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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
Horticultural Sciences Department
Publication Date: August 1998
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00339
Source Institution: University of Florida
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7 UNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
jA FLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


VEGETARIAN

A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
l Horticultural &cincca Dcpartment P.O. 110690 Gaincgville, FI 32611 Tlephonc (352)392-2134


Vegetarian 98-08


August 14, 1998


CONTENTS


I. NOTES OF INTEREST


A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

A. What are Mineralization Rates
Florida?


of Composts in South


I--- B. 1996-97 Vegetable Summary: Florida Agricultural
Statistics.

SC. Digital Cameras May Provide Help to Agents.

D. Sweet Corn Variety Trial, Spring 1998.

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Garden Surplus Helps the Hungry.

B. Operation Green Thumb Miami Community Garden
Project.


Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever possible,
please give credit to the authors. The purpose of trade names in this publication is
solely for the purpose of providing information and does not necessarily constitute a
recommendation of the product.

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, age, handicap or national origin.
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I NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.

September 9, 1998. Tomato Institute, Ritz
Carlton, Naples. Contact Charlie Vavrina.

II COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

A. What are mineralization rates of
composts in south Florida?

Composts as soil amendments have many
beneficial effects which include improving soil
biological,physical,andnutritional properties. As
a result, the use of composts for crop production is
becoming more and more attractive to growers in
Florida. Commercial applications of compost
range from less than 20 to over 200 mt/acre in
vegetable crop production systems. The nutrient
concentration and availability of composts varies
considerably depending on the mineralization rates
of composts. Compost mineralization is the
biological reaction of converting organic nitrogen
into inorganic forms (NH4-N and NO3-N) which
are available forms for plant uptake.
Mineralization of compost depends on the compost
composition, maturity, and the soil conditions
(moisture, temperature, etc.). Compost
mineralization rates are essential to determine
proper compost application rates and application
frequencies and to predict potential effects on N
uptake by crops and off-season N losses.
Estimates of nitrogen mineralization are
often based on incubation methods either in the
laboratory or in field conditions. Probably the
laboratory approach that most closely simulates a
field situation is the incubation/leaching method.
A soil or compost is packed in a plastic column,
moistened, incubated, and periodically leached


with 0.01 M CaCI2 solution to remove mineralized
N. The most commonly used method in the field
condition is the incubation of samples within sealed
polyethylene bags buried in the soil. A second
method is to incubate samples in plastic or metal
columns, which are inserted in the soil and covered
to prevent leaching of nutrients. The difference in
inorganic N concentrations between the compost at
the beginning and the end of the incubation is the
net mineralization.
Nitrogen mineralization rates of three
composts produced in Florida were evaluated using
both of laboratory leaching and field incubation
methods during 1996-1997 in Fort Pierce. The
three composts were produced from biosolids
(sewage sludge), municipal solid waste (MSW),
and yard waste. Results from the experiments are
presented in Table 1. Mineralization rates are
closely related to C/N ratios of composts. As C/N
ratio of compost increases the mineralization rate
decreases. A C/N ratio of compost <20 is
commercially acceptable and presumably
considered as the dividing line between
immobilization (transformation of inorganic N into
organic forms) and release of nitrogen from organic
materials. When a compost with a C/N ratio
higher than 20 is applied, there is immobilization
of soil nitrogen during the initial decomposition
process. For ratios less than 20, there is a release
of inorganic nitrogen during decomposition.
Mineralized N from compost similar to
inorganic fertilizer will move downward in the soil
profile with rainfall and irrigation. High
application rates of composts with high
mineralization rates may cause leaching of
nutrients into groundwater, particularly on soils
vulnerable to nutrient leaching.


Table 1. Carbon contents, total nitrogen, and C/N ratios of three composts and their mineralization
rates after 6 months and 12 months incubation during 1996-1997 in Ft. Pierce.


C/N Laboratory
ratio leaching
(6 months)


Vegetable field
incubation
(6 months)


Citrus grove
incubation
(12 months)


Biosolids (sewage sludge) 28.3 4.9 6 18 22 33

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) 28.9 1.9 15 5 7 16
Yard Wastes 11.0 0.3 37 1 2 13
(Yuncong Li, Vegetarian 98-08)


