• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Main






Title: Vegetarian
ALL VOLUMES CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00427
 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: May 2000
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00427
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

May ( PDF )


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Main
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
Full Text

http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Vegetarian Newsletter


A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication

University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service


Vegetarian 00-05


May 2000

Adobe Acrobat .pdf
(Back to Index Page)


VEGETABLE CROPS CALENDAR

COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

* ALERT The llnseen Insect and the Phantom Bliaht


Page 1


Ap
ILi


I -~- --L-- o-L m -






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Diquat and Rain

TYLCV-Resistant Variety Trials

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables May be Irradiated
Sooner Than You Think

Back to the Basics

VEGETABLE GARDENING

Spinach Subsitutes for Cooking Greens



(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.)











Aquatic Weed Control Short Course May 15 -19, 2000, Earn up to 26 CEU's, Fort Lauderdale
Research and Education Center. For more information, contact Dr Vernon VanDiver at
954-475-4125.

Methyl Bromide Update May 17, 2000, 5:30 7:30 PM, Impact of Restrictions and Proposed Ban
of Methyl Bromide on Cropping Practices and Practical Considerations for Vegetable Growers
Regarding Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Southwest Florida Research & Education Center,
Immokalee. For more information, contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092.

Dedication of the new Research/Lab/Office and Education buildings at Mid Florida REC- May
31, 10:00 AM, Apopka. Contact Marion White at 407-330-6735.

Horticulture Field Day (PROGRAM) -June 1, North Florida Research and Education Center,
Quincy. Those who plan to attend should contact Charlene at (850) 875-7100 or e-mail her at
accupp@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu before June 1 in order to determine how many people will be attending
the luncheon. For more information, contact Steve Olson at 850-875-7144; FAX (850) 875-7148;
email smo@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu.

Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association Convention- July 19-21, Ritz Carlton, Amelia


Page 2






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Island. Contact Mary Hartney at 863-293-4827.

FSHS and ASHS Meetings July 23-25. Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Lake Buena Vista.
Contact Kathy Murphy at 407-673-7595 or go to the FSHS 2000 Annual Meeting site at
http://valencia.lal.ufl.edu/jkbu/fshs/meeting%202000.html

Tomato Institute Sept 6, 2000. For more information, contact Charlie Vavrina at 941-658-3400.



--------------- J"F il? -




ALERT The Unseen Insect and the Phantom Blight

Recently, on some seedless melons that have fruited, a mysterious "blight" occurred in several
plants. After running the sample plants through the Quincy Lab and finding no disease, Dr. Steve
Olson stated that he had observed melons that had swollen, yet brittle, and some broken stems
before. These were found to be caused by injuries from the three corned alfalfa hopper, which
feeds on several crops in Florida. The damage is usually done by the hopper perforations at or
near the soil line of the plant, and if subsequent movement of the plant occurs such as wind or
mechanical means, that plant will usually wilt. There is usually no sign of the insect, only the plant
symptoms. There are two insecticides that are cleared on watermelons for this pest--Asana XL and
Dimethoate 5 Pound. Both have "toxicity to bees" warnings, so the applicator will need to observe
caution. For further information, contact your specialists.

(Charles Brasher, Ext Agt III Jackson County, Vegetarian, 00-05)



TYLCV-Resistant Variety Trials

Three variety trials were conducted during the fall of 1999 in west central Florida on 6 new Tomato
Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV)-resistant varieties. Two trials were for observation on grower farms
in Manatee and Hillsborough Counties and one was conducted at the Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center (GCREC) in Bradenton for yield as well as virus evaluation. A similar trial was
conducted in Palm Beach County by Ken Shuler and one is currently underway in Immokalee with
Gene McAvoy.

In the trial at the GCREC, in cooperation with Dr. Jane Polston, varieties evaluated included two
lines from Peto, Ps 150535 and Px 150420, and 4 from Hazera, HA 3017A, 3017B, 3044 and
3048. Standard varieties were Sanibel and FL 47, with Leila also included in the Palm Beach trial.
Since there was very little virus pressure in the Manatee/Hillsborough and Palm Beach trials, the
main observations that could be made were based on yield data. In the Bradenton trial, there was
no significant difference in early yield for any variety except Px 150420 which was lower than that
of Ps 150535, Sanibel, FL 47 and HA3017B. Yields of extra large fruit from the first harvest ranged


Page 3






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


from 456 cartons (25 lb.)/A (7200 Ibf) for Px150420 to 683 cartons/A for HA3017B. Yields were
comparable for other sizes and for total early marketable yield. When the 3 harvests were totaled,
there was no significant difference in extra large fruit production. Total marketable yield was
highest for HA 3017B at 2399 cartons/A, but was not significantly different from Sanibel or
HA3017A.

