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  • Author or Editor: Tina Johnson x
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Greenhouse spinach production is an alternative to fruiting vegetables produced in the greenhouse because it allows for multiple short-duration production cycles and a much faster economic return. Ten spinach (Spinacia oleracea) cultivars were evaluated for yield and quality using greenhouse float bed production techniques in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006. Time required for production was 52 days in Fall 2005 and 37 days in Spring 2006. Highest yields in Fall 2005 were 2093, 1996, 1956, 1920, and 1884 g·m−2 for ‘Olympia’, ‘Samish’, ‘Padre’, ‘Bolero’, and ‘F91-415’, respectively. ‘F91-415’ and ‘Bolero’ were the highest yielding cultivars in Spring 2006 with yields of 1649 and 1560 g·m−2, respectively. Bolting ratings were recorded in both tests and only ‘Samish’ had any bolting in Spring 2006 and none in Fall 2005. Quality ratings for leaf color and foliage mass were recorded in Spring 2006 with ‘Samish’, ‘Padre’, and ‘Cypress’ having the highest quality ratings. Color factors, including lightness, hue, and vividness, varied in Fall 2005 but not in Spring 2006. Based on yield and quality factors, the authors recommend further commercial trials of ‘Olympia’, ‘Samish’, ‘Padre’, and ‘F91-415’ for fall greenhouse production and ‘F91-415’ and ‘Padre’ for spring production.

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During the past few years, Americans have experienced a wide variety of stressors, including political tensions, racial/civil unrest, and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. All of these have led to uncertainty within society. Chronic feelings of helplessness can lead to depression or feelings of hopelessness in those who perceive their situation as unchanging. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impacts of gardening and outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic on perceptions of hope, hopelessness, and levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. Participants of this study were recruited through online social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram; 458 participants completed the 21-item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale inventory as well as the Hope Scale. Our data indicated that individuals who self-reported themselves as gardeners had significantly more positive scores related to levels of stress, anxiety, and depression and a sense of hope. Furthermore, gardeners had lower levels of self-reported depression, anxiety, and stress when compared with those who did not identify themselves as gardeners. The gardeners also had a more positive outlook regarding hope for the future. Additionally, a significant positive correlation was found between the number of hours spent participating in gardening and a sense of hope, and a negative correlation was found between the number of hours gardening and stress levels. Similarly, there was a significant negative correlation between the number of hours spent participating in any outdoor activity and self-reported levels of stress, anxiety, or depression; however, there was a positive correlation between the number of hours spent participating in any outdoor activity and a sense of hope. Our data suggested that more hours spent outside gardening or participating in recreational activities led to less perceived stress, anxiety, and depression and greater levels of hope for the future.

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