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Vegetable Gardening: A Beginner's Guide

By: Shawn Banks, Lucy Bradley

This publication provides information about planning and maintaining a home vegetable garden. Topics include site selection, soil preparation, and pest and disease management.

Central North Carolina Planting Calendar for Annual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

By: Lucy Bradley, Chris Gunter, Julieta Sherk, Liz Driscoll

In central North Carolina almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be grown successfully provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Also included is a planting chart and calendar.

North Carolina Production Guide for Smaller Orchard Plantings

By: Nicholas Basinger, Janet Owle, Abbey Piner, Michael Parker

North Carolina’s climate and soils are well suited to grow many types tree fruits. This publication will focus on the three main tree fruits produced for market in North Carolina: peaches, apples, and pecans. In addition to these main crops, information on pears, persimmons, plums, nectarines, Asian pears, and figs is presented as they grow well in North Carolina’s temperate climate. These tree fruits require similar management regimes described in this publication.

Eastern North Carolina Planting Calendar for Annual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

By: Lucy Bradley, Chris Gunter, Julieta Sherk, Liz Driscoll, Danny Lauderdale, Charlotte Glen

In eastern North Carolina, almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be successfully grown provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season, and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Includes a planting chart and calendar.

Growing and Cooking Fruits and Vegetables at Childcare Centers

By: Carol Mitchell, Robin Moore, Nilda Cosco Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This factsheet summarizes the benefits of fruit and vegetable gardening with children. It includes age-appropriate activities for childcare providers to engage young children using fresh produce from the garden for cooking and eating.

Western North Carolina Planting Calendar for Annual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

By: Lucy Bradley, Chris Gunter, Julieta Sherk, Liz Driscoll, Donna Teasley, Kerrie Roach

In western North Carolina, almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be successfully grown provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season, and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Includes a planting chart and calendar.

How to Organize a Community Garden

By: Lucy Bradley

This publication covers the keys to a successful community garden of individual plots including forming a strong planning team, choosing a safe site accessible to the target audience with sunlight and water, organizing a simple transparent system for management and designing and installing the garden. Appendices offer a sample layout, sample by-laws, sample budgets and a list of resources.

Commercial Luffa Sponge Gourd Production

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflets

Luffa are tropical, vining plants that produce large fruits similar to cucumbers. When young and small the fruit can be cooked and prepared like a summer squash. When the fruit mature, they have a rough, fibrous interior which is referred to as the sponge and is used to make a wide variety of products. Currently, luffa sponge products are most popular as personal care products and are readily available in the cosmetic and bath sections of department stores, discount stores, pharmacies, and specialty shops. This factsheet covers how to plant, harvest, and process luffa gourds in a temperate environment.

Collard Greens

By: Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, Linda Brandon, Jeannie Leonard, Lucy Bradley Grow It, Eat It

This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.

Local Food Systems: Clarifying Current Research

By: Dara Bloom, Joanna Lelekacs, Rebecca Dunning Local Foods

This publication discusses the environmental, economic, health, and community benefits that local food systems provide to communities.

How to Sell Produce to Distributors

By: Keirstan Kure, Lauren Horning, Rebecca Dunning

This publication provides information about how producers can prepare for selling produce to wholesale distributors. It includes tips and examples to help farmers expand their businesses.

Identifying and Responding to Factors That Can Affect Egg Quality and Appearance

By: Ken Anderson, Darrin Karcher, Deanna Jones

This publication is a useful resource that shell egg producers can use to identify egg defects and possible factors contributing to egg quality issues. It also provides corrective measures for each defect so that producers can incorporate these solutions into their production systems.

The North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide

By: Barclay Poling, Sara Spayd

The grape and wine industry in North Carolina is now worth in excess of $30 million dollars. To assist North Carolina growers in the production a quality grapes for quality wines, a newly revised 196 page guide has been written for winegrape growers, called the North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide. This publication provides grape growers with practical information about choosing an appropriate site for a vineyard, establishment, and operation of commercial vineyards in North Carolina.

Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden

By: Charles Mainland, Bill Cline Horticulture Information Leaflets

Blueberries can be grown in home gardens anywhere in North Carolina if the right species and proper soil modifications are used. Blueberries are typically used in the landscape as hedges for screening purposes, but they can also be used in cluster plantings, or as single specimen plants. Blueberries are an ideal year round addition to the landscape. They have delicate white or pink flowers in the spring, the summer fruit has an attractive sky blue color, and the fall foliage adds great red and yellow colors to the landscape.

Muscadine Grape: Family Activity Guide

By: Liz Driscoll, Connie Fisk, Sara Spayd

Celebrating, learning and loving everything about muscadine grapes. This guide provides activities for families to discover and learn about muscadine grapes native to North Carolina.

How to Sell Pastured Meat Products to Grocery Stores via Direct Store Delivery

By: Sarah Blacklin, Rebecca Dunning, Joanna Lelekacs Local Foods

This publication guides small- and medium-scale pastured meat producers in North Carolina through the steps of selling niche meat products to grocery stores.

Kale

By: Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, Linda Brandon, Jeannie Leonard, Lucy Bradley Grow It, Eat It

This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.

How to Sell Shell Eggs Into Grocery Stores Through Direct Store Delivery

By: Krista Morgan, Joanna Lelekacs Local Foods

This publication provides basic information for small or medium-scale North Carolina egg producers to start marketing their products to retail stores.

Pole Bean Production

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflets

Pole beans are grown commercially in the mountain counties and, on a limited scale, in a few of the eastern counties. They are produced in home gardens throughout the state. Pole beans are grown for their distinctive flavor, long pods, high yield, long harvesting season, and high price.

Asparagus

By: Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, Linda G. Brandon, Jeannie Leonard, Lucy Bradley Grow It, Eat It

This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden

By: Larry Bass, Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflets

Much success in growing tomatoes can be attributed to use of a few proven techniques. Choosing a variety that has proven to be a true performer should be at the top of every gardener's list. Better Boy, Whopper, Celebrity, and Mountain Pride are among some of the best selections. Better Boy, Celebrity, and Whopper are VFN, which means they carry resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes. It is best to experiment with several varieties in order to find the ideal tomato for your taste buds.

The Value of Honey Bees as Pollinators in North Carolina

By: David Tarpy

The impact of honey bees on not only North Carolina, but the entire world is immense.

Chapter 3. Choice of Varieties

By: Andy Allen, Barclay Poling, Amy-Lynn Albertson

North Carolina has one of the most varied climates of any eastern state, and a diverse number of grape species and varieties can be grown. But to be a successful commercial winegrape grower, it is critical that you select varieties that grow well in your region and that have an established market.

Introduction: Food Banks and Food Pantries

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, describes food banks and food pantries and their role in North Carolina.

Container Garden Planting Calendar for Edibles in the Piedmont

By: Kim Richter, Lucy Bradley, Mark Kistler, Julie Sherk

This publication offers a guide to growing edible plants year-round in containers. Includes planting and harvest guides.

Farm to Early Care and Education Local Food Purchasing Guide

By: Jacob Rutz, Dara Bloom Local Foods

There are many different ways to buy local food, and this guide provides information that childcare centers and technical assistance providers can use to understand where to find local food, what to expect, and how to decide which local food source is right for different centers.

Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings

By: Jeanine Davis, Sue Ellen Johnson, Katie Jennings

Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings to the soil. The symptoms reported include poor seed germination; death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; and reduced yields. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, including diseases, insects, and herbicide drift. Another possibility for the source of these crop injuries should also be considered: the presence of certain herbicides in the manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings applied to the soil.

Creating Childcare Center Production Gardens

By: Robin Moore, Nilda Cosco, Sarah Konradi, Mary Archer Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on developing fruit and vegetable production gardens in the Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) of childcare centers. Included are basic garden design and layout to help childcare centers get started in year-round gardening activities. This is the second of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

How to Create a Container Garden for Edibles in the North Carolina Piedmont

By: Kim Richter, Lucy Bradley, Mark Kistler, Julie Sherk

In this publication you will find ideas to get you started growing your own edibles. Included are simple designs and potential settings for a single container, a small group of containers and a larger grouping of containers. The benefits and challenges of various planting options will also be explored.