In the Palm Beach trial, the highest yield of extra large fruit at first harvest was obtained with Ps
150535 [206 cartons/A (7920 Ibf)], but it was not significantly different from Sanibel or FL47. The
same was true for total early yield. When the four harvests were totaled, the highest extra large fruil
yield was with Sanibel, but it was not significantly different from Ps 150535. The same was true for
total marketable yield, with 2120 cartons/A for Sanibel. In both trials, the highest yielding varieties
all had acceptable horticultural characteristics.

In a similar trial in Immokalee with Gene McAvoy and Phil Stansley, preliminary observations
based on plants which have been in the field approximately 5 weeks are exciting. A number of the
varieties are already 100% infected, including the two standard cultivars, with symptoms appearing
after three weeks. Virus pressure is very heavy as plots were actually inoculated by putting infected
plants in between each treatment. Plants will be harvested and evaluated for yield and horticultural
characteristics.

Of the varieties tested, Ps 150520 is now commercially available and is being evaluated in some
areas. Although it performed well in this trial, Peto feels it is actually more suited as a spring
tomato. Ps150420 is still in pre-commercial status. Contact your Peto representative for additional
availability information. In talking with the Hazera representative, they have one line, HA3057, that
is currently in initial commercial introduction. Although not one of the lines evaluated in these trials,
HA3057 is very similar horticulturally to the 3017 lines with reportedly an even higher level of
resistance. Modest quantities are available for growers to trial. For additional information or seed
availability, please contact Glenn Kaufman at 561-221-0653. (P. Gilreath, K. Shuler)

(Phyllis Gilreath Ext Agt IV Manatee County, Vegetarian 00-05)




Diquat and Rain

Granted, it doesn't rain much during the potato-harvesting season in SW Florida. In fact, rain is
generally only a problem for the industry early in the October planting schedule. Our rains
essentially diminish through November and December and dry weather prevails from January
through April or May. But there is always the threat of rain and during such events a 1-inch rain is
not unusual. Rain can disrupt harvesting schedules, increase post harvest spoilage, and
complicate vine desiccation.

Vine desiccation is an integral part of the harvesting process on the 4,000 + acres in SW Florida.
Our predominantly red potato market insists on intact skins for top quality and good skin set
depends, in part, on adequate vine desiccation.

The process goes something like this:


Page 4






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


The soon to be harvested potato block is sprayed with Diquat at 1.6 pts/A plus
surfactant.
Potato vines desiccate usually within hours depending on sunlight intensity.
Sometimes a second Diquat application is necessary if coverage is poor or if
vines are particularly rank.
Skin set or curing is allowed to continue in the ground for a period of 21 28 days.
Harvest

The harvest season in SW Florida begins in mid-February and continues through early April.

Diquat, as you know, requires photosynthesis and hence sunlight to drive it's herbicidal activity.
Winter/spring mornings in Florida are often foggy, with fog sometimes not lifting completely until
after ten in the morning. This alone can delay the onset of Diquat activity. Butwhat if rain occurs
within an hour of vine desiccant application or worse yet within /2 hour of application? This
question arose during the present season and we undertook an experiment to find the answer.

'Red La Soda' potato tubers were planted in one-gallon pots of soil taken from the field at the SW
Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, FL. The plants were raised for eight weeks
under a liquid fertilization scheme that produced a compact canopy, which essentially covered the
surface area of the pot. Diquat was applied at slightly higher than label recommendations (2 pts/A
+ surfactant) at seven in the morning. Several pots were then subjected to a one-inch rain event at
intervals of 1/2, 1, 3, 5, and 7 hours following herbicide application via a rain simulator ig. 1).
Approximately 48 hours later plants were rated for percent desiccation based on the time course of
rain application. The trial was repeated twice.

A one-inch rain event within 1/2 hour of Diquat application was sufficient to reduce herbicidal
efficacy 66 83% (ig. 2), even with a surfactant (0.25%) present. The morning of Trial #1 was
foggy and overcast lending to a 17% desiccation rate compared to Trial #2, under clear sky
conditions, which resulted in a 34% desiccation rate. A one-hour delay in rain still reduced Diquat
efficacy approximately 25%. However, if rain was delayed for three hours following herbicide
application full Diquat activity was realized.

