Vegetables: Overview

vegetablesVegetable production in Florida has a long and economically impressive history. Over time, commercial vegetable production has matured into a $1.5 billion industry. Florida’s sub-tropical climate has enabled large scale commercial growers to produce many diverse crops over several seasons during the year. Climatic advantages exploited by successful large scale commercial farms can also be exploited by smaller scale farm operations. Small farms are defined as farms with annual gross sales of $250,000 or less and on which the majority of the management and labor is supplied by the farm family.

Population growth in large, regional cities makes small farm vegetable production for CSAs, farmer markets, and roadside stands an increasingly profitable activity for Florida growers. The diverse cultural and ethnic background of Florida’s citizens provides small farm operations with many opportunities to supply citizens with cultural vegetable crop favorites. In addition, because of their size, small farms have the ability to react relatively quickly to market demands. This enables small farm operations to produce unique or heirloom vegetable varieties to target regional markets.

The purpose of this section is to provide small farm operations with the resources needed to confidently explore the vast opportunities available for vegetable production in Florida. This section will explore the steps from transplant production to growing the crop to harvest. Information on common practices relevant to many crops can be found in the boxes on the right side of each page. Explore and exploit the opportunities that wait within!