Suggestions For Establishing a Blueberry Planting in Western North Carolina

By: Bill Cline, Gina Fernandez Horticulture Information Leaflets

Blueberry production in Western North Carolina differs from the main commercial production areas in the southeastern part of the state because of differing climate and soil conditions. Highbush blueberry cultivars should be used exclusively; rabbiteye blueberries will not consistently survive low winter temperatures that occur in Western North Carolina. This factsheet offers information on growing and harvesting blueberries in Western North Carolina.

21. Youth, Community, and Therapeutic Gardening

By: Lucy Bradley

This Youth, Community, and Therapeutic Gardening Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook helps volunteers understand how these types of gardens can be sucessful and the steps needed to be an effective mentor.

Building Local Food Economies: A Guide for Governments

By: Emily Edmonds, Rebecca Dunning, Taylor Smith

This publication serves as a guide on building local food economies for planners, economic developers, and local government professionals.

Bulb Onions

By: Chris Gunter Horticulture Information Leaflets

The onion is a cool season crop that will withstand moderate freezes. It may be grown either by seeding directly in the field, or by setting transplants. North Carolina growers have an excellent market opportunity in June and July when very few onions are available. Yield will range from 400 to 800 (50-pound) sacks per acre depending on the year and cultural practices. A premium is paid for large onions during our harvest season.

Using Web Marketplaces to Reach Untapped Markets

By: Bruno Ferreira, Duarte Morais, Mary Lorscheider

This publication explains how microentrepreneurs can use emerging web-based marketplaces to sell services, goods, and experiences to untapped markets.

Growing Cool-Season Vegetables in Childcare Production Gardens

By: Sarah Konradi, Mary Archer, Joanna Lelekacs, Liz Driscoll Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, cool-season vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the fourth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Composting in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Rhonda Sherman Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication is a how-to guide for starting a garden-related standard compost bin in a childcare center Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE). Included is guidance on design, construction, and management of compost bins as well as curriculum connections. This is the seventh of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Buying Local: A Guide for Retail and Wholesale Buyers

By: Dara Bloom, Joanna Lelekacs, Brandi Leach, Gary Bullen, Annaliese Gregory Local Foods

This publication provides guidance to retail and wholesale buyers about purchasing local foods for grocery stores.

Synthetic Auxins

By: Doug Goodale, Joe Neal, Katie Jennings Herbicide Injury Factsheets

This factsheet describes the symptoms of a synthetic auxin (SA) herbicide injury.

NC State Local Grass-Fed Beef Production Guidelines

By: Matt Poore Local Foods: NC State Finished Beef Production Guidelines

This publication provides production protocol guidelines developed by North Carolina State University and Amazing Grazing to assist producers in creating local grass-fed beef production systems.

Adding Value to Local Food

By: Barry Nash, Charles Hudson Local Foods

This publication introduces producers to general principles for successfully creating new value-added products and where to find specific guidance at each developmental stage.

Part 2: Cooling - Postharvest Handling and Cooling of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers for Small Farms

By: George Wilson, Mike Boyette, Ed Estes Postharvest Handling and Cooling of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers for Small Farms

Field heat should be removed from fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers as quickly as possible after harvest. Each commodity should be maintained at its lowest safe temperature.

What CAN Be Composted?

By: Rhonda Sherman

List of items that can and cannot be composted at home.

Vermicomposting in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Rhonda Sherman Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication is a how-to guide for starting a garden-related vermicomposting bin in a childcare center Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) or indoors. Included is guidance on design, construction, and management of vermicomposting bins as well as curriculum connections. This is the last of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Fresh Market Tomato Production Piedmont and Coastal Plain of North Carolina

By: Christ Gunter Horticulture Information Leaflets

The tomato is a warm season crop. With special production practices you can produce your first tomatoes in 60 days. This crop can be grown for production from June through November by choosing the right varieties and production practices. Generally, tomatoes require a large investment in time and labor, but increase in intensity of management is repaid by increased yields and profits.

Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide for North Carolina Cooperative Extension

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication provides information and success stories related to food banks, food pantries, food donation programs, and other resources for addressing food insecurity.

