Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘cucumbers’

Thoughts for Food: How did Wisconsin’s Central Sands emerge as one of the premier vegetable production centers in the nation?

Blog 28aThe Central Sands region of Wisconsin is recognized as one of the premier vegetable growing regions in the nation; potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, peas, carrots and cucumbers all rank near the top of US production. This remarkable level of success was forged by the ingenuity and hard work of the farmers who settled here generations ago, and it is enhanced by our temperate climate with warm daytime temperatures, cool nights and ample rainfall.  The foundation of the region’s productivity, however, lies in its geological history, which began during the glacial ice age that encompassed Wisconsin over 15,000 years ago.  Geologically, the Central Sands is a large and relatively flat glacial outwash plain with abundant sandy soil—ideal for vegetable production—that is underlain by a deep groundwater aquifer that provides the water needed for crop growth and productivity.  The sandy soils deposited by the  glacial lake and its residual groundwater make this region ideal for vegetable production, which provides an economic boost to the region and enables Wisconsin to be a leader in providing a safe and abundant food supply to the whole nation.   (more…)

Thoughts for Food: Feeding Our Vegetable Crops

Blog 27We all need food to grow and prosper.  Our doctors tell us that a balanced diet is one of the keys to a healthy life. So it should be no surprise that plants also need a nutritious diet!  Natural plant systems like forests and prairies eat what Mother Nature provides by teaming up with a huge array of critters from bacteria to bugs to break down old detritus and soil into the essential components of their diet, like nitrate and carbon.  Some have even evolved fantastic, mutually-beneficial arrangements with bacteria and fungi that allow them to pluck nitrogen from the air or move nutrients into the roots more efficiently!   (more…)

Thoughts for Food: Blight on the landscape!

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There are many pesky concerns for Wisconsin vegetable growers every year—weather, growth problems, pests, water, market demand—but one pest problem, collectively known as foliar or leaf blights, is especially challenging. You have all battled these in your home gardens since they attack crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers. These are the diseases that cause perfectly green plants to break out in brown spots, turn yellow and die prematurely in mid-season just when you are anticipating a delicious harvest. When the leaves begin to yellow and the brown spots appear, many home gardeners run to the garden center seeking a remedy to stave off the impending loss of their carefully nurtured plants only to find that once the disease starts to progress, there is no stopping it.  (more…)

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