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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Production Practices and Sample Costs for a Diversified Organic Vegetable Operation on the Central Coast of California

  • Author(s): Klonsky, Karen
  • Tourte, Laura
  • Chaney, David
  • Livingston, Pete
  • Smith, Richard
  • et al.

Organic vegetable farms on the Central Coast region of California are generally intensive operations. That is, two and sometimes three crops may be harvested off the same acreage each year. Many approaches exist for growing and marketing organic vegetables. This publication describes the range of soil management practices, pest management, crop rotations, cover crops, and harvest and packing methods currently used by organic growers on the Central Coast of California. Marketing options and state and federal regulations governing organic commodities are also discussed. A general sequence of operations, equipment requirements, resource use, costs, yield and return ranges are presented for thirteen vegetable crops and two cover crops. The vegetables included are cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce (leaf and romaine), onions (red and yellow), snap peas, snow peas, bell peppers (green and red), sweet corn, and winter squash (large and small varieties). Barley and vetch are the two cover crops detailed.

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