This information may be useful to tomato growers as well, as Diquat is the only material presently
labeled for tomato vine kill. Rain certainly seems to complicate the herbicide driven vine
desiccation process especially if the event occurs within an hour of application. So it may pay to
watch your local weather report before applying vine desiccants in the future.

Fig. 1. Rain simulator for Diquat experiment.


Page 5






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Fig. 2. Potato vine dessication from Diquat following a rain event.


XI 0

40 11
210
0
0.5 1.0 3.0 5.0 7.0
Time of rain event after Diquat application (hrs)


(Vavrina, Vegetarian 00-05)


Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Sooner Than You Think


-*-Trial 1
- a- Trial 2


May be Irradiated


Page 6






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Until now, fresh produce has not been routinely irradiated in the United States for several reasons.
However, the safety of this process for consumers is not in question. Growing concerns over food
safety have reinvigorated the potential of this process to be employed for sanitizing a wide range
of foods, including fruits and vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that
5,000 Americans die each year due to complications from foodborne illnesses. The CDC also
made the following statement with regard to the safety of food irradiation. "CDC has stated that
food irradiation is a promising new application of an established technology. It holds great potential
for preventing many important foodborne diseases that are transmitted through meat, poultry, fresh
produce and other foods. An overwhelming body of scientific evidence demonstrates that
irradiation does not harm the nutritional value of food, nor does it make the food unsafe to eat. Just
as for the pasteurization of milk, it will be most effective when irradiation is coupled to careful
sanitation programs. Consumer confidence will depend on making food clean first, and then using
irradiation or pasteurization to make it safe. Food irradiation is a logical next step to reducing the
burden of foodborne disease in the United States." (- frequently asked questions about food
irradiation)

Last October the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations co-sponsored an
international meeting in Turkey where professionals reviewed the current status of food irradiation
and where it should be going in the future. According to the Food & Environmental Protection
Newsletter of FAO (Dec. 1999; www.fao.org), the group concluded:

1. food irradiated below and above the currently permitted 10 kiloGrays maximum
limit has been clearly shown to be safe and nutritionally adequate (maximum of 1
kG permitted for fresh fruits and vegetables),
2. irradiation can effectively control pathogenic bacteria and parasites from raw or
fresh-cut (minimally processed) produce and meats without significantly
increasing product temperature, qualifying it as a cold
pasteurization/decontamination treatment that can be incorporated in HACCP
(Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) programs,
3. it is also effective as a broad spectrum quarantine treatment for fresh fruits and
vegetables, and potentially, cut flowers and ornamental plants, as methyl bromide
is phased out,
4. irradiation can contribute to reducing postharvest losses in fruits, vegetables,
tubers and grains due to insect infestation and decay,
5. that, as permitted tolerances of human pathogens decrease (e.g., zero tolerance
of in the U.S. for Listeria monocytogenes), irradiation may be one of the only
means to meet these tough standards.

The group also made several interesting comments. Consumer acceptance tests worldwide
indicated that, once educated as to the safety and benefits of food irradiation, consumers are
willing to purchase irradiated food. However, the food industry has been slow to adopt irradiation
due to perceived consumer resistance, or reluctance to deviate from standard practices or be the
first to adopt a controversial practice. The participants recommended directing more educational
programs to leading industry executives.

On a recent field trip to Food Technology Services in Mulberry, Florida, our group was told that
fresh and frozen poultry and beef will be irradiated in the near future at their facility to reduce the
risk of foodborne pathogens. Also, with the phase-out of methyl bromide by 2005 as a postharvest


Page 7






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


quarantine fumigant, irradiation may quickly be implemented as the treatment of choice by produce
exporters.

Spices and dried vegetable stocks have been irradiated for some time. The FAO conference also
noted that new commercial scale facilities are being constructed for irradiating food in several
locations Iowa will soon pasteurize 100,000 tons/year of chicken and ground beef products;
Brazil, India and Thailand are also constructing facilities for a variety of food products.

Food irradiation may soon become another method in the shipper's arsenal for minimizing risks of
being contaminated by foodborne microorganisms and for reducing postharvest losses during
commercial marketing operations.

(Sargent, Vegetarian 00-05)




Back to the Basics

As we approach the end of the spring season, it is not too early to start thinking about and even
implementing your fall season IPM program. With all the advances in pest management, new
chemistries and space age spray rigs, it is often easy to overlook some of the basics.

