|Perkins Veazie, Penelope|
Submitted to: USDA Small Farms Training Manual
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fresh fruits and vegetables planted for small farm income in the southern United States require attention to detail at all stages. In the past, small farms have successfully marketed seasonal produce locally. Now, with expansion of global markets, produce is often available locally out of season. Small farm producers must make choices about site selection, production practices, cooling and handling resources, and intended markets before planting is done.
Technical Abstract: Fruits and vegetables used for fresh market require decision-making before planting. Production of fruits and vegetables in the southern United States offers a long growing period for warm-season crops and the opportunity for spring and fall crops. However, pressure from insects and disease is often greater than in the northern United States. Thus, soil type, plant spacing, fertilization, irrigation, and pest prevention practices must be determined for each crop. Fresh fruits and vegetables are highly vulnerable to injury and water loss and must be handled carefully and stored at the correct temperature. Markets must be determined for each crop, often in advance of planting, to maximize financial returns.