Compiled by Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension
(802) 257-7967 or

DO NOT MISS THIS CONFERENCE (and don’t go to the wrong hotel)!

The New England Vegetable and Berry Conference takes place every other year, and in my opinion, it is the best educational event for growers in New England. It includes over 120 separate presentations by farmers, researchers, and educators.  This year, there will also be tree fruit topics on the program as we are joined by the Mass Tree Fruit Growers Assn.

The conference dates are December 16,17,18, 2003. Please note the NEW location: The Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn in Manchester, NH.  At $50 registration to attend for all three days (and just $25 for additional members of the same farm,) it’s a real bargain. But don’t forget to pre-register by Dec. 5 in order to avoid the late registration surcharge of $10.

The conference registration fee does not include lodging, so be sure to make your hotel reservations early to get the special conference rate of $85 per night for single or double occupancy. Call 603-625-1000 by Nov. 23 to get this rate.

More than a hundred vendors attend the trade show, which features everything from books, cultivators, irrigation equipment and greenhouse supplies to seeds. The trade show is open from 8 am to 2 pm and  4 pm to 6 pm. You must register for the conference to attend the trade show.

Here’s a look at the educational program. This year there will also be a series of farmer-to-farmer discussion sessions.  For more information on that, on speakers and room locations, or to download a pre-registration form, please go to, or call my office and request a printed brochure in the mail.

            Tuesday, December 16, Morning Concurrent Sessions

  Strawberry I
9:30     Production Basics: Matted Row
10:00   Production Basics: Plasticulture
10:30  Weed Management Update
11:00  Fruit Rots: Management Update
11:30  White Grub Management Strategies

9:30     Field Tomato Variety Trials in Maine
10:00  Organic and Sustainable Production Techniques
10:30  Heirloom Variety Trials and Production
11:00  Effect of Shade on Quality of Greenhouse Tomato
11:30  Grafting Tomatoes

  Soil Health
9:30    Soil Health, Tillage and Compaction
10:00  Permanent Cover Cropping System
10:30  Cover Crops for Soil Health
11:00  Mineralization Rates of Compost
11:30  P Status of Organic Vegetable Fields In the Northeast

  Marketing of Vegetables and Fruits
9:30    Connecting to Your Markets - The Other Half of The Job
10:00  The Uphill Adventures of Red Tomato
10:30  Trends in Specialty Vegetables and Fruits
11:00  Food Safety: How To Generate Dollars, Not Costs

            December 16, Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

  Strawberry II
2:00   Strawberry Variety Update and Review
2:30   A Consultant’s Notebook
3:00   The Future of Disease Management: Research Update
3:30   Managing Spider Mite Problems
4:00   The Strawberry Plant: What You Should Know

  Weed Control
2:00  Weed Biology
2:30  Physical and Cultural Weed Management Principles
3:00  Cultivation Tools for Effective Weed Management
3:30  Herbicides and Rye Mulch for Vegetables,
4:00  Cover Cropping Effects on Weed Seed Banks

  Greenhouse/Season Extension
2:00  The Newest, Latest and Best in Greenhouse Designs and Equipment
2:30  Season Extension with High Crop Diversity
3:00  Latest Techniques with High Tunnels
3:30  Novel Structures for Extending the Cut Flower Season
4:00  Grower Panel: Winds, Wildlife, and Weeds: Managing Rowcovers

  Peppers and Eggplants
2:00  The Pick of the Crop – Highmoor Farm Pepper Variety Trial
2:30  Pepper Disease Control – Starts With the Seed
3:00  Growing Peppers in New Jersey – A Grower’s Perspective
3:30  Insect Management Update for Peppers and Eggplant
4:00  Eggplant Varieties and Cultural Recommendations

            Wednesday, December 17, Morning Concurrent Sessions

  Tree Fruit I: Organic Apple Production
9:30  Organic Production of Apples From a Grower’s Perspective
10:00  Fertilizers for Organic Apple Production
10:30  Ground Floor Management and Rootstock Selection
11:30  Research on Organic Apple Thinners

  Sweet Corn
9:30  Early Season Fertilization Basics and Irrigation Management
10:00  Trickle Irrigation Sweet Corn Under Plastic
10:15  Transplanting Corn Seedlings into Plastic Mulch, Covered by Row Cover
10:30  Sweet Corn Genotypes – How do they differ?
11:00  Early Season Sweet Corn Varieties
11:30  Floating Row Cover is for Me
11:45  Why I Like Plastic