Field sanitation is one of the most important tactics in vegetable pest and disease management.
Think back not so many years ago, that only through universal cooperation were growers able to
survive the whitefly and Gemini-virus situation. The best thing that growers can do for themselves
and their neighbors is to clean up crop residues promptly after harvest. Sanitation is an important
IPM technique that should not be over looked as an effective, preventative tool against many
vegetable pest and disease problems. Sanitation includes any practice that eradicates or reduces
the amount of pathogen innoculum, pests, or weed seeds present and thus helps reduce or
eliminate subsequent pest and disease problems.

Prompt crop destruction at the end of the season will immediately end the production of disease
innoculum and insects and eliminate the spread of diseases and pests to any other host plants in
the vicinity. Downy and powdery mildew on melons can spread via wind from older, diseased
plants to plants in surrounding fields that are still maturing. These diseases are obligate parasites.
This means that they can only grow and multiply on living host tissue. Some plant pathogens, such
as the bacterium that causes bacterial spot of tomato and pepper, are unable to survive for
extended periods of time outside of the host tissue. Plowing or disking under infected plant debris
helps not only by covering up the innoculum but also speeds up the disintegration of plant tissue
and kills the pathogen. Good sanitation will help control a number of important vegetable
pathogens.

Destruction of tomato vines will kill off white fly populations and eliminate transmission of the
tomato yellow leaf curl virus to subsequent crops and also eliminate innoculum from late blight and
other fungal diseases. This is particularly important in the case of TYLCV, as sanitation and
whitefly control are the only tools currently available for the management of this disease. A
crop-free period is also considered a necessity for the control of a number of other important
vegetable pests such as pepper weevil, tomato pinworm, and Thrips palmi and is recommended for


Page 8






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


management of all vegetable pests.

Weeds and volunteers should also be removed to prevent the survival and over-summering of
pathogens that could serve as innoculum reservoirs for the next crop. Techniques such as mowing
off pepper should not be relied upon as this often results in re-sprouts which can harbor pests and
disease problems over summer.

The use of cover crops and summer fallowing of fields are also effective tools in reducing weed
populations that can cause problems in the subsequent crop. The role of summer fallow in weed
management is often overlooked. Summer fallow keeps new weed seeds from being added to the
soil seed-bank. It also reduces the increase in asexual propagated plants such as nutsedge.
Yellow nutsedge can put out 70 new tubers (nuts) every two months. Keeping the weeds from
propagating will reduce the weed problems encountered during the next cropping season and
helps reduce insects and diseases that may over summer in weedy fields.

Chemical fallowing is a twist on the traditional method of fallowing that depends on disking fields
through out the summer period to reduce weed pressure in subsequent crops. One approach uses
Roundup to kill weeds during the crop free period.

The key to a successful chemical fallow program is the timing of the applications. Two Roundup
Ultra treatments with one tillage trip in between should cover the entire fallow period.

Procedure

Disc field after harvest.
Allow weeds to germinate and grow to a desirable height (approximately 25-30
days).
Treat with Roundup Ultra (first treatment).
Allow treated weeds time to translocate product throughout plant (at least one
week).
Lightly disk field (can be one to five weeks after herbicide treatment).
Allow weeds to germinate and regrow to a desirable height (approximately 25-30
days).
Treat with Roundup Ultra (second treatment)
Allow treated weeds time to translocate product throughout plant (at least one
week).
Prepare field for planting (can be one to five weeks after herbicide treatment).

Note: Allow 3 days between last application and planting. Given the impending loss of methyl
bromide, such techniques may prove valuable in some vegetable cropping systems for the control
of persistent weed species such as nutsedge.

Field sanitation will be come an increasingly important tool to growers in face of the impending
loss of methyl bromide whose ease of use and effectiveness in controlling a wide range of
problems allowed us to neglect some of these practical common sense pest management
techniques.

There is also growing interest is in the use of warm season legumes or grasses as cover crops and
green manures in vegetable production. Cover crops can provide a number of benefits. They can


Page 9






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


provide a significant source of nitrogen for subsequent crops and capture nitrogen that might
otherwise be lost to leaching. They can help reduce erosion, runoff, and potential pollution of
surface waters. Cover crops add organic matter to the soil improving soil physical properties. They
can impact insect and disease life cycles; and suppress nematode populations and weed growth.
There are some drawbacks, such the additional cost of seeding and managing the cover crop,
possible difficulties in incorporating the cover crop at the end of the crop cycle and resulting
interference with subsequent field operations and other potential drawbacks.

