Small-acreage, local vegetable farms provide healthful food, taxable income, and ecosystem services to their communities. This project seeks to help sustain these farms by improving the yield of hardneck garlic, an economically important crop grown on many Minnesota vegetable farms. The project has both preharvest and postharvest components. In the preharvest experiment, an adaptation of a vernalization method used by southern USA garlic farmers that has shown promise in increasing garlic bulb size in Minnesota will be tested on three Minnesota farms. In the postharvest experiment, on-farm and laboratory-controlled postharvest storage will be compared to determine how well storage temperature recommendations translate to actual situations and how postharvest storage temperatures affect garlic shelf-life at market.
Project objectives from proposal:
The project has two objectives: 1) determine how to adapt vernalization practices used in the southern USA to grow garlic, and test the practice on three Minnesota farms with different varieties of hardneck garlic, and 2) learn how well postharvest storage recommendations translate to actual farming situations and how on-farm postharvest practices affect shelf-life at market.