Compost


C N
% %












B. 1996-97 vegetable summary: Florida
agricultural statistics.

The vegetable summary for 1996-97 has
been released by the Florida Agricultural Statistics
Service. According to the summary, during the
1996-1997 production year, 346,550 acres of
vegetables were planted in Florida. This was down
6 percent from the 369,600 acres planted during
the 1995-96 season. Producers showed increased
1996-97 plantings for snap beans, sweet corn, and
strawberries.
The value of vegetables, watermelons,
potatoes, and berries produced in Florida during
the 1996-97 season totaled $1.61 billion. This was
a 7 percent increase from the 1995-96 value of
$1.5 billion. All values of production increased
except for snap beans, potatoes, radishes, and other
vegetables.
The largest planted acreages were: sweet
corn (44,000), potatoes (43,500), tomatoes
(37,500), watermelon (33,000) and snap beans
(31,300). The leading crops for 1996-97 by total
harvested value were: tomato at $462.5 million,
pepper at $230.9 million, strawberries at $146.1
million, and sweet corn at $123.8 million.
The following table gives planted acreage
and total harvested value of Florida vegetables by
crop.

Planted Acreage and Value of Florida
Vegetables (1996-97).
Planted Total Value
Crop Acreage ($1,000)


Snap beans

Cabbage

Carrots

Sweet Corn

Cucumbers


Eggplant


31,300 58,039


8,100

6,800


42,745

16,361


44,000 123,762


9,400

1,800


58,982


Bell peppers

Radishes

Squash

Tomatoes

Other Vegetables'

Watermelon

Potatoes

Strawberries

Total


19,650 230,925

12,700 17,840


9,500


28,246


37,500 462,526

81,500 244,174

33,000 54,750

43,500 97,671


6,100


146,119


346,500 1,601,7532


'Other fresh and processing vegetables and
cantaloupes.
2Does not include blueberries valued at
$6,005,000.

The 1996-97, Vegetable Summary also
contains monthly production and values by crop
and area for many vegetables. The vegetable
summary is a Florida Agricultural Statistics
Service Publication. They have a release
distribution policy which states that FASS
publications are provided free of charge to all
Florida agricultural producers and other FASS
survey respondents. Also entitled to free FASS
publications are news media that use agricultural
statistics in the publications, cooperating State
agencies, and other USDA agencies that have an
essential need for this information. Publications
picked up at the FASS office (1222 Woodward
Street, Orlando) will be provided at no charge.
Otherpersons or entities willbe assessed a nominal
charge to receive individual publications or to be
placed on distribution list for future FASS
publications.
Most publications are available on the
Internet. Users may access and download these
reports from http://www.nass.usda.gov/fl.


13,399 (Stall, Vegetarian 98-08)


Escarole 1,700


6,938












C. Digital cameras may provide help to
agents.

In March of this year 6 agents met with
specialists at the request of Larry Halsey, CED
Jefferson County, and myself- to-discuss the
possibility of using digital pictures as a method to
assist county agents in receiving quick responses to
crop problems that arise in the county. The method
involves using a digital camera to take a picture
and then send it via e-mail to a specialist, who can
identify the problem and send a response in a
matter of minutes. These 6 agents received low cost
Kodak cameras provided by Fedro Zazueta, IFAS
Information Technologies, to implement a trial.
Since this initial meeting Larry Halsey, Russ
Mizell, N. Fl. AREC, and myself have visited the
Brooks County extension office, one of30 initial
Georgia counties to implement a digital camera
pathology project. They received field cameras and
in-house office cameras to capture images from
microscopes and stereoscope. Their system is set
up to send image samples only to UGa Extension
Plant Pathology. Their system does not provide a
method for electronic response nor does it provide
an archiving feature. This was something we felt
would be a benefit to the agents and the system.
Once our Agents started sending digital
pictures several things were discovered. First,
images being sent went well beyond the targeted
cooperator specialists and went beyond diagnosis
of insect and disease pests. The target cooperator
specialists list has been modified to include 11
specialists representing Information Technology,
Entomology, Herbarium, Pathology, Hort Sciences,
and Agronomy departments at the University of
Florida. Second, e-mail as a vehicle was too slow
to send files plus it did not provide an easy method
for archiving photos. To solve this problem
Jiannong Xin and Howard Beck of Information
Technologies created a draft form to submit the
digital samples more efficiently. The form also
provides a way to capture images and data sent by
the agents then route it to a selected specialist for
diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made the result is
sent to a collating site and the agent is notified that
the result can be obtained at the site. Larry and I


have tested the software and made some
recommendations to Xin and Howard who are
refining the software. The group of agents and
specialists have recently met to view the new
software and provide more information to assist
-with the refinement. We hope to have the software
in the cooperator agents' and specialists' hands in
the next few weeks. Our goal is to provide the
easiest, most efficient method of identifying
problems to support agents in their counties. If
you would like more information on this project
contact me at (850) 973-4138 or Larry Halsey at
(850) 342-0187.

