Your library for fresh produce production

Need some advice and information on vegetable farming? Look no further, we compiled all of the fresh produce articles produced on  so far in this one post, so you can have all the information in one place.

Horticulture: Grow vegetables in a tyre garden

Creative and practical, South African musician Jason Hartman gives us a model for small-scale sustainable farming with his innovative idea of planting vegetables in old tyres.

Horticulture: Your action plan when planting vegetables

Fresh vegetables are essential for good health and there will always be a market for them. Follow this planting plan and produce vigorous veggies.

Fresh produce: Guidelines for planting seeds and seedlings

Once the soil and beds have been prepared, you can begin sowing seeds and planting seedlings. Organic grower Jane Griffiths shares her tips and techniques.

Marketing your produce – choose the right market

It is important to locate the target market and establish the degree of competition before you put the crop in so that your rewards can be fully reaped with your harvest.

Marketing – let your brand do the selling

When you as a farmer wants to move the territories outside of your farm gate to sell your produce, the right branding is the best way to build your market presence. A poor brand will spoil your entire marketing effort, even if you have a well packaged, top-quality product.

How to plant for better performance

In organic farming, using alternative planting techniques can improve a crop’s performance dramatically.

Marketing your product

Good relationships are enormously important to farmers, but the most important relationship is the one the farmer has with those who sell his produce. They play a key role in the success of his marketing plans.

A short guide to when to harvest tomatoes

In some countries tomatoes are picked when they change colour from green to the initial stage of ripening. For better flavour, tomatoes should be harvested after the colour has changed completely.

Know your enemy – Tuta absoluta

The highly adaptable insect has been able to advance rapidly across territories, and pick up resistance to pesticides along the way. Because of this chemical resistance, biological controls are seen as an additional, essential, weapon in the fight against Tuta absoluta.

Tomato: the versatile and vulnerable crop

The tomato is a hugely popular crop with good demand from local markets. Because of its susceptibility to pests and diseases the tomato is considered to be a tricky crop and growers have to stay on their toes to keep their lands disease free and their plants healthy.


How to use fertiliser to restore degraded soil

Take action now and restore fertility to the soils on your farms, fields and in your food gardens.

Solve pest problems by using your farm ecosystem

Rotating with a variety of crops, and planting companion crops can help to break these cycles and improve soil health. The plus for small-scale farmers is that they are better positioned than large-scale farmers to make changes to their farming practices and to try out new methods.

Organic farming: A viable option for small-scale farmers

Produce from organic farming is a niche market in first world cities; expensive food grown for rich city people who don’t want pesticides, herbicides or hormones to contaminate their palates. It’s a good market, so let’s not knock it. But organic can also be a far cheaper way for smallholders to farm.

Let earthworms work your soil and bottom line!

Earthworms are at work day and night without complaint. They increase soil fertility and help you, the farmer, save on production costs.

Learn about earthworms

An earthworm convert organic material into organic fertiliser and worm castings that is rich in humus.

Build soil nutrients with organic fertilisers

Chemical fertilisers may be expensive, but they are needed for optimal vegetable production. When funds are limited, use at least 25% of the recommended chemical fertiliser, then apply organic fertilisers, like manure, compost and comfrey, to improve soil fertility.

Maintaining soil health – Make your own compost

There are many benefits to making compost which is essential in building soil health. Compost is a low cost input because the components like ash, fresh and dry grass, animal dung, soil and water are all on-farm.

Water use

Watering vegetables: Use water wisely

Vegetables need a regular supply of water from planting until harvest, and can’t be grown successfully under rain-fed conditions in the drier parts of southern Africa.

Irrigation: Which system should you use?

It is essential to plan carefully before installing or even buying an irrigation system.

Flexipump: Custom made for the smallholder farmer

A simple-to-use water pump called the flexipump is just the right tool and valuable asset for smallholder farmers to up their farming production and

Watering the veggie field or patch

Vegetables need regular watering from planting until harvest. The practice of water conservation is useful especially if there is a dry spell after sowing, emergence and transplanting.