Cover crops affect the economics of farming operations differently, depending on the cover crop
and the cash crop. Growers need to account for the cost of cover crop seed and planting costs.
Quantifiable savings can include reduced fertilizer and herbicide applications, and reduced costs
of pest and disease control. Growers will have to determine how they want to account for less
apparent long-term savings such as, reduced soil erosion, increased organic matter content,
improved soil physical properties, reduced leaching, and enhanced nutrient cycling.

These factors must be considered in evaluating the particular cash crop and cover crop
combination to be grown. The best use of cover crops will maximize the benefits without reducing
the yield or quality of commercial cash crops.

The desired purpose of the cover crop will help determine the most appropriate species. If the
purpose of a cover is to provide readily available, biologically-fixed N for subsequent crops, then
the grower should choose a legume like cowpea or sunn hemp, which fixes nitrogen and has a low
C:N ratio. If the cover crop will be managed for weed suppression, the grower might be better off
with a heavy biomass producer with demonstrated weed suppression characteristics, such as
sorghum-sudangrass.

There are a number of alternatives to methyl bromide out there and growers would be well advised
to start to consider these and experiment with them before the 2005 cutoff date. Supplies are
already starting to get tight and prices are rising on this material. MB alternatives will certainly
involve some changes in your crop management program and it would be wise to see what's
involved and how these alternatives might be successfully incorporated into your operation.

(Gene McAvoy, Ext Agt II, Hendry County, Vegetarian 00-05)











Spinach Subsitutes for Cooking Greens

When you get hungry, do you hit the drive through, go for the microwave or take a trip to the closes
snack machine? These are all luxuries which many of our neighbors cannot afford. Hunger and
nutrition are issues which affect our homeless residents and local families as well as our neighbors


Page 10






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


around the globe.

Agriculture in America provides such popular crops as tomatoes, corn, wheat, lettuce, beans and
cabbage. Our major food crops were imported and bred to improve certain desirable
characteristics. Many countries are looking at lesser known plants to provide food, fiber, medicine
and shelter. Perhaps we should learn from them.

A recent news article on moringa, Moringa oleifera, a native of India, got me thinking about the
value of many unfamiliar plants. Also known as the horseradish tree here in Florida, moringa has
highly nutritious edible leaves and seed pods which can be eaten fresh or dried. The plant has
been used to settle sediment to clarify water and is reported to have antibiotic properties. Moringa
grows wild in many parts of the world, but the local people were unfamiliar with the beneficial
attributes of this miracle plant.

Hank Bruce, author, gardener, humanitarian, philosopher and friend, shares information on many
unusual and underutilized food and herbal plants in his book, The Global Garden, which will be
released later this summer. He shares his insight on the value of bio-diversity in our home gardens
and the cultural exchange and education available while learning about many unfamiliar plants.

With his permission, and the help of vegetable specialist Jim Stephens, I, Eleanor, am sharing
some information on a few leafy greens that thrive in Florida's summer heat & humidity. They all
provide a continuing harvest throughout the season. Most are attractive plants in the landscape as
well, making them multi-purpose plants (Okinawa spinach, quail-grass, mountain orach, and
Brazilian spinach are among the most attractive). Also, they will all grow as container plants.

Note: Please keep in mind that common names can be and often are mis-leading, particularly as to
specific areas and plants. Where possible, we are correlating these common names to their
generic names

Spinach, (espinaca in Spanish), Spinacia oleracea, is the typical green spinach of Popeye fame.
However, there are many other plants which share the common name in one fashion or another.
Most all are potherbs which produce edible leaves usually boiled or cooked like spinach. We
suggest you give them a try and perhaps you will find one even your tyke likes, maybe even better
than his regular spinach.

Malabar spinach, Basella rubra, also known as Ceylon spinach and vine spinach, has received a
lot attention at EPCOT's "Land" attraction.. This prolific plant grows as a heat tolerant vine with red
or green foliage. Harvest frequently as mature leaves are tough. Young leaves and shoots taste
like sweet corn and can be eaten fresh or cooked. Two other edible species of Basella are
Japanese spinach, B. japonica, and Chinese spinach, B. lucida.

New Zealand spinach, Tetragonia tetragonioides, is another hot weather groundcover crop for the
Florida garden. It has potential as a heat hardy hanging basket. Seeds are often available
commercially. The plants are drought tolerant and grow in full sun or light shade. Plants grow from
cuttings and reseed easily in frost free areas. Tender new shoot can be used in a salad. For the
best cooked flavor, boil the leaves twice, pour off the first water and add fresh water for the final
cooking.


