Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2021

Weekly vegetable update 6/30/2021

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops   Some growers finally got some needed rain this week, with scattered pockets of showers leaving over an inch behind. Others got no rain at all, while a few growers got deluged by over 4" of rain in a single evening, and a few others experienced hail. Crops seem to be equally variable - I've been to a few farms where crops are growing quickly and things are looking great, and others where plants are really struggling with the drought and hot weather. We're continuing to see elevated insect pressure this week, and the forecast is showing minimal rain for most of the state (with the exception of West Central MN). Crop updates Cole crops: Harvest continues for most spring cole crops, and planting is underway for fall crops. I received more photos of bolting broccoli this week than usual, despite temperatures being a bit lower than they have been in the weeks prior. Given the projects for continued

GAP audits - mythbusting edition

 Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety      Are you thinking about selling your produce to a customer like a grocery store, wholesale distribution company or an institutional buyer like a hospital or child care facility this summer? If so, you might be asked for a GAP audit on the product. We have been working with a number of farms this summer that are confused about some of the basics of a GAP audit. Here are some myths and realities about GAP audits. Myth 1) A GAP audit is required by law GAP audits are not a law or regulation; they are a voluntary audit that you pay for in order to gain access to some markets that require them. The FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) is federal food safety guidelines that are mandatory for some farms.  Myth 2) All schools, hospitals and institutions require a GAP audit If you are selling to a food hub, school, hospital, or other institution, they may require an audit but they may accept other verification such as providing written fo

Weekly Fruit Update - June 23, 2021

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production In this week's fruit update: Strawberry season and preparing for renovation Grapes: Give the sprayer a break Apples: Insect pest trapping update Raspberries and blueberries Strawberries Strawberry season is running full-throttle throughout Minnesota. It is nice to see so many social media posts by farms teaming with U-pick customers! It is common for farms to be "picked out" by mid-morning or noon (or even 9:00 am) thanks to high customer traffic. So if this is happening to you, you are not alone!  Maintain regular irrigation as we hope for rain this week on Thursday and Friday. At least one farm has reported reaching the end of their season. Their season was shortened due to the prolonged heat and drought in their area. If you are nearing the end of your season and are preparing for renovation, please see: Follow These Steps for Strawberry Renovation . Despite the drought conditions, Dr. Jim Luby ad