Blueberry Production for Local Sales and Small Pick-Your-Own Operators

By: Bill Cline, Charles Mainland Horticulture Information Leaflets

Blueberries are a native North American fruit, and North Carolina is one of the largest producers of highbush blueberries. Although commercial production is mostly limited to southeastern North Carolina, blueberries can be grown anywhere in the state if the right blueberry species and proper soil modifications are used. Limiting factors include pH, water availability and cold-hardiness.

NC State Local Finished Beef Production Guidelines

By: Matt Poore Local Foods: NC State Finished Beef Production Guidelines

This publication provides production protocol guidelines developed by North Carolina State University and Amazing Grazing to assist producers in creating beef finishing systems.

Chapter 6. Pruning and Training

By: Tony Wolf

This chapter discusses the principles of grapevine dormant pruning, reviews reasons for vine training, and describes systems appropriate for use in North Carolina. Profitable grape production requires that grapevines be managed so that a large area of healthy leaves is exposed to sunlight. Such vines are likely to produce large crops of high-quality fruit each year. Grapevines must be trained and pruned annually to achieve this goal. The training system chosen generally dictates how the vines are pruned. Thus, pruning practices and training systems are discussed together in this chapter.

Snacking and Cooking with Warm-Season Produce from Childcare Production Gardens

By: Carol Mitchell Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication includes simple recipes that childcare center cooks and educators can use to engage children in snacking and cooking with fresh warm-season fruits and vegetables from on-site production gardens and elsewhere. This is the fifth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Special Claims and the Approval Process for Niche Meat Production

By: Sarah Blacklin, Joanna Lelekacs Local Foods

With increasing demand for product transparency, a growing number of producers, processing plant operators, and packinghouse operators are interested in adding claims to the labels of their meat and poultry products to further characterize or add value to those products. Label claims become increasingly important for producers and plant operators selling to secondary markets, such as retail grocers, rather than direct to consumer. This guide provides information to producers about special claims and the requirements and documentation needed to support those claims.

Drought Assistance for Tree Fruit Production

Horticulture Information Leaflets

In the southeastern United States the potential for a drought during the growing season is a very real probability. The length and severity of droughts vary greatly and cannot be predicted, so planning is critical in order to minimize the effects of a drought.

Chapter 1. Introduction

By: Barclay Poling

New and current grape growers will find practical information on site appraisal, establishment, and operation of commercial winegrape vineyards in the North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide. This publication focuses on production of vinifera and hybrid wine grapes.

Growing Warm-Season Fruits and Vegetables in Childcare Production Gardens

By: Mary Archer, Joanna Lelekacs, Liz Driscoll Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, warm-season fruits and vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the third of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Gleaning

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses the process of gleaning in North Carolina.

Chapter 8. Pest Management

By: Turner Sutton, Jean Harrison, Wayne Mitchem

Grapes are subject to attack by many different pests, including nematodes, fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens, insects, and wildlife, such as deer and birds.Weeds, which compete with the vines for soil moisture and nutrients, may also be included in this list. Recognizing and understanding the nature of these pests is essential to minimizing crop losses.This chapter briefly describes the major pests that routinely threaten bunch grapes in North Carolina and discusses control measures.

Chapter 4. Vineyard Site Selection

By: Barclay Poling, Ryan Boyles, Carlos Carpio

Grapes grown in North Carolina are sometimes exposed to unfavorable climatic conditions and biological pests that can reduce crops and injure or kill grapevines. Climatic threats include low winter temperatures, late spring frosts, excessive summer heat, and unpredictable precipitation. Biological pests include fungal pathogens and insects that attack the foliage and fruit of vines, as well as birds, deer, and other wildlife that consume fruit and shoots.Vineyard site selection greatly affects both the frequency and severity of these problems and is one of the most important factors affecting profitability in viticulture.

Chapter 9. Vine Nutrition

By: Tony Wolf

Grapevines require 16 essential nutrients for normal growth and development (Table 9.1). Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are obtained as the roots take in water and as the leaves absorb gases. The remaining nutrients are obtained primarily from the soil. Macronutrients are those used in relatively large quantities by vines; natural macronutrients are often supplemented with applied fertilizers.The micronutrients, although no less essential, are needed in very small quantities. When one or more of these elements is deficient, vines may exhibit foliar deficiency symptoms, reduced growth or crop yield, and greater susceptiblity to winter injury or death. The availability of essential nutrients is therefore critical for optimum vine performance and profitable grape production.

