The evolution of production, harvesting, and marketing techniques for bok choy Chinese cabbage from Stephen's produce "Garden Fresh" vegetables at local green markets in Palm Beach county, Florida

K. D. Shulter, S. J. Nie, P-A. N. Shuler


The 0.14 acre garden for Stephen's Produce serves the green market in West Palm Beach with a supply of fresh produce each Saturday over the Oct. to Apr. season. White stemmed 'Joi Choi' bok choy has been grown each of the past six seasons and green stemmed Shanghi bok choy was added for the 2000-2001 season. The sandy soil has been amended with compost and horse manure/bedding. Crops were planted on open beds and irrigated via drip tubing. Chlorpyrifos, a soil insecticide, and most of the fertilizer was applied preplant. Bokchoy was direct seeded weekly and thinned to stand. On Friday, bok choy was cut, trimmed, washed and stored overnight in a cooler with ice. Time to harvest ranged from 41 to 82 days. Approximately 41 hills of white bok choy and 29 hills of green bok choy were planted weekly on an area of 89 ft2. Weekly harvests averaged 30 marketable heads of white bok choy and 23 heads of green bok choy which sold for $0.50 to $2.50/head depending on size. Gross value averaged $57/week, ($2.48/linear bed ft at two rows/bed or $27,898/acre/crop). Labor averaged 2.5 hours/week. In contrast, commercially grown bok choy is cut and trimmed by hand, packed in crates or cartons in the field, and vacuum cooled at a packinghouse.

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