Ethnic Produce Has Potential For Greenhouse Growers

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lemongrass

As demographics in the U.S. change, new crops (for example, lemongrass) favored by different cultures are an opportunity for greenhouse growers. Photo via Flickr by Iqbal Osman.

Produce is one of the hottest growth categories for greenhouse growers, but more specific niches may end up being even more profitable.

According to a recent release from Penn State University Extension, U.S. Census data shows that the mainstream population increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010 as compared to 43 percent for Asians and 43 percent for Hispanics.

The market potential for ethnic herbs and vegetables was a topic that came up more than once at Greenhouse Grower’s 2013 GROW Summit. As the U.S. population becomes more diverse — and brings with it the food and plant traditions of other countries and cultures — there’s an increasing opportunity for growers to capitalize and serve these new markets.

If you’re looking at adding ethnic produce to your mix, you may want to consider a one-day workshop hosted by Penn State in Valley Forge, Pa., on March 3, 2014. The program will include research results, stakeholders describing their experiences with growing, sourcing and marketing ethnic greens and herbs and a presentation describing changes in U.S. consumer demographics.

A USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant will cover the cost of the workshop including one night’s lodging and meals during the conference and materials/workshop attendance. However, attendance is by invitation only. If you’re interested in attending, contact Dana Ollendyke at djm428@psu.edu.

Richard Jones is the group editor for Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center magazines.
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    2 comments on “Ethnic Produce Has Potential For Greenhouse Growers

    1. BOB GALVIN

      Hello, Richard….

      I enjoy GREENHOUSE GROWER, and, as a Portland, Oregon-based writer on agriculture/gardening topics, I’m curious to know if you accept contributed articles.

      The reason I ask is because a few months ago, I became acquainted with a greenhouse owner who decided to try a microbial amendment to see if this would improve his crop yields. It certainly did. The amendment developed deep root mass, and, in this case, a green bell pepper plant, became huge and produced a multitude of peppers.

      As I spoke with the greenhouse owner, his story sounded most compelling.

      So, I was wondering if a story on this grower, and maybe including experiences of other growers using various amendments, would be of interest.

      The trend towards more non-organic amendments seems to be gaining momentum, so I thought I’d share my idea with you.

      Let me know if you’re interested.

      Very best regards,

      Bob Galvin, RS Galvin & Assoc/Writing Services, Oregon City, OR

      1. Laura Drotleff

        Bob,
        Thanks for your query! We are always looking for compelling articles. Please feel free to email your ideas to me at ldrotleff@meistermedia.com.
        Best,
        Laura Drotleff
        Editor