New Book Highlights the Benefits of Growing Vegetables Under Protected Culture

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse growers handbookThe U.S. may be a world leader in agricultural exports, but the Netherlands — a country two-thirds the size of West Virginia — ranks high on the list, as well. How can this tiny country compete with the third-largest country in the world?

The answer is “protected culture.” In Andrew Mefferd’s new book, “The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture,” he describes protected culture as the practice of growing plants in a structure designed to protect them from environmental stresses and improve the growing environment. As weather patterns continue to change and become increasingly unpredictable, sharing best practices that allow growers to control their own climate is vital.

Here are some of the benefits of protected culture that Mefferd cites:
• Localizing the Food System — Protected culture growing is one of the most important ways for local food producers to compete with industrial agriculture. For example, each year between 50% and 80% of the nation’s lettuce comes from the Salinas Valley in California. More local growers using protected culture to extend their season could reduce over-reliance on single regions for our food supply.
• Resource Efficiency — Greenhouses are efficient water users. Compared with open-field irrigation methods in arid parts of the country, relatively little water is lost to evaporation, so a high percentage ends up doing its job growing the plant.
• First to Market — Being earlier with a vegetable can help you land and keep market and wholesale accounts for the entire season.
• Predictability — Greater control over your growing environment provides insurance against unpredictable weather, resulting in more consistent yields.
• Higher Yields — Protected environments can be managed to optimize plant growth, as well as result in an increased rate of top-quality, marketable produce.
• Pest and Disease Control — While greenhouse growing doesn’t make pest and disease problems nonexistent, it does afford you better control and gives growers the ability to keep leaves dry, avoiding all sorts of rain-related problems.
• Improved Flavor — Protected culture growers can take advantage of many vegetable varieties, such as cluster tomatoes and seedless, thin-skinned cucumbers, that are difficult to impossible to grow in the field.

Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. He put what he learned to use on his own farm in Maine. Previously, he worked on farms in six states across the U.S. before starting his own farm. Andrew also works as a consultant on the topics covered in this book.

To order the book, go to Chelseagreen.com/the-greenhouse-and-hoophouse-growers-handbook.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “New Book Highlights the Benefits of Growing Vegetables Under Protected Culture

More From Management...
Nexus greenhouse construction for Knox Cannabis Facility

July 27, 2017

Ornamental Growers Will Revolutionize Cannabis Industry, Bruce Knox Says

Professional growers have much to offer the emerging cannabis market, according to the co-owner of Knox Medical, one of the licensed cannabis producers in Florida.

Read More
ForwardGro

July 27, 2017

ForwardGro Receives Maryland’s First Cannabis Production Permit

On May 17, the Maryland Cannabis Commission voted in favor of awarding the first full permit to grow marijuana for the state’s medical program.

Read More
Cannabis Structure

July 26, 2017

Greenhouse Cannabis Production Could be a Reality in San Mateo, CA

Lawmakers in San Mateo County have agreed to proceed with allowing commercial greenhouse marijuana growing in unincorporated communities.

Read More
Latest Stories
Nexus greenhouse construction for Knox Cannabis Facility

July 27, 2017

Ornamental Growers Will Revolutionize Cannabis Industry…

Professional growers have much to offer the emerging cannabis market, according to the co-owner of Knox Medical, one of the licensed cannabis producers in Florida.

Read More
ForwardGro

July 27, 2017

ForwardGro Receives Maryland’s First Cannabis Productio…

On May 17, the Maryland Cannabis Commission voted in favor of awarding the first full permit to grow marijuana for the state’s medical program.

Read More
Cannabis Structure

July 26, 2017

Greenhouse Cannabis Production Could be a Reality in Sa…

Lawmakers in San Mateo County have agreed to proceed with allowing commercial greenhouse marijuana growing in unincorporated communities.

Read More
Seed Your Future feature

July 26, 2017

Seed Your Future Aims to Inspire Careers in Plants

Who will be the next generation of horticulturists? The answer lies in helping to change the perception of horticulture and using contemporary new language to tell our stories.

