Select and grow the best varieties of high quality storage crops

Squash and Pumpkins“The best way to put great vegetables into storage is to start with the right varieties. Then grow, harvest and handle crops the right way,” said Jan van der Heide, Northeast Sales and Product Development Manager for Bejo Seeds. van der Heide led a workshop called “Putting a Good Quality Crop into Storage” at the New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference.

Fall and winter crops grow more slowly and have smaller cells, hard skins and dense flavor and nutrients. Most late season crops are eaten cooked.

Growers should plan ahead for storage crops. These crops take 80 to 130 days to reach maturity. Most growers do not have time for a second cash crop on field growing storage crops. With fields tied up for the season, growers should earn a good return on that crop. smart growers plant a cover crop after harvesying their storage crops to protect and build soils before planting a new cash crop.

Growers should choose varieties specifically selected for storage qualities. Learn which varieties van der Heide recommends and read about his harvest recommendations and storage tips here.

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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