon the number of pistils killed. If frost injury occurs to the developing
berry, the altered growth results in a misshapen fruit.

A very frequent cause of deformed berries is insect injury. In Florida, the two
most prevalent culprits are pameras (Pachybrachius bilobata) and flower thrips
(Frankliniella cephalica). Pameras belong to the chinch bug family. Pameras cause





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


"buttons", which are berries in the early stage of development that cease to grow
and are hard, dry, and brown, Flower thrips are found in large numbers in the blossoms
where they feed on stamens, pistils, and young berries. The blossom may drop, or the
developing berry may be hard, deformed, brown and fail to grow.
Another characteristic of insect damage to the pistillate area of the blossom is
the concentration of seeds at the apical portion of the berries. This "apical
seediness" is deformity enough to cause a berry to be unacceptable.

To avoid these deformity problems, gardeners should (a) insure a good supply
of bees where feasible, (b) spray for control of the insects mentioned, (c) use
spray program that is noninjurious to bees, i.e. spray in late afternoon, and
(d) use frost control measures such as covering the blossoming berry plants during
cold spells.
(Stephens)


B. Know Your Minor Vegetables 'Sugar Snap' Peas

'Sugar Snap' is a 1979 variety (cultivar) introduction of an edible-podded snap
pea (snow pea). 'Sugar Snap' is mentioned here due to its popularity after having
won a Gold Medal award in the 1979 All-American Selections Trials. Judges at
twenty-seven official All-American Selections vegetable trials in all corners of the
USA and southern Canada grew and evaluated this and other varieties. It was deemed
the best edible-podded pea tested.

Seeds were available in the spring of 1979, and based on results of gardeners
who tried it, 'Sugar Snap' passed its test in Florida.

An edible-podded pea (pisum sativum var. saccharatum) is similar to an ordinary
garden (English) pea (Pisum sativum). The English pea pod is lined on the inside
with a thin, but hard and tough membrane which contracts as the pod ripens and dries,
causing the pod to open, twist, and expel its seeds. In contrast, pods of the edible
podded pea, including 'Sugar Snap', do not have the membrane and do not open when ripe.
They are soft, tender and edible.

'Sugar Snap' is so crisp, sweet, and succulent that it may be snapped into
pieces and mixed into salads or eaten whole as an appetizer. Like other snow peas,
it also may be stir-fried or steamed.
'Sugar Snap' has a distinctive appearance and flavor. The pods are round and
reach a length of 2 1/2 to 3 inches at maturity. Pod walls are rather thick in
comparison with other edible-podded peas. Mature pods require "stringing", which
is the removal of a membraneous thread-like string running the length of the pod
on top and bottom. This is similar to the "string" in the pods of older bean
varieties that gave them the name "string beans". Occasionally there will be
overgrown, fibrous pods which may be shelled and combined with other more tender
edible pods.

'Sugar Snap' has a vining plant character. Plants may reach a height of 6 feet
or more, but usually are about 4 feet. A trellis or other support system is required,
very much as for pole beans. Normally, about 70-75 days are required from seeding to
edible maturity.




-9-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


'Sugar Snap' is a cool season vegetable, best grown here in Florida from plantings
in September through March. It has been reported to recover from frost and cold down
to 20F. Unlike garden peas, however, snow peas have a wider adaptation and tolerate
higher temperatures than garden peas. Florida gardeners who planted it in March were
satisfied with the results, but did note some drop-off in pod numbers due to the higher
temperatures of late spring.

Gardeners keenly aware of the nutritional aspects of the vegetables they grow
will be delighted with 'Sugar Snap' Pea! The peas are nutritious and filling, but
are not as high in total carbohydrates and fats as green shelled garden peas. The
crunchy pods contribute mostly water and vitamins.

Over-cooking the pods will make them come apart. They should be lightly
steamed or quickly fried in oil to retain a touch of crispness. 'Sugar Snap' may
be frozen but should not be canned due to high temperatures destroying the structure
of the pods.

Several recipes for 'Sugar Snap' peas have been developed by a noted food
authority and author of best selling cookbooks. They may be used in a Caesar salad,
omelet, soup, beef stew, or jello salad. By themselves, they can be eaten along
with hamburger as a substitute for french fries, stuffed, batterfried, or made into
cocktail rolls.

Florida gardeners should have no trouble finding seeds, as most major seed catalogs
will list them.
(Stephens)


Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $ 231.98 or 42.t
per copy, for the purpose of communicating current technical and educational material
to extension, research and industry personnel."




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