Organic vegetable systems are often complex, including many vegetable varieties with plus rotations of fallow and cover crops to build the soil and reduce disease incidence. A good farm plan takes into consideration many factors:
- Soil type
- Current state of soil
- Your expectations of the crop
- Rotations to deter the pests but also to build and balance the soil
- Market expectations
- Your market(s)
- Resources at your disposal
- Personal experiences and those of fellow farmers
- Most importantly: your skills and abilities
When starting an organic vegetable business, you should:
- Allow for at least a year to plan
- Speak to those with experience
- Read to educate yourself
- Attend educational sessions
- Share your ideas with fellow farmers
- Listen to responses
- Incorporate ideas into a farm plan
- Producing Garlic in Michigan, Michigan State University
- Pumpkins, Squash, and Gourds, Michigan State University
- Rhubarb, Michigan State University
- Radish, Rutabaga, and Turnips, Michigan State University
- Onion Production, Michigan State University
- Cole Crops: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower, Michigan State University
- Pepper Production, Bernard Zandstra, Christine Stephens and Edard Grafius
- Production Guide for Organic Cucumbers and Squash, New York State Integrated Pest Management
- Organic Beans for Processing, New York State Integrated Pest Management
- Organic Cucumbers & Squash for Processing, New York State Integrated Pest Management
- Organic Carrots for Processing, New York State Integrated Pest Management
- Organic Peas for Processing, New York State Integrated Pest Management
- Ecological Management of Winter Weeds in Pea-Wheat-Corn Rotations, Daniel Brainard, 2009 Organic Reporting Session.
- Assessing Four Winter Squash Cultivars as Trap Crops to Improve Cucumber Beetle Management in Organic Cucumber Production, Vianney Willot. 2009 Organic Reporting Session.
- Vermicomposting of campus food residuals and waste at the Student Organic Farm, John Biernbaum. 2011 Organic Reporting Session.
- Expected Yields of Vegetable Crops in Michigan, Michigan State University.
Research and Articles
Sweet Onions Are a Potential Crop for Michigan, Ron Goldy
Research at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center investigated sweet onion production, including variety adaptability, direct seeding, harvest period, and other factors.
Transitional Dynamics in Converting Conventional Cropping Systems to Certified Organic, Andrew Corbin et al
Study conducted by Kellogg Biological Station and MSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Science.
Transplant Tool | Leopold Center and Iowa State University
This is a Decision Making tool produced by the Leopold Center and Iowa State Univeristy for vegetable growers as they increase their capacity to produce more or to enhance efficiency of production from seed to field transplanting. This tool was designed with the Growing Grower in mind:) As your production demand increases and you choose to ramp up your scale here are some guides and tools to get there more efficiently.
SPECIALTY CROPportunities was designed to assist growers considering production of a wide range of non-traditional crops, including many specialty vegetables and culinary herbs. It has information on agronomics, marketing and pests for 100 non-traditional crops, and more crops will be added in the future.
The Grower brings commercial fruit and vegetable growers the latest production and business practices to improve profitability.
Midwest Vegetable Production Guide | Purdue University
Manual intended for all types of production, conventional and organic.
Fruit & Vegetable Production | Penn State University
Organic production is a system that lends itself well to small-scale and part-time farming operations.
Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Production
A one-stop reference for vegetable growers. This book provides readers with the reliable growing and marketing information. Included are tables and charts, from hard statistics on vegetable production and consumption to essential information for today’s international markets. Knott’s Handbook is part Farmer’s Almanac, part encyclopedia, and part dictionary.
Vegetable Variety Trial Information
Variety selection is one of the most important factors in the success of your crop. This website will help you find a list of some vegetable variety trial information available for Ontario, Quebec and the Midwest.
Commercial Tomato Rootstocks | USDA | February 2013
This table summarizes the work that farmers and researchers are doing in grafting root stocks of tomato from other Solanceae crops such eggplant to get the vigor and lack of susceptibility to tomato diseases.
This workshop, from the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, was presented to help farmers achieve success in the wholesale marketplace. Wholesale Success program trainer Atina Diffley was the featured speaker at the workshop. She said it’s important for local growers to add value to their products and differentiate themselves from large producers. Watch the video to find out more.
Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News
A Newsletter for Commercial Growers of Fruit and Vegetable Crops—a Publication of University of Illinois Extension and the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.