Chapter 12. Crop Prediction

By: Tony Wolf

Crop prediction or estimation is the process of projecting as accurately as possible the quantity of crop that will be harvested. Why estimate the crop? The most obvious reason is to know how much crop will be present for sale or utilization. Beyond that fundamental reason, it is also important to know whether vines are undercropped or overcropped. In the absence of methodical crop estimations, the experienced grower can rely on past vineyard performance.This approach is subject to error, however, especially in grape regions subject to spring frosts or winter injury, which can greatly affect a vineyard’s productivity from year to year.

Good Agricultural Practices for the Production and Handling of Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberry

By: Dennis Osborne, Douglas Sanders, Donn Ward

Maintaining good sanitation throughout production and handling of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries is important. It is vital that growers and, in turn, their employees understand just how critical any food poisoning outbreak could be to their livelihoods. Pathogens harmful to humans can be transmitted by direct contact (infected employees or animals) or through contaminated water or soil. Once a fruit is infected, pathogens are difficult or impossible to remove. Only thorough cooking (or other similar treatment, such as pasteurization) will reliably neutralize pathogens. Fruits that are field-packed without washing have a higher likelihood of reaching consumers with field contamination. This document focuses on how to best reduce contamination.

Snacking and Cooking With Cool-Season Produce From Childcare Production Gardens

By: Carol Mitchell Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

This publication includes simple recipes that childcare center cooks and educators can use to engage children in snacking and cooking with fresh cool-season fruits and vegetables from on-site production gardens and elsewhere. This is the sixth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.

Farmers' Market Tours: A Guide for Nutrition Educators

By: Annie Hardison-Moody, Dara Bloom, Lorelei Jones

A Farmers’ Market Tour is a great way to introduce your program participants to an abundant source of local fruits and vegetables. It can also reinforce messaging about healthy eating and local foods. This guide was designed to be used as part of a regular series of nutrition education classes, such as SNAP-Ed, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More, or other community nutrition education programs.

Selling Fluid Milk to Grocery Stores Through Direct Store Delivery

By: Krista Morgan, John Day, Joanna Lelekacs Local Foods

This publication will help you start selling fluid milk directly to grocery stores. Approaching retailers, labeling, invoicing, vendor requirements and delivery are covered.

Direct to Food Bank and Food Pantry Donations

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses food donations given directly to food banks and food pantries in North Carolina.

NC State Local Pasture-Raised and Pasture-Finished Beef Production Guidelines

By: Matt Poore Local Foods: NC State Finished Beef Production Guidelines

This publication provides production protocol guidelines developed by North Carolina State University and Amazing Grazing to assist producers in creating local pasture-raised and pasture-finished beef production systems.

Creating the Perfect Blend: Community Resources Needed to Support a Sustainable Craft Beverage Industry

By: Claudia Gil Arroyo, Whitney Knollenberg, Carla Barbieri, Kathryn Boys, Alyssa Stroker

The growing craft beverage industry is generating tourism in Wake County. This publication discusses the resources needed to sustain growth in the industry and the related benefits it produces to understand ways to advance craft beverage tourism.

Marketing Your Agritourism Enterprise

By: Kent Wolfe, Gary Bullen A How-To Guide for Successful Agritourism Enterprises

Agritourism venues require a significant amount of planning, marketing, and promotion to create successful enterprises. The primary focus of all marketing and promotion activities is to inform potential visitors about the operation and its activities and to attract visitors to the farm. Marketing involves the identification of a potential customer’s needs and wants. This requires thorough planning and execution with focus on identifying a target audience and their needs, attracting the targeted audience to the farm, getting the targeted audience to spend their money by selling to their needs and wants, and creating an inviting environment that will cause the targeted audience to come back again. A marketing plan includes researching the potential market for the products, setting financial goals, establishing a marketing mix, developing a budget, monitoring customer response, making a contingency plan, and making a list of tasks necessary to put the plan into action.