Page 11






http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


Goosefoots (genus Chenopodium) have several members used as spinach.Strawberry spinach
(C. capitatum) gets its name from the small strawberry like fruit which can be eaten raw or cooked.
Young leaves are eaten in soups and salads. It re-seeds easily, as Hank Bruce puts it, "with
enthusiasm," so beware of where you plant it.

Other goosefoots include good king Henry ( C. bonus henricus),lamb's quarters (C. album),
quinoa (C. quinoa), and Australian spinach (C. erosum).Amaranth goosefoot (C.
amaranticolor) grows very tall (to 10 feet), especially along fertile Florida lake-shores.

Mountain spinach, Atriplex hortensis, known asgarden orach, is often substituted for spinach in
European countries. This attractive plant produces 4 to 6 foot tall plants with leaves that may be
red, green or white depending on the variety. Coastal gardeners may want to try this salt tolerant
green. Leaves are arrowhead shaped and can be eaten raw or cooked. Keep flower spikes
trimmed to promote tender growth.

African spinach, Celosia argentea is in the Amaranth family. This African native is known as
cockscomb and quailgrass in the United States. This plant is an annual which produces attractive
flowers suitable for drying. The leaves are red and green and can be eaten fresh or cooked.
Tender stems can be cooked like asparagus shoots. This heat lover grows well in pots or in the
garden. Provide full sun and adequate moisture. Harvest often to maintain plants at 2 to 3 foot high

Brazilian spinach, Alternantheria sessilis, as its name implies, is native to South America. This
plant is another amaranth but grows as a groundcover growing to 10 to 12 inches high. It thrives in
partial shade or full sun and prefers soil enriched with compost.

Chinese spinach or tampala, Amaranthus gangeticus, is another heat loving annual amaranth. It
is a popular addition to Asian diets. This plant grows quickly from seed. Grow it in full sun and
provide uniform moisture for best flavor.

According to Hank, a daisy relative, Okinawa spinach, Gynura crepiodes, has attractive succulent
leaves which are dark green above, purple underneath, and nutty tasting. Leaves may be eaten
fresh or lightly steamed (to avoid a mushy product). The daisy- like blooms attract butterflies. Hank
has found this one to be very adapted to our Florida summers.

Other spinach substitutes: oraches, chickweed, pokeweed, corn-cockle, Spanish needle, and
iceplants (Mesembryanthemum).

More research and observational trialswould be helpful to evaluate consumer preference,
nutrition and utility and adaptability to our mild, humid climate. Hank is willing to work with Master
Gardeners and botanical gardens to set up evaluation. Surely, there are other plants that deserve
just as much attention as the popular spinach, corn, tomatoes and watermelon! Lets get a "Global
Garden Network" going here in Florida.

If you are unable to locate seeds, contact Hank Bruce directly at 352-383-2704 or by email at He is
anxious to hear about your growing experiences.

ECHO, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, is located in North Ft. Myers. The group
shares information and seeds from a variety of crops being used and evaluated throughout the


Page 12







http://peaches/hochmuth/vegetarian.htm


world. They conduct classes and tours and link growers to research. For more information, visit
them on the web athttp://www.echonet.orgor call 941-543-3246.

(Editor's note: photos available on the web from University of Florida fact sheets by crop name
using the key word search feature.

(Information source: Stephens, James M. 1988. Manual of Minor Vegetables. Florida Cooperative
Extension Service Bulletin SP-40, for sale from IFAS, University of Florida.)

(Eleanor Foerste and Stephens, Courtesy Ext Agt II Osceola County, Vegetarian 00-05)




Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


Daniel J. Cantliffe
Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department
Timothy E. Crocker
Professor, deciduous fruits and nuts, strawberry
John Duvall
Assistant Professor, strawberry
Betsy M. Lamb
Assistant Professor, production


Yuncong Li
Assistant Professor, soils

Donald N. Maynard
Professor, varieties
Stephen M. Olson
Professor, small farms


Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Professor, postharvest
Ronald W. Rice
Assistant Professor, nutrition
Steven A. Sargent
Professor, postharvest
William M. Stall
Professor, weed control
James M. Stephens
Professor and Editor, vegetable
gardening
Charles S. Vavrina
Associate Professor, transplants
James M. White
Associate Professor, organic farming


FastCounter by LinkExchange
This page is maintained by Susie Futch.... ifyou have any questions or comments, contact me at
zsf@ gnv.ifas.ufl. edu


Page 13




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