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in HortTechnology

Datil Hot Pepper: A Unique, Spicy Option for Growers

Datil-type hot peppers have potential for increased commercial production due to their unique, spicy-sweet flavor and fragrant bouquet. Handling recommendations for a local variety, Wanda, were established by Lon Kan et al. (p. 402), who stored fruit at yellow and orange maturity stages in vented, “clamshell” containers (2, 7, or 10 °C). Orange peppers were 18% sweeter (9.5 °Brix) and had double the carotenoid content (122 µg·g-1) of yellow fruit. Capsaicinoid content was 1810 to 4440 µg·g-1. Storage at 2°C was best; after 21 d, marketable fruit was 75% (orange fruit) while 91% (yellow fruit), limited by shriveling.

Adult and Child Views of Oranges and Mandarins

Many factors affect consumer preferences for commodities such as citrus. Kurzer et al. (p. 408) conducted focus groups on oranges and mandarins with adults and children in northern California, and found that they valued different aspects of the fruit. Quality, cost, peelability, seasonality of the fruit, local sourcing, and consumption in social settings were all viewed as important. Subjects also liked the ideas of fruit in between the size of an orange and a mandarin, fruit with edible peels, and fruit varieties with recognizable names such as 'Cara Cara' oranges.

Phenolics in Apple Juice and Cider Using Different Harvest Methods

Alexander et al. (p. 423) report similar phenolic contents in fermented juice derived from over-the-row machine-harvested and hand-harvested ‘Brown Snout’ cider apples. Three analytical methods were utilized to measure phenolics: redox titration assay (percent tannic acid equivalents), protein precipitation assay (concentration of catechin equivalents), and ultra-high-performance chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Their results further support the use of over-the-row machine harvesting of cider apples as a sustainable commercial alternative to hand harvesting, as it provides similar yield and quality at significantly lower cost.

A Quick Test to Verify Salt Tolerance

Greenhouse plants grow best with irrigation water low in salts and sodium (Na). However, growers often do not have access to high-quality irrigation water and have to use water with higher levels of salt and Na. What are the upper salt and Na levels that plants will tolerate and still grow? Moore et al. (p. 434) describe a method using rooted cuttings and supplies found in local grocery stores for evaluating salt and Na tolerance with results in 14 days.

Assessing Breadfruit Tree Health Using Foliar Nutrients

Breadfruit is a staple carbohydrate that grows on a long-lived tree and has enormous potential for production in the tropics. However, many basic agronomic metrics have not been established for this underutilized crop. Lincoln et al. (p. 443) examined methods of assessing the nutrient content of large leaves and used productivity data to determine an initial range of optimal foliar nutrient profiles. These results can inform appropriate nutrient management for establishing breadfruit orchards worldwide.

Organic Fertilizer for Greenhouse Cucumbers

Fertility management of seedlings and transplants is considered a key challenge in organic greenhouse production. Li and Mattson (p. 450) found that the 28.32 lb/yard3 of dairy manure vermicompost (VC) or 9.44 lb/yard3 VC + 4 lb/yard3 turkey litter-based compost (TC) can be substituted for conventional liquid fertilizer for the cultivation of cucumber seedlings. TC at 12 lb/yard3 or 4 lb/yard3 TC + 9.44 lb/yard3 VC fertilizers were suitable replacements for conventional liquid fertilizer for the cultivation of cucumber transplants.

Five Years of High Tunnel Orientation Studies

Should small, hobby high tunnels be oriented east-west or north-south? In 5 years of studies using those two orientations, Panter et al. (p. 461) determined that it does not matter. Two hobby-sized high tunnels were used, each 12 x 16 ft. One was oriented with the long axis east-west, the other north-south. Fresh cut sunflowers were grown for two growing seasons (2012, 2016) and culinary herbs (marjoram, oregano, garlic chives) were grown for three seasons (2013, 2014, 2015). Differences in growth and yield parameters were more a function of species than the direction that the high tunnels were oriented.

Training Series Connects with Hispanic Farming Community

U.S. Hispanics are playing a larger role in agriculture. To create educational programs attractive to Hispanic farmers and farmworkers, Sánchez et al. (p. 476) created a training series for agricultural educators. The training included an expert on the science of inclusion, a specialist in Latino community studies, and representatives from organizations actively connecting with Hispanic farming audiences. Participants rated the training series highly, with the majority increasing efforts to build relationships with the Hispanic farming community after it was completed. Methods employed are presented as model for others working to connect with this or other underserved or non-traditional farming audiences.

Horticultural Community Service Reduces Prisoner Recidivism

The U.S. incarcerates a greater percentage of its citizens than any country in the world. Additionally, over 3/4 of U.S. prisoners reoffend within 5 years of being released. Holmes and Waliczek (p. 490) found offenders who completed their community service in horticultural or non-horticultural outdoor environments reoffended at lower rates compared to those completing community service in non-horticultural indoor environments and those who had no community service option. Horticulturally focused adult education programs or training combined with community service could prove helpful to some offenders for successful transition back into society.

Bulb Fennel Variety Trial in the Northwestern U.S.

Bulb fennel is a promising alternative crop for growers in northwestern Washington, as it is well suited to the region’s environment, has a high market value, and it fills a crop rotation niche. Miles et al. (p. 496) report that 5 of the 13 varieties evaluated (Finale, Orazio, Preludio, Solaris, and Tenace) were suitable for production in the region, as they had high yields and bulb quality that met market standards. Also, they found that direct seeding required fewer days to harvest than transplanting, and seeding from mid-June onwards resulted in lower bulb production rate.

Vegetable Amaranth Variety Performance

Amaranth is a popular traditional African leafy vegetable. Dinssa et al. (p. 516) conducted a study in Tanzania to investigate amaranth variety performance across locations and seasons, assess the contributions of genetic versus environmental sources of variation in yield, and identify environments for future test sites. They found that seasons explained 52.1%, varieties 24.9%, and locations 23.0% of the observed variation. Hot-dry season trials demonstrated 47.3% greater yield than wet-cool season trials. Two mega-environments were identified, one with lower altitudes, higher temperatures, and less-fertile soils, and a second with higher altitudes, lower temperatures, and fertile soils.

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