You can hardly go wrong with pumpkins

When planning your planting calendar, think about pumpkins. They are always a good option with consistent market demand and a long storage life depending on the variety you choose.

Now’s the time for the popular pumpkin

There is always a market for pumpkins and the right varieties have a good storage life. A versatile and nutritious vegetable, pumpkins contain potassium and beta-carotene and the seeds are rich in zinc.

Now is the time to plant – Easy to grow swiss chard

This dark green, leafy vegetable has high yields if it is regularly harvested. The growing season can be lengthened to between five and seven months as long as there are no adverse weather events.

Vegetables – Grow top-quality carrots

Carrots are important root crops in commercial and home gardens for vegetable production. Here are some pointers for cultivating them.

Easy to grow: Cabbage is King

A popular easy to grow vegetable that sells well on most African markets, cabbage has long been touted, by commercial farmers, as the cash crop to grow when things are tight. There never seems to be a shortage of buyers.

Vegetable production: Prepare to plant onions

Properly dried onions have a good storage life and the robust onion is easy to transport over long distances. The grower can hold his produce while he (or she) waits for a flat market to pick up.

Vegetable production: Grow your own potatoes in bags

Potatoes are a nutritious and delicious staple food andthey are easy to grow in bags on small pockets of land.

Farmer profile

Young Zambian doctor swaps hospital rounds for horticulture

Dr Tamara Kaunda, 27, a medical doctor who studied in China, made a fairly dramatic career change when she switched from medicine to the farming of seedlings.

Forty hectares of vegetable success on open land and in hydroponic system

This family’s vegetable farming enterprise in the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa has expanded over the past nine years from a quarter hectare to nearly 40 hectares of vegetable production.

Husband-and-wife team changed their fortune with seedlings and vegetables

Close to the city of Cape Town, between the vineyards at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, husband-and-wife team, Alan and Eugene Simons, run two separate, but connected, businesses, growing and supplying vegetables, and seedlings, to the local market.

Nothing stands in this farmer’s way

A year ago Gugu Mlihpa was named South Africa’s emerging farmer of the year. Gugu is a born entrepreneur. She’s always on the lookout for a gap in the market and even joined a professional kitchen to learn first-hand from the chef how to deliver market-ready produce.

Tomatoes: How investment and corporate skills saved a farm

He stopped to admire a field of healthy looking tomatoes. And that gave Jones Shimbela (34) the idea to grow it himself.

A love for farming drives tomato success

Quality is king, says tomato farmer, Mr. Jimmy Manjanja, of JM Farming Enterprize in Mwembeshi, west of Lusaka . On his farm, about 40km from the capital, he has learned to produce top quality tomatoes all year round with precious little water. Jasper Raats visited Mr. Manjanja.


Farmer patent

Gas burner beats weeds in vegetable fields

It was while visiting an organic vegetable farm in Switzerland that he heard about the practise of burning weeds out with a gas burner, says Mr. Skye Fehlmann.

Harvesting cabbages 50% faster with this smart device

Deon Both, a mechanical engineer from Patensie in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, has built a useful implement that can harvest cabbages 50% faster than if it is done manually.

Farming patent: Take the hassle out of applying fertilizer by hand

Applying fertiliser by hand is a challenging task for any vegetable farmer. Mr Michris van Rensburg shows us his patent that allows you to apply the right amount fast, without walking speed affecting how evenly you apply it.


Preserving for later: Dry your own chilies

Chilies are a very versatile vegetable which adds flavour to many dishes. It has several health benefits and can e.g. help relieve problems with blood pressure. Chilies also contain several antioxidants and capsaicin.

Preserving tomatoes: Drying for profit

Drying your tomatoes allows you to store them for up to a year. It is a clever way to add value to your harvest at a relatively low cost.

Preserving for later: Pungent tomato paste and puree

These recipes are a great way to preserve tomatoes which are a bit overripe. It will allow you to add a spicy tomato flavour to stews and other recipes calling for tomato flavour.

Storing for later: Preserving tomatoes

Preserving tomatoes provides a way to add value to your product and enables you to provide a product to the market outside of harvesting season.

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