Vegetable & Fruit Production
This section contains a collection of print and internet resources selected to help new and established farmers develop or improve a business plan, finances, and labor management strategies.
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This farmer led presentation discusses detailed crop planning protocols for harvest records, planting calendar, planting schedule, seed needs, and spacing guide. It has an Excel spreadsheet Farm Plan that allows you to keep track of number of shares, other markets, planting method, flats per bed, and plants per bed feet.
2013 Midwest CSA Conference Resources and Materials
Find the presentation from “What’s in your box?” plus more on crop planning and production!
Roxbury Farm Crop Manual
Roxbury Farm in NY offers a broad variety of resources for farmers – crop and harvest manuals, sample CSA plans, and more. This crop manual includes info on soil preparation, nutrient requirements, seeding, successions, cultivation, and insects. Read more about Roxbury Farm here.
Sunseed Crop Planning Spreadsheet
Sunseed Farm in Ann Arbor, MI worked with Michigan State University organic farm students and John Biernbaum to develop this crop planning spreadsheet. It includes pre-loaded planting dates, spacing and transplant seeding specifications for over 50 different vegetable crops. There are macros included to make sorting as easy as possible.
Veggie Compass Planning Spreadsheet
Veggie Compass is a whole farm management tool for diversified fresh market vegetable growers, and is designed to help calculate cost of production by crop and margins/profitability for each crop and market. Designed by a team of experts including several people from the University of Wisconsin. Learn more at VeggieCompass.com
ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is arguably the largest and most comprehensive single source of online publications regarding organic farming. An absolutely useful resource for all farmers.
ATTRA Resource Guide to Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production
A broad overview of both online and print resources regarding organic and sustainable vegetable production.
Greenhouse Production and Seed Management
The following handouts are provided courtesy of Harmony Valley Farm and were used in one of the Coalition’s educational programs for growers.
- Greenhouse Planting Date Plan
- Germination Testing Guidelines
- Seed Sterilization Protocol
- Seed Germination Temperatures
- Sample Field Plan
- Seed Database Sample
Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers
Purdue University Extension constantly revises and updates its production guide. Most of the recommendations for pest and disease control are not allowable in organic production, but it contains a wealth of information on spacing, nutrient requirements, and plant varieties.
Organic No-Till Vegetable Production
A list of articles published by the Rodale Institute, one of the world leaders on no-till techniques for organic vegetable growers. Topics include cover crop selection, timing an effective cover crop kill, and no-till equipment.
Planning the Organic Orchard
This MOSES Organic Fact Sheet is written for the small scale, commercial tree fruit grower in the upper Midwest planning at least one half-acre of orchard to be managed organically.
Apples: Organic Production Guide
This publication introduces the major apple insect pests and diseases and the most effective organic management methods. It also includes farmer profiles of working orchards and a section dealing with economic and marketing considerations.
Midwest Grape Production Guide
A handy publication on growing grapes in our cool, humid climate from UW-Extension.
Wisconsin Pest Bulletin
The Wisconsin Pest Bulletin is a seasonal publication by Wisconsin DATCP. Published each Friday from mid-April through August, the bulletin provides pest population estimates, pest distribution and development data, pest survey and inspection results, alerts to new pest finds in the state, and forecasts for Wisconsin’s most damaging plant pests. Each issue includes growing degree days, photographs, maps, tables, charts, and weekly data from an established network of cooperators around the state. You can subscribe to the bulletin as a weekly e-newsletter as well.
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
A high quality ATTRA publication on the concepts and tools of biointensive IPM, and suggests steps and provides informational resources for implementing IPM. It is targeted to individuals interested in agriculture at all levels.
Michigan State University IPM
In-season newsletters with crop and pest reports (CAT Alerts); publications to support pest diagnosis and understanding of pest biology and management; weather information to support pest management decision-making; demonstration and research in Michigan plant production systems with sponsored activities in fruit, field crops, vegetables, and organic production; web resources on beneficial insects; and collaborations to help farmers access incentive payments for IPM through EQIP.
The University of Minnesota hosts VegEdge, which provides timely, objective information about all aspects of vegetable crop integrated pest management (IPM), with particular focus on insect pest management in the Midwestern U.S. This information is provided as an aid to assist growers, processors and crop consultants in making better IPM decisions.
A Whole-Farm Approach to Managing Pests
This 20-page bulletin helps producers design farm-wide approaches to control pests. It lays out basic ecological principles for managing pests and suggests how to apply them to real farm situations—along with cutting-edge research examples and anecdotes from farmers using such strategies in their fields.
Midwestern Season Extension
Season Extension in the Midwest was created as a place for farmers to go and learn about the many new and exciting growing opportunities in season extension.
Hoophouse Production Workshop at Vermont Valley Community Farm LLC
Listen to Barb and Dave Perkins discuss their greenhouses, hoophouses, and how to plan and produce a spring share for your members.
Books & Printed Resources
- The Vegetable Growers Handbook. Frank Tozer. 2008
- The New Organic Grower. Eliot Coleman. 1995
- Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers. Frederic Theriault and Daniel Brisebois. 2002
- Sustainable Vegetable Production from Start‐Up to Market. Vernon Grubinger. 1999
- Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers. Donald Maynard and George Hockmuth. 1997
- Managing Cover Crops Profitably. Sustainable Ag Network. 1998
- Organic Weed Management. Steve Gilman. 2002
- Organic Principles and Practices Handbook Series. Northeast Organic Farming Association. See www.nofa.org for full list of titles
- Steel in the Field. Greg Bowman. 2002
- Growing Great Garlic. Ron Engeland. 1998
- The Pruning Book. Lee Reich. 2010
- The Grafter’s Handbook. R. J. Garner. 2003
- Successful Berry Growing. Gene Logsdon. 1974
- The Organic Apple Grower. Michael Phillips. 1998
- Growing Fruit in the Upper Midwest. Don Gordon. 1991
- The Berry Grower’s Companion. Barbara Bowling. 2005
- The Biodynamic Treatment of Fruit Trees, Berries and Shrubs. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. 1957
- The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture. Lon Rombough. 2002
- Natural Enemies Handbook. Mary Louise Flint & Steve H. Dreistadt. 1998
- Manage Insects on Your Farm. Miguel A. Altieri & Clara Nicholls. 2005
- The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest & Disease Control. Barbara W. Ellis & Fern Marshall Bradley. 2010
- Four Season Harvest. Eliot Coleman. 1999
- The Winter Harvest Handbook. Eliot Coleman. 2009
- Extending the Season. Lynn Byczynski. 2005
- The Hoophouse Handbook. Lynn Byczynski. 2003
- Walking to Spring. Paul and Alison Wiediger. 2003
- Growing Shiitake Mushrooms in a Continental Climate. Mary Ellen Kozak and Joe Krawczyk. 1993
- Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Paul Stamets. 2000