Cool, wet spring delays New Jersey vegetables

05/31/2013 11:42:00 AM
Andrew Nelson

“There’s a little more diversification of varieties, including heirlooms and plums,” he said.

Nardelli Bros. transplanted its squash, pepper and cucumber crops from greenhouses in late April and early May, right on time, Nardelli said.

“The quality and consistency looks good, and if the weather stays consistent, it looks like a really good crop and we expect some strong demand.”

More seasonably normal temperatures — which were in the forecast as May progressed — should ensure that, Nardelli said.

Cedarville-based Eastern Fresh Growers Inc. expects to begin shipping squash about June 10, cucumbers in mid-June and peppers by the middle of July, president Tom Sheppard said.

Across the board, Sheppard expected a good year for Jersey vegetables, quality-wise, as of mid-spring.

Eastern Fresh’s squash acreage should be similar to last year, its cucumber acreage should increase slightly and its pepper acreage is expected to be lower than it’s been the past four or five years, Sheppard said.

Jersey growers who target farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer options also are diversifying the varieties of peppers they offer, Casella said.

In addition to leafy greens, Nardelli Bros. was shipping cilantro, dill, radishes and other items in good volume by the first half of May, Nardelli said.

This summer Formisano Farms, Buena, N.J., plans to add squash to the cilantro and dill programs it runs all spring and summer, president John Formisano said.

“We’ll have a lot of squash this summer,” he said.

In September, Formisano Farms plans to add fennel and broccoli rabe to the mix.


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