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  • Author or Editor: Rene Crete x
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With the increase in popularity of natural medicine there is an ever growing market for the production of medicinal plants. In the last decade, screening trials of a number of species were conducted. The species currently under study are: angelica (Angelica archangelica; biennial, roots harvested), thyme (Thymus vulgaris; perennial, shoot harvested), German chamomilla (Matricaria recutita; annual, flowers harvested), horehound (Marrubium vulgare; perennial, shoot harvested) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale; considered as a biennial, roots harvested). In 1990 the species were grown on three soil types (clay-loam, sandy loam and histosol) with different fertilization and irrigation practices. In 1991 two distinct trials were undertaken. The first considered herbicide efficiency and planting density. The second dealt with «organic» management strategies. Depending on the species, treatments of compost amendment, plastic mulch and implantation techniques were compared.

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A rapid technique for measuring onion firmness is described. The bulbs were compressed at 15 cm/min, and the time taken for the force applied to change from 400 to 3200 g indicated automatically by electronic apparatus. Since the deformation rate was constant this time was a direct measure of bulb deformation and provided an objective comparison of bulb firmness under controlled test conditions that simulated sensory evaluations. Results showed that the differences between cultivars, the effect of chemical treatments, and storage time can be evaluated. The instrumental results are well related to human evaluations.

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