Growing and marketing garden cress and mache at local green markets in southeast Florida

Kenneth D. Shuler, Stephen J. Nie, Deanna V. Shuler, Pei-Ann N. Shuler

Abstract


The growers for Stephen's Produce began growing and marketing garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) in 2001 and mache (Valerianella locusta L.) in 2002 from a 0.15 acre backyard market garden to help supply the West Palm Beach Green Market with a Saturday supply of quot;garden freshquot; produce. The garden has been expanded each year. In 2005-2006, 0.38 acres were under cultivation and clientele were being served at two weekend green markets. Garden cress and mache were two of the 30 crops grown and have been included in the crop mix each year. Planting schedules, growing and harvesting methods, yields, and sales figures are discussed. For the 2004-2005 season, 13 plantings of garden cress and 9 plantings of mache were made. Cress was sold for 23 weeks and mache for 20 weeks of the 28 week sales season which began 6 November and concluded 15 May. These crops were cut, washed, and bagged the day before sales. Prices were $2.00 per quart bag containing from 3 to 4 ounces of greens. An average of 9 bags of cress and 19.9 bags of mache were sold each week in 20042005. Total production was 216 bags of cress ($416) and 402 bags of mache ($795).

Keywords


compost; farmers' market; garden

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283