Chapter 2. Cost and Investment Analysis of Chardonnay (Vitis Vinifera) Winegrapes in North Carolina

By: Charles Safley, Carlos Carpio, Barclay Poling

Growing Chardonnay grapes, the number one vinifera variety grown in North Carolina, can be a profitable venture in certain areas of the state.The profitability analysis in this chapter, based on 2005 costs, shows that it will take an estimated $12,876 per acre to bring a vineyard up to full production in the fourth year.The vineyard would begin to yield $1,097 per acre in the eighth year, and the producer may be able to break even by the eighth year.

Chapter 13. Appendix Contact Information

By: Barclay Poling

This publication contains contact information for the authors of The North Carolina Winegrape Grower's Guide.

Overview of NC State Finished Beef Production Guidelines

By: Matt Poore, Asher Wright Local Foods: NC State Finished Beef Production Guidelines

This publication is an introduction to the three production protocol guidelines developed by North Carolina State University and Amazing Grazing to assist producers in creating beef finishing systems.

Farm to University: Guide for Extension Agents

By: Robyn Stout, Rebecca Dunning Local Foods

This guide provides information to Extension educators on Farm to University programming so farmers can take advantage of student demand for fresher, local foods. This programming helps drive campus demand for local foods and create connections between farmers and campus food services.

Qualifying and Quantifying Your Personal Agritourism Potential

By: Kent Wolfe, Gary Bullen A How-To Guide for Successful Agritourism Enterprises

There are a number of questions that must be asked and honestly answered when considering whether to start and operate an agritourism operation. For example, you should evaluate factors such as personal characteristics and skills, target markets, market potential, land and property resources and characteristics, individual and family goals, time and labor considerations, and financial needs and resources. An honest evaluation of these factors will help you understand your potential for success.

Summer Squash Production

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflets

Summer squash are grown throughout North Carolina in both the spring and fall. A major portion of the state's production is located in Sampson and Henderson counties and adjoining areas. Summer squash are harvested as immature fruit, have soft skin, and are very perishable (1- to 2-week shelf life).

Chapter 5. Vineyard Establishment

By: Tony Wolf

Vineyard establishment involves careful planning, thorough site preparation, vineyard design, planting, and trellis construction. Unlike dormant pruning or other annual activities, designing and establishing a vineyard must be done correctly the first time. In addition, the process must be tailored to the particular site and the grower’s intentions. This chapter discusses the basic steps in establishing a vineyard and offers suggestions for practical methods and materials.There are many alternatives. Although this chapter may be used as the sole source of information for vineyard establishment, it is advisable to obtain and compare information from additional sources before beginning. References provided here include more detailed information on particular aspects of vineyard establishment, such as trellis construction. It is also helpful to visit existing vineyards to examine their design, compare trellising materials, and discuss plant and row spacing.

A Model Recall Program for the Fresh Produce Industry

By: Douglas Sanders, John Rushing, Donn Ward, Dennis Osborne Horticulture Information Leaflets

Increasingly, fresh produce growers, packers and sellers are being asked to prepare and maintain written Recall Programs. Elements for FDA "Product Recalls" are in 21CFR7.40, et. seq. Adopting that statutory approach to create Fresh Produce Recall Programs may help the Fresh Produce Industry convert public concern into strategic aid.

Fig Culture in North Carolina

By: Melvin Kolbe, Kathleen Williams

The fig is native to the Mediterranean Basin. You may already be familiar with some members of the fig family, such as the ornamental rubber tree, the mulberry, and the Osage orange or hedge apple. Figs are grown over much of eastern North Carolina and westward into the Piedmont. If your soil is well-drained and reasonably fertile, you most likely will have success growing figs in North Carolina.

Master Gardener Volunteers and Community / Home Gardens

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses using community and home gardens to supplement food for food banks and pantries in North Carolina.

4-H Chicken Donation: Embryology to Harvesting

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses 4-H projects that raise and harvest chickens for local food pantries in North Carolina.

Tips for Produce Growers Marketing Fresh Produce to Retail Grocers: Understanding PLU and UPC Codes

By: Ariel Fugate, Patricia Tripp, Joanna Lelekacs Local Foods

PLU and UPC codes are two widely used tracking mechanisms that help retailers efficiently ring produce into the register in the checkout lane, track sales, control inventory, and market products. Being knowledgeable about these labels in advance of approaching a retailer shows a grower’s awareness of the retailer’s industry. This factsheet contains information adapted from the Produce Marketing Association (Produce Marketing Association 2013).