(Jim Fletcher, CED Madison County &
Larry Halsey, CED Jefferson County
Vegetarian 98-08)

D. Sweet corn variety trial. Spring
1998.

A supersweet (shrunken-2 gene) sweet
corn variety trial was conducted at Long and Scott
Farms, Lake Jem, FL, during the spring of 1998
growing season. The trial was limited to
cultivars/breeding lines of the gene type
homozygous shrunken-2 (sh2), i.e., supersweet,
since these cultivars are considered the standard for
large commercial growers. Yellow, white, and
bicolor lines were included in the trial.
The kernels ofthe sh2 type sweet corn have
at least 2-3 times the total sugars of the normal
sweet corn at optimum harvest; conversion of
sugar to starch is also much slower. This slower
conversion facilitates a longer harvest and storage
period along with an increased time for
consumption. Consumer preference has also
shifted toward the supersweet-type sweet corn. In
light of widespread use of the sh2-type sweet corn,
it is important to evaluate commercially available
and advanced breeding lines for their adaptability
to central Florida's growing conditions.
Seeds were planted by hand into an
Immokalee fine sand on March 17, 1998; plots
were single-row, 3' wide x 23' long with 9" in-row
spacing. Four replications were arranged in a
randomized complete block design. Cultural












practices, provided by the cooperating grower,
were comparable to the routine practices used by
commercial growers to produce a sweet corn crop
in central Florida.
Plots were harvested by hand at peak
maturity, beginning-May-27-and-ending-June 2.
Only first ears and/or marketable second ears were
harvested. Individual plots were harvested only
once. Ears were counted and weighed; sub-
samples of 10 marketable ears per plot were
selected, husked, and evaluated for length, width,
maturity, tip fill, husk cover, and kernel color.
Sweet corn yields, expressed as 42-lb
crates/acre, ranged from 171 to 484 crates/acre.
The top five yielding entries in the trial were
Bandit, FMX413, UFY-C4439, Ice Queen, and
UFY-C4468. The lowestyielding lines in the trial
were Ultimate, BSS-1605, XP7, Prime Plus, and
WSS-9720.
Moderate variation in ear length was
recorded; ear length ranged from 17.5 (UFY-
C4468) to 19.8 (GSS-1526). Ear diameter was
less variable, ranging from 4.1 (BSS-1605) to 5.4
(Bandit and FMX 413).
Husk cover was marginal on UFB-C1352,
UFW-C1429R, FMX413, Bandit, and BSS-1605.
Tip fill was generally acceptable; however, FMX
413, Hyb. Sweet Billy No. 1, and UFW-C1429R
were somewhat weak in tip fill.
Pollination was observed to be overall
acceptable; however, UFY-C4439, URB-C1439R,
GSS-1526, XP7, UFB-C1352, and Hyb. Sweet
Billy No. I had some unpollinated kernels. UFY-
C4439, a yellow sweet corn, had the overall best
ear appearance. Bandit and FMX413 were among
the highest in yield, but the ear diameter was too
large.
For more information and a copy of the
results, request Research Report SAN 99-02 from
J. M. White, 2700 Celery Avenue, Sanford, FL
32771, (407) 330-6735, or E-mail
JMWHIiGNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU.

(J. M. White, Vegetarian 98-08)


III VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Garden surplus helps the hungry.

Gardening in Florida is a year 'round
Shobby. Gardeners can "'Plant A Row For The
Hungry" and help others as they play in the yard.
Each year, hundreds of our neighbors find
themselves in unfortunate circumstances. Soup
kitchens and homeless shelters help feed hungry
families and poor individuals. Meals are delivered
to senior shut-ins. Schools provide free or reduced
cost meals for children.
Now, there is a national program promoted
by the Garden Writers Association of America
(GWAA), wherein gardeners can help feed the
hungry. Jacqui Heriteau, Plant A Row (PAR)
Coordinator, recently announced a campaign to
help feed the hungry in our home towns.
"Learning that scaling back the food stamp
program has emptied the shelves at the food banks,
has prompted this very ambitious goal. But
working with Master Gardeners, the American
Community Gardening Association and just a
handful of the 70 million gardeners in this country,
I'm confident we can raise a million pounds of
produce for food banks by the year 2000," says
Heriteau.
In just three years, the garden writers
campaign has documented delivery of over 200,000
pounds of garden produce to community food
banks and soup kitchens nationwide.
The program calls for gardeners to plant
an extra row of vegetables and set aside the harvest
for local food banks or soup kitchens. Properly
managed, every small effort helps the kitchen
managers provide more nutritious and appetizing
meals. Schools, churches, civic groups, garden
clubs, businesses and Master Gardeners can join
together to organize a local PAR campaign in
Florida. Support materials and organizational tips
are available fromjacquiheriteau@msn.com orcall
Heriteau at (860)824-0794 or fax (860)824-0108.
The GWAA has developed two promotional
videos, with the help of T.V. gardener Jim Wilson,
to help explain the program and generate interest in
the PAR project.