  Blueberry I
9:30    Production Basics
10:00  Insect Management
10:30  Disease Management
11:00  Mulching and Organic Matter
11:30  Cultivars

  Beans and Peas
9:30    Picking for Profit
10:00  Grower Panel: The Way We Grow Beans for the Farm Stand
10:30  Best Peas and Beans for Direct Marketing
11:00  Discussion Panel: Diseases, Insects and Weeds: Chose Your Foe

            December 17, Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

  Tree Fruit II
2:00   Relation Between Nutrition and Fruit Quality
2:30  Orchard Soils and Their Influence on Apple Root Systems
3:00  Research on Plum Curculio and Apple Maggot: Latest Developments
3:30  Recent Developments in Apple Disease Control
4:00  Managing Insect Pests in New England Orchards

2:00  High Plant Populations and Plasticulture Increase Winter Squash Yield
2:30  Specialty Melons
2:45  Transplant Size and Sowing Date for Cucumbers
3:00  Spray Recommendations and Cultural Practices for Disease Control
3:30  Perimeter Trap Cropping for Summer Squash and Cucumbers
4:00  Cucurbits on Plastic at Pinecroft Farms

  Blueberry II
2:00  A Multi-faceted Approach to Management of Pests and Diseases
2:30  Blueberry Weed Management Update
3:00  Blueberry Fertilization
3:30  Blueberry Wine Production
4:00  White Grub Management in Blueberries

  Organic Production
2:00  Enhancing Organic Research: NEON Update
2:30  Two Organic Farms: A Contrast in Styles
3:00  Promising New Materials for Organic Pest Control
3:30  Transition to Organic Made Easy
4:00  Organic Seeds: Industry, Public, Grower Interests

            Thursday, December 18, Morning Concurrent Sessions

  Pumpkin School I
9:30    Establishing, Spacing and Fertilizing to Maximize Pumpkin Yields
10:00  Selecting the Best Varieties for Your Market
10:30  Getting a Handle at Harvest Time
11:00  Reduced Tillage, Growing Pumpkins Using Zone Tillage
11:30  What You Need to Know to Get a Good Fruit Set

  Wildlife Management
9:30    Deer Habitat and Behavior
10:00  Fencing Options for Deer Control
10:30  Grower Experience with Moveable Fencing
11:00  Avitrol Use and Certification for Bird Management
11:30  Woodchuck Ecology and Management

9:30    Production Basics
10:00  Insect Management
10:30  Container Grown Raspberries
11:00  Bramble Fertility Management
11:30  High Tunnel Bramble Production

  Leafy Greens and Herbs
9:30    A High Yield Year-Round Spinach Production System
10:00  Organic Seed Crop Production: A New Niche for New England Farmers
10:30  Winter Greens Under Plastic
11:00  Club Root on Brassicas
11:15  Managing Flea Beetles on Brassica Greens
11:30  Organic Cooking Greens for the Wholesale Trade

            December 17, Afternoon Program Concurrent Sessions

  Pumpkin School II
2:00  Insects and Pumpkins Don’t Mix – The Insect Link to Pumpkin Diseases
2:30  Growing and Marketing Pumpkins at Riverbank Farm
3:00  Diseases: Angular Leaf Spot to Wilts and How to Manage Them
3:30  Weed Management in Pumpkins
4:00  An Overview of Road Side Marketing: Ideas to Take Home

  Featuring New Farmers
2:00  Adding Horticulture to an Already Diversified Dairy Farm
2:30  How I Started an Organic Vegetable Farm with My Friends
3:00  Growing Berries and Customers Organically at Beebleberry Farm
3:30  Establishing Our Community Supported Agriculture Farm
4:00  Our First 5 Years in Farming

2:00  New Vegetative Annuals
2:30  Retailing Color Through Baskets and Tubs
3:00  A Season of Cut Flowers
3:30  Ideas for Merchandising Ornamentals
4:00  New Color Introductions in Spoon & Egg Gourds

2:00  Viticulture Basics: Site and Soil Requirements
2:30  Young Vine Pruning and Trellising Basics
3:00  Grape Disease Management
3:30  Seedless Table Grapes for the Northeast
4:00  Wine Grape Production in New England; A Best Kept Secret