Promoting Your Agritourism Business

By: Kent Wolfe, Gary Bullen A How-To Guide for Successful Agritourism Enterprises

The basis of any promotional program is product excellence. If your product or operation is excellent, promotion will enhance your sales. If your product is poor, all the advertising in the world will not help. This publication offers some suggestions for promoting your agritourism business.

Grapes and Berries for the Garden

By: Barclay Poling, Gina Fernandez, R. A. Allen

This guide provides home gardeners with instructions for growing strawberries, blueberries, brambles (blackberries and raspberries), and grapes.

Chapter 7. Canopy Management

By: Tony Wolf

High-quality wines — those that command premium prices — can be produced only from high-quality grapes. Grape quality can be defined in various ways, but ripeness and freedom from rots are two of the chief qualities. Producing ripe fruit with minimum rot and maximum varietal character is not easy in North Carolina. As described elsewhere in this publication, the combination of climate, soils, and vine vigor often leads to excessive vegetative growth. For reasons that will be discussed, luxurious vegetative growth can reduce vine fruitfulness, decrease varietal character, degrade other components of fruit quality, and hamper efforts at disease control. Canopy management practices can help alleviate these problems.

Chapter 10. Grapevine Water Relations and Vineyard Irrigation

By: Tony Wolf

Like other perennial plants, mature grapevines have extensive root systems and therefore, unlike shallow-rooted annual plants, they are fairly tolerant of mild droughts. Nevertheless, a certain amount of moisture is necessary to support growth and development. Lacking sufficient moisture, vines will suffer water stress, which can reduce productivity as well as fruit quality. Supplemental moisture can be provided by permanent (solid-set) or temporary irrigation systems. Drip irrigation has become the standard water delivery system for North Carolina vineyards in recent years. Drip irrigation can represent a substantial investment (see chapter 2 for details), but the benefits can far outweigh the costs in many vineyards. In 2005, it was estimated that drip irrigation would cost $22,743 to purchase and install the equipment required for a 10-acre drip system, or $2,274 per acre. Drip irrigation can be as effective on steep slopes as on rolling and flat surfaces.

Chapter 11. Spring Frost Control

By: Barclay Poling

To grow more consistent crops and improve your cash flow in years with damaging frost events, this chapter will show you how you can: 1) identify an active protection system to protect your vineyard during budbreak and early shoot development, 2) use the basic principles of frost and frost/freeze protection to deal with complex cold protection scenarios, so that you use your active protection system(s) efficiently, and 3) operate the equipment correctly.

Chapter 14. Glossary

By: Barclay Poling

This publication contains a glossary of the terms used in The North Carolina Winegrape Grower's Guide.

Modifying Soil for Plant Growth around Your Home

By: Deanna Osmond, Joshua L. Heitman SoilFacts

This publication addresses the two major soil problems found on residential properties and how to rectify them: lack of the three necessary nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium) and soil pH.

North Carolina Women’s Success in Agritourism: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

By: Mirza Farzana Halim, Carla Barbieri, Susan Jakes, Duarte Morais

This publication presents the results of interviews with women in agritourism across North Carolina. It discusses the successes, challenges, and opportunities these women face in the agritourism industry and offers conclusions on strategies to overcome challenges and improve success.

Food Pantry Produce Markets

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses setting up a market or farm stand at a food pantry in North Carolina.

Tomatoes for Processing in Eastern North Carolina

By: Chris Gunter Horticulture Information Leaflets

The per-capita consumption of processed tomatoes has increased steadily in recent years. This has been due to changes in eating habits and development of new and better products. Over 8 million tons of processed tomatoes are produced in the United States annually. Average yields for the United States are 25 tons per acre while the range is 9 to 40 tons per acre. North Carolina growers can produce high yields of processing tomatoes. Satisfactory color, pH, sugar and acid content needed to produce a fine quality canned product can be attained if tomatoes are grown according to recommended practices.