While the GWAA can help in promotion,
Extension's help is needed in organizing local
efforts. You are familiar with the local needs.
Your may know a club, business or church who
will help sponsor a community garden for the
project.
Extension has many resources to help
gardeners have productive gardens, but we need
your organizational help to grow the needed food
crops. Flowers, herbs and fresh fruit are also
needed to improve the quality of life for local
families. Perhaps the Master Gardeners could help
organize a county wide effort to recruit gardeners,
getpledges, teach gardening, promote the program,
help coordinate the record keeping and laison with
the local food banks, congregate meal sites and
soup kitchens.
Fall is a great time to begin a garden in
Florida. It would not take too long for a bountiful
harvest for those who need it most.
If you are interested in helping start a
PAR program in Florida, call Eleanor Foerste,
Horticulture Agent with the Osceola County
Extension office at (407) 846-4181 or E-mail to
ecfe@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu.
(Foerste, Vegetarian 98-08)

B. Operation Green Thumb Miami
community garden project.

Dade County Master Gardener Lee Allford
reports on the following project.
The Miami project began with a meeting
between Allford and the Urban Horticulture
Master Gardeners Coordinator, The City ofMiami
Police Department, American Legion Post #29, and
Sam Reno Apartment staff in September of 1995.
Here is Allford's report. "The meeting was called
to order and a discussion began to determine if a
garden or park would best service the community.
A vegetable garden was agreed upon by all present
at the meeting. A Board of Directors and
chairperson were elected to carry the mission
forward. The Board members went to inspect the
city-owned property and found overgrown weeds
(5-6 feet tall), drug needles, crack pipes, whiskey
bottles, and other drug paraphernalia on the site.


You could hear gun shots from across the street
and loud, noisy members of gangs would hang out
all day. We were informed by the police
department that this area was one of the worst
neighborhoods with drug activity, which caused
-major problems in the City of Miami."
"The Board formed planning committee
and wanted a well-organized garden coordinator.
I was selected and agreed to service. Ms. Irma
Abella, Assistant City of Miami Attorney met with
the Board and after reading the by-laws and rules
which govern the garden activity, an agreement
was made that the property could be used for a
community garden. We prepared and developed
the site, installing a fence around the garden, and
cleaning the site. We decided that 8x10 plots
would serve the purpose. Landscape timber was
purchased, plots were laid out, the soil tested, and
mulch and soil delivered, which begin the planting
of the garden."
"A flyer was passed out in the community
about the garden between Biscayne Blvd. And 5*
Ave. on Northeast 63th Street as we began to work
at the garden site. Problems began to cease in the
area and citizens began to communicate with each
other at the garden site, talking with myself as well
as the police officers working at the site. We laid
out 47 plots and the neighbors began to sign up for
them. After they agreed to abide by the bylaws and
rules, 42 plots were planted with vegetable, flower,
fruit trees, and landscape plants. We also recruited
30 Morningside Elementary students to begin
planting vegetables on a special plot for school
children. A variety of vegetables and herbs have
been planted and harvested each year for the past
four (4) years, and the garden has, in many ways,
improved the quality of life concerns in the area
and without a doubt has been a true success."
According to Lee, the Board will meet
August 5' and start planning for the 1998
vegetable garden. Here is their motto:

Getting together is a beginning,
Keeping together is progress,
Working together is success!












Lee wishes to acknowledge the help of the
following people:
"Many thanks to the City of Miami Police
Department, The American Legion Post #29, and
Sam Reno Apartment staff.
Special thanks to Ms. Mary Schneider for -
obtaining seeds and plants donated to the garden.
Thanks to Ms. Dianne Sapp (Board member) for
the landscape timber, Master Gardeners, Roy
Patrick and Darlene Martin. S. B. Welb, your
contributions to this project has made it a
successful community garden, and again many
thanks to all of you!!"

(Stephens, Vegetarian 98-08)

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Chairman


Dr. S. M. Olson
Professor


Mr. J. M. Stephens
Professor


Dr. T. E. Crocker
Professor


Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Professor


Dr. S. A. Sargend
Professor & Editor


Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Assoc. Professor


Dr. D. N. Maynard
Professor


Dr. W. M. Stall
Professor


Dr. J. M. White
Assoc. Professor




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