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Although there is increasing consumer interest in newer foods such as green seeds, green shell bean production in Virginia is nonexistent. We conducted replicated field studies during 2022–23 to characterize production potential of green shell beans and green seeds from black and navy beans. Average green pod and green seed yields were 10,121 and 5186 kg·ha−1, respectively, whereas average seed number per pod was 3.6. As a group, black beans had a higher shelling percent than navy beans, with an average shelling percent of 54%. Green seeds from black and navy bean contained 26% protein, 82 mg·kg−1 Fe, and 38 mg·kg−1 Zn in addition to appreciable concentrations of other nutrients. Our results indicated that black and navy beans have potential as alternative crops to supply green seeds.

Open Access
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Established in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is a leading professional organization that serves a diverse horticultural community. With influence spanning both national and global domains, ASHS makes substantial contributions to various branches of horticulture. In 1985, ASHS introduced the annual Fruit Publication Award to honor exceptional research articles related to fruit. Reflecting on these awarded articles, especially in light of ASHS’s 120-year history, not only serves as a congratulatory gesture to the recipients but also provides insight into the evolutionary progression of fruit science.

Open Access

The production of Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus) in hydroponic systems has increased in popularity since the early 2000s, along with the use of high-wire trellising systems. Some farmers claim the high-wire trellising systems, also known as drop-and-lean trellising, result in a more consistent weekly yield than umbrella or modified-umbrella systems. This study compared the high-wire and modified-umbrella trellising systems both using a 7 ft top wire and 4 plants/m2 plant density. The fruit weight and number of fruit per plant were significantly greater using the modified-umbrella trellising system, with the number of fruit being about twice as high as the high-wire trellising system. Consistency of yields was also measured for both systems and found to peak at ∼5 to 7 weeks after the start of harvest using both trellising systems. However, peak yields using the modified-umbrella trellising system followed a quadratic curve, implying that the high-wire trellising system results in more consistent yields. Differences in yield and harvest consistency were likely related to light penetration of the plant canopy. Growers using low-profile greenhouses can expect lower yields and more consistent harvests using the high-wire trellising system. Yields may be improved using a higher plant density. Alternatively, succession planting on a 5- to 7-week interval can improve harvest consistency using a modified-umbrella trellising system.

Open Access

With an increase in social awareness of environmental degradation and the need to conserve resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environmental standards of the industries from which they purchase products. This has motivated industries to restructure their business model to one that is more environmentally sustainable. Research of consumers’ floral purchasing habits based on geographic regions found that these habits varied depending on the region where they lived. The main purpose of this study was to investigate US consumers’ perceptions and willingness to pay as they relate to retail floral providers’ environmentally sustainable practices based on the geographical region where the consumer lives within the United States. The results indicated differences in the way respondents answered questions based on the geographical region where they live. However, regardless of the US region where the respondents live, from the list of sustainable attributes covered in this study, respondents indicated the use of locally sourced flowers and composting of floral waste as the two sustainable attributes with the most perceived value to consumers. The findings of this study indicate that floral providers that have incorporated any type of sustainable attribute into their businesses should be promoting this to the public. Floral providers located in the West and Northeast regions of the United States should especially consider emphasizing sustainable attributes within their business because consumers in these regions indicated that they were most willing to pay premiums for sustainable practices. Additionally, floral providers in the West should consider sourcing and promoting the use of fair-trade materials to their customers.

Open Access

The increasing demand for soilless media, sustainability issues with peatmoss, and increasing cost of peatmoss have prompted studies of more environmentally friendly and less expensive substitutes. Biochar, a lightweight black carbon material produced by the pyrolysis of biomass, has gained popularity as a soilless media supplement. The objective of this study was to evaluate Eastern red cedar (ERC) biochar as a supplement to soilless media for the production of chrysanthemum and ornamental kale. Treatments included ERC biochar produced at three different temperature ranges of 300 to 350 °C, 400 to 450 °C, and 500 to 550 °C that were applied at 25%, 50%, and 75% v/v plus a control (100% v/v of standard commercial mix). Additionally, ERC bark was applied at the same rate as biochar. The 300 to 350 °C and 400 to 450 °C temperature ranges increased the bulk density of the media, whereas total porosity was greatest with just bark. Regarding the physical properties of the media, in general, the 75% v/v supplementation rate of ERC bark or biochar at any temperature increased air porosity but decreased the water holding capacity, except for the water holding capacity at 500 to 550 °C. As the biochar production temperature increased, so did the pH and electrical conductivity (EC), whereas volatile matter decreased. Plant height, width, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, number of flowers (chrysanthemum only), flower diameter, and water use efficiency were greatest with the 100% v/v soilless media for both species. In general, chrysanthemum plants grown with 25% v/v biochar supplementation or bark had similar height, width, and shoot dry weight at any temperature compared with those grown with the 100% v/v soilless media. For ornamental kale, the 25% v/v 400 to 450 °C biochar supplementation showed plant height and water use efficiency similar to those of the 100% v/v soilless media. In general, 25% ERC bark performed similar to 25% v/v and 50% v/v biochar at any temperature for plant width, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, water use efficiency, and root-to-shoot ratio. The media nutrient content and EC were greater with 100% v/v soilless media and a lower rate (25% v/v) of ERC bark and biochar than with higher rates. The higher levels of biochar were harmful and reduced the ornamental kale growth and quality. These results suggest that supplemented soilless media with lower rates (25% v/v) of ERC biochar could be recommended for chrysanthemum, but that less than 25% v/v may be necessary for ornamental kale.

Open Access