Oct 2013 : Trialing Our Protected-Culture Varieties

October 2013
 In This Issue...
     Trial Criteria for Greenhouse Varieties
     Greenhouse Growing Basics
       Grower Profile: Peach Crest Farm
Learn About Our Protected Culture Trials

Trial Criteria for Greenhouse & Hoophouse Varieties

What Makes a Variety Right for Protected Culture?

High tunnels, low tunnels, and greenhouses are sprouting up on farms and homesteads everywhere, as more growers discover the many advantages of protected culture. The benefits of growing under cover include season extension, better crop quality, and protection from bad weather and certain pathogens, such as early and late blight.

Growing in a protected environment does, however, carry its own set of challenges, including an increased risk of diseases specific to greenhouses, such as leaf mold. Crops need to do particularly well to deserve a position in the valuable real estate of a tunnel or greenhouse.

Johnny's Selected Seeds is committed to breeding, testing, and selecting crops that are well-suited to protected culture. In this article, we'll tell you a bit about how we identify these varieties, then provide some recommendations for the ones we think will perform well in your high tunnels, low tunnels, or greenhouses.

Why Grow in a Greenhouse?

Trellised Greenhouse Cucumbers
Benefits & Basics of Greenhouse Growing

Each year as we pass the autumnal equinox, daylight dwindles to an increasingly noticeable degree. By the winter solstice, it becomes too cold in many regions for much of anything to grow in the field. But greenhouse growers, depending upon their latitude, are gearing up to start tomato, lettuce, and pepper seeds, or other carefully chosen vegetables, herbs, and flowers for transplanting into heated greenhouses, unheated greenhouses, or hoophouses.

If working in the greenhouse sounds like an antidote for the midwinter blues -- not to mention a way to make some cash earlier next year -- then read on to learn more about how greenhouse growing might fit into your business plan.

JSS 40th Anniversary
Farm Visits & Grower Profiles

Peach Crest Farm, Stratford, OK

Peach Crest Farm
Stratford, Oklahoma

For Peach Crest Farm in Stratford, Oklahoma, the busy season starts in late August, when school begins session. With 68 school districts as customers, Peach Crest Farm is absorbed with harvesting, packing, and shipping a wide array of produce -- cantaloupe, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, dill, thyme, kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, butternut squash, beets, and watermelon radishes. All the way up until winter break, Peach Crest Farm will ship certified-organic produce and herbs to Oklahoma schools.

Peach Crest Farm began as a 100-acre peach orchard owned and operated by Susan Bergen, who came from a non-farming background but proved adept at managing the fruit operation and developing a line of value-added products such as jams, salsas, and barbeque sauces. Over the years, she bought an additional 230 acres of crop land near the orchard and expanded into vegetables. She was one of the first farms in Oklahoma to sell to schools, and she recognized the huge potential of the Farm to School movement.

Three years ago, she brought in James Cooper of Cooper Organics to manage the certified-organic side of the produce operation. James is the man who keeps it all moving -- crop production, labor management, marketing, and shipping logistics.

"When I came, the foundation was there to take the business to another level," he said. "Now I'd like to turn the Farm to School initiative into a year-round program..."




Also This Month





News & Events


2013
AAS Breeders Cup Recipient
Rob L Johnston, Jr
All-America Breeders Cup

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Johnny's Celebrates 40th
Johnny's Celebrates 40th

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Growing Ideas

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Greenhouse Cukes?
Greenhouse Cukes Can Be Profitable

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Johnny's Annual
Season Extension Sale

Season Extension Sale

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Growing with Hoophouses

Watch How to Grow with Hoophouses

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