Read More
Workers

July 25, 2017

H-2B Gets Cap Increase – Here’s How it Impacts Ho…

Greenhouse Grower caught up with AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge to find out how changes to the non-agricultural guestworker program impacts us, and what it could mean for changes to H-2A, the agricultural guestworker program.

Read More
Farwest Show Floor

July 25, 2017

Heading to Farwest 2017? Make Sure You Register by July…

July 31 is the last day to take advantage of early-bird registration discounts for the show, which includes the trade show, all education seminars and pesticide classes, and nursery country tours.

Read More
Craig Regelbrugge

July 23, 2017

Horticulture Industry Insiders Offer Tips on Communicat…

With immigration in the spotlight and a national budget that could severely impact horticulture industry programs, it’s more important than ever to be vocal about how the decisions that lawmakers are implementing impact your business.

Read More

July 22, 2017

Craig Regelbrugge: Proposed Budget Cuts Could Eliminate…

President Trump’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes significant cuts to the Agricultural Research Service, which supports the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative.

Read More
Luxfloraflowerrun17

July 20, 2017

Luxflora Attracted Even More Participation to its Secon…

More than 170 runners kicked off Cultivate'16 on Sunday, July 16, with Luxflora's second annual 5k race. It was a great way to start the week, participants said.

Read More
Florida Nursery Economic Impact

July 18, 2017

Florida’s Nursery and Greenhouse Industry Has a Huge Ef…

A new economic impact study from the University of Florida says the green industry contributes more than $21 billion in sales and 230,000 jobs to the Sunshine State’s economy.

Read More
Danziger Hosts Indian Prime Minister

July 14, 2017

Danziger Hosts Indian Prime Minister, Demonstrates Inno…

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Israel July 4 with his delegation to explore possible cooperation with Israel, the group’s first stop was the Danziger facility at Mishmar Hashiva’a.

Read More
Ball ColorLink logo

July 11, 2017

Get Guidance on Running Your Business from Ball ColorLi…

Representatives from Ball ColorLink will be on-hand at Cultivate’17 to answer questions and present business-building tools and industry insights to growers.

Read More
Nathan Lamkey, McHutchison

July 10, 2017

Former Terra Nova Sales and Marketing Director Hired at…

Nathan Lamkey will be responsible for developing and executing sales strategies at McHutchison, a leading North American plant broker.

Read More
Lean Consortium in Washington

July 10, 2017

Washington Growers Join New Horticulture Lean Consortiu…

The group of growers has committed to learning and applying the principles of Lean, a method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort.

Read More
North Creek Nurseries Head Grower and Owner

July 9, 2017

How to Empower Your Future Managers

If you’re looking to retain employees and develop effective managers, provide them with the skills they need to realize their highest potential.

Read More
Hort Couture Farm to Table Display

July 7, 2017

New Marketing and Retail Display Ideas to Boost Your P…

Innovative marketing displays and retail concepts at California Spring Trials 2017, inspired by popular consumer trends and the need to encourage consumer success, overflowed with exciting new ways to promote plants.

Read More
griffin-expo

July 6, 2017

Griffin’s 2017 Expos to Focus on Pest Management, New V…

The schedule for the Expos, which take place in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, includes two seminars in which attendees can qualify for pesticide recertification credits.

Read More
cut flower arrangement

July 5, 2017

Congress Designates July as American Grown Flowers Mont…

Last week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating July as “American Grown Flowers Month.” Co-sponsored by Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rep. Don Young (AK-1), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), House Resolution 413 declares July as the month to celebrate the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers and demonstrate Congress’ commitment to support America’s flower farming families. Congressman Carbajal spoke from the House Floor, introducing the legislation and encouraging fellow members of Congress to support American Grown Flowers Month. “I have seen firsthand the value the grown flower industry adds to our economy and communities during my visits with our Central Coast growers,” said Rep. Carbajal. “California produces three quarters of all cut flowers grown in the United States. I am committed to recognizing their contribution […]

Read More