January 15, 2004
compiled by Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension
(802) 257-7967 ext. 13, or

2004 Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower Association Meetings:

FARM SHOW PROGRAM, Wednesday January 28, 2004, 1:00- 4:00 pm, Barre
In the green church, down the hill from Barre Municipal Center. Take exit 7off I-89, follow route 62 into Barre.
Turn right at the lights onto route 302,  go 1/4 mile then turn left just after the shopping plaza.
First Presbyterian Church is on the right. Admission is free.

1:00 Making Bio-Diesel for Farm Use.  Carl Benson, Back Acres Farm, Glover VT

This past year, with the help of a SARE Farmer/Grower grant, Carl produced 700 gallons of bio-diesel from used vegetable oil collected from a couple of local diners. This renewable clean burning fuel was used to heat two tomato greenhouses and to fuel one tractor. Carl studied the economics of making and using on-farm bio-diesel compared to buying conventional fuel oil.

1:45  Growing Berries and Customers Organically at Beebleberry Farm in Randolph

Emmanuel Farrow and Frank Reed have been experimenting with growing organic strawberries for several years, and recently they established a commercial Pick-Your-Own farm in Randolph, where they grow 2 acres of strawberries, 3 acres or red raspberries and an acre of blueberries. They will describe the production and marketing methods that have been successful for them.

2:30  Diversified Horticulture and Animal Production at Luna Bleu Farm. Tim Sanford

Tim Sanford and Suzanne Long have been farming organically for 14 years, first in New Hampshire and now in South Royalton Vermont. On their 43 acre farm they have 6 acres in vegetable production, including 4 greenhouses, and they also grow cut flowers, raise 600 meat birds, 100 turkeys, laying hens, and 20 beef cows. Their markets include a CSA, farmers market and restaurants and local food co-ops.

3:15  Compost Science 101.  Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

Vern will provide an overview of the scientific principles and practices of compost production, the organisms involved, and slides of various on-farm compost systems will be shown.

ANNUAL MEETING, February 10, 2004, Rutland
In the Holiday Inn, Rutland Vermont, Located just north of the intersection of route 7 and route 4 west
Call 802-775-1911 or for reservations.

8:00  Registration, Trade Show, Refreshments

9:00  President’s Remarks.  David Marchant, River Berry Farm, Fairfax

9:15  Innovative Cover Cropping for Soil Fertility and Pest Control.  Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

9:45  A Visit to Morse’s Hillside Berry Farm. Reg Morse, Westford

10:15 Break

10:45  Perimeter Trap Cropping for Vegetable Insect Pests. Jude Boucher, Univ. of CT

11:15   Vermont’s ‘Buy Local’ Campaign. Dave Lane, VT Agency of Agriculture

11:45   AGR Crop Insurance Program for Diversified Farms. Arthur Carroll Insurance

12:00  Luncheon and Trade Show

1:15  Business Meeting: Election of Officers, Public Relations, etc.

1:30  Plug Cell Size and Rooting Media Effects on Sweet Corn Transplants. Sandra Menasha, UVM Plant and Soil Science Dept.

2:00  Innovative Northern Strawberry Growing Systems.  Simon Parent, Nova Fruit Nursery, St. Cesaire, Quebec

2:45  Grower ‘Round Table’ on Strawberries. Jon Satz, Woods Market Garden
          Grower ‘Round Table’ on Pumpkins. Hank Bissell, Lewis Creek Farm
Roundtables will start with a short grower presentation then an open discussion about production, insect weed and disease management,
varieties, marketing, etc.

3:45  Adjourn

PRE-REGISTRATIONS - Must be received by Feb 7. Add $5 for at-the-door registrations.
$20 for Members, $30 for Non-Members, including lunch
$10 for Members, $20 for Non-Members, without lunch

Membership dues for 2004 are $32. Benefits include: A 2004-2005 Vegetable or Small Fruit Management Guide, and a subscription to the Agriview newsletter which contains the VT Vegetable and Berry News. Mail your check with the appropriate amount to:
VV&BGA, c/o Doug Johnstone, P.O, Box 701, Springfield, VT 05156

2 pesticide applicator recertification credits in private or commercial categories 1a and 10 will be offered. For additional information or to request special accommodations for either meeting, contact Vern Grubinger, at 802-257-7967 (ext. 13) or E-mail:


During the 2003 growing season Back Acres Farm in Glover, Vermont, produced 700 gallons of bio-diesel from used vegetable oil collected from a couple of local diners. They used this renewable clean burning fuel to heat two tomato houses and to fuel one of their tractors. This project was conducted with funding from a Northeast SARE Farmer/Grower grant.

Overall the experiment was a great success.  The point of the grant was to find out if it was economically feasible for growers to make their own fuel.  Based on past records of fuel oil used in the greenhouses it was found that it does make sense.  It cost .84/gallon to produce the bio-diesel compared to $1.38/gallon to buy heating oil.  The initial cost is high because of the equipment that was purchased. However most of that is a one time cost, so when the equipment costs are spread out over several years it becomes much more affordable to make your own fuel.

At this point the goal is to both, increase production, and reduce the amount of time it takes to turn the vegetable oil into bio-diesel.  The farm has switched another greenhouse from propane to bio-diesel and is busy winterizing the production area in the barn so that all fuel production takes place in the off season. To find out more, come hear the presentation by Carl Benson at the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower Association farm show meeting on January 28th in Barre.
Or, contact me for a copy of his detailed final report.


In 2003 Jon Satz of Woods Market Garden in Brandon, Vermont, conducted a sweet corn transplanting study with funding from a Northeast SARE farmer-grower grant. Here are some of his variety observations. Jon also compared the use of 98 and 162-cell trays, sown with one or two seeds per cell. Contact me for a copy of his detailed final report.

Seneca Arrowhead: Excellent first-early yields with fair size and great flavor. Needs to picked early to ensure good taste. Vigorous plant early to size for transplanting.

Tomahawk: Superb taste, blocky ear. Some problems with tip fill, but taste makes up for it. Holds well. Slow to size for transplanting and a little sluggish in field, but catches up.

Trinity: Fussy grower and slow to develop, prefer for direct seeding.  However, the first corn with that 'taste' of summer. Tip fill variable. Slender ear, tender.

Temptation: Awesome, vigorous performer for transplanting. Quick to size plant, durable, big leaf. Most consistent yielder, picking every single ear over long period. Full size. Available untreated.

Bon Appetit: Like Temptation, big and vigorous, so handles handling well. Huge blocky ear, could run for governor in California. Taste is fantastic young, though not as tender at later dates. Available untreated.

Mystique: A winner, unmistakable yummy and full size ears just as the second week of picking opens up. One problem was it is very slow out of the gate and could stand an extra three or four days before handling if doing mechanically. Not as fussy if transplanting by hand or water wheel. Available untreated.

Sensor: Insurance corn. It will be there, no matter what happens. Flavor and tenderness top rate. Pain in the #@$%^# to pick(Jamaicans call it chainsaw), but its worth it.

Delectable: Steady variety. Big and blocky and well known for the right reasons. A little slow to develop for transplanting. Available untreated.

Seneca Dancer: Long season, not worth it (a later transplanting of an earlier variety would beat it to harvest), unless you want a main season harvest from early transplant. Advantage is fantastic ear, taste and quality, and holding ability. Works great if transplanting later season. Available untreated.

Bodacious: Excellent early yellow with great taste and tenderness.

Tuxedo: Fabulous ear if you have a market for yellow. Much like Mystique, but quicker to size up for handling.

Custer: Excellent direct seeded, but very slow to size for transplanting.