Growing and marketing basil at local green markets in southeast Florida

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

Abstract


Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) was first grown in 2002 in the 0.38-acre backyard market garden of Stephen’s Produce. It was one of 30 crops being grown to help supply local green markets with a weekend supply of “garden fresh” produce. Planting schedules, growing and harvesting methods, yields, and sales figures will be discussed. For the 2003–04 season, 18 plantings of basil were made. Basil was sold at all of the 32 weekends for the sales season, which began 19 Oct. and concluded 22 May. Stems were cut, bunched, and banded the day before sales. Bunches were either stored in a cooler with ice or stood upright in a bucket or bin with water. Bunches of 5–10 stems were generally sold for $1.00 to $2.00 each. Plants were allowed to regrow for multiple harvests at 3- to 4-week intervals. In 2003–04, an average of 50 bunches of basil were sold each week.

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