Some vegetables can maintain freshness for months after harvest if you choose varieties specifically bred for long storage. Here's a list of some of the varieties we recommend for storage throughout fall and winter.
Demand for local food doesn't suddenly disappear at the first frost. Committed locavores want to buy local food year-round, providing new opportunities for fresh market growers who would like to increase annual revenue and cash flow during the winter.
If you would like to extend the season and increase annual revenue significantly, consider offering value-added products in addition to your fresh produce. You will find that selling even a few non-perishable products can level out income and open doors to new markets. Winter markets, holiday craft shows, local specialty shops, and internet selling sites all offer opportunities for making money after your growing season ends.
September can also be an extremely busy month on the farm. Summer crops have peaked, fall crops need attention, and there is all that harvesting to be done. It's hard to look ahead to fall and winter markets. Here are some practical suggestions and ideas, we hope, provide some encouragement to keep you going and improve your bottom line for 2011.
Despite record high temperatures that are scorching much of the U.S. this summer, market farmers keep working. They have to harvest, plant, and sell their products, whatever the temperature. Growing for Market recently asked readers to share advice for dealing with heat, and got a great response from people across the country who have figured out strategies for keeping themselves and their crops cool. Here are some suggestions that might help you beat the heat:
August can be a busy month. Summer crops are at their peak and fall crops need attention. It's time to look ahead to fall and winter markets. Yet, it may still be so hot you just don't want to do anything! We'll suggest some practical ideas and, we hope, provide some encouragement to keep you going.
July is a good time to start planning for season extension, whether that means buying a new hoophouse or replacing worn-out row cover and frost fabric. Here are some ideas that can help you make fall and winter as profitable and productive as summer.
When you're new to farming, everything is so interesting and exciting that you may assume you'll remember every detail of what you are growing, where and when you planted it, and how well it performed. Veteran growers, however, know that the details start to fade quickly over the course of a busy season. That's why the most experienced and successful farmers keep careful records.
Insect pollination is essential to many vegetable and fruit crops, including tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, blueberries, blackberries, apples, almonds, and many others. In the case of watermelons, there will be no fruit without pollination. Some vegetables don't require pollination to set fruit, but pollination by bees will result in larger and more abundant fruits. Nearly 75% of the flowering plants on Earth rely on pollinators to set seed or fruit, as well as one-third of our food crops, and most pollination is performed by honey bees, native bees, and other insects.
Whether growing vegetables for market or your own table, succession planting is an important part of planning. You want to avoid a feast-or-famine situation where the entire crop comes in at once and then is done. It's much better to have a steady supply ready for harvest over the longest possible period. Plus, you reduce the risk of crop failure by having multiple successions in the queue.
Will these new government dietary guidelines get people to buy and eat more fresh produce? We hope so, especially if it means more income for local growers! We’ll tell you about several ways you can help encourage people to buy and eat more produce.
In cities and suburbs all over North America, urban lots and small backyards are being transformed into productive mini-farms. Urban agriculture is fast becoming the biggest trend in market gardening this decade and for good reason. The benefits of urban farming are numerous, ranging from greater food security to nutrition education to community building. The challenges are plentiful, too, and in this issue of the JSS Advantage, we'll tell you about resources to help with the development of an urban farm.
February is the month when the days get long enough for plants to start or resume growth. It may still be bitter cold, and there may be snow on the ground, but the market farmer starts feeling the irresistible pull of a new growing season. If you have a greenhouse or hoophouse, you know it's time to get your hands dirty.