Trials of Miniature Vegetables Underway in New York
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The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funded trials of early spring high tunnel miniature cabbages and sprouting broccoli crops. These cold-tolerant brassica (cruciferous) crops have the potential to fill the sales gap that occurs between when winter storage crops are sold out and before spring field crop harvest begins. The research team, which includes vegetable production specialists with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Willsboro Research Farm, harvested its first miniature versions of these vegetables in May 2021. The opportunity to produce miniature varieties of broccoli and cabbages that are quick-growing and able to grow in unheated high tunnels will help northern New York growers respond to the unprecedented surge in demand for local foods spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional aspect of this Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded regional vegetable project is focused on how to plant cold-tolerant brassica species as field cover crops.