[Market-farming] Squash blossoms

Adriana gutierrez-lagatta at charter.net
Sun Jul 17 10:22:09 EDT 2005

I'm doing squash blossoms for the first time this year.

The best (biggest) flowers are from Costata Romanesco Zucchini - I'm 
charging $.75 apiece - this is in line with what wholesalers are charging in 
my area.  A friend in Pennsylvania gets a lot less because Amish growers are 
charging as low as $.25 each.  When I only have smaller sqaush blossoms 
available I'm charging $.50 apiece.

Harvest flowers that are wide open first thing in the morning and put 
directly into a cooler with an ice pack in the bottom covered with a towel 
or cardboard to avoid chill injury - yes, they are delicate but you will get 
used to it. It's a good idea to have a tray of some sort in the cooler so 
that you minimize individual handling after harvest.  Line up the flowers so 
that the stems are all in the same direction  - tangled flowers equals 
tangled stems.  After a couple of hours the flowers get somewhat limp and 
you can pack them into clamshells.  I get 25 in a 9" x 9" clamshell.

You will not get used to the scratching of the spikes on the stems.  Plan on 
replacing the plants after about a month of production as they get "spent". 
I did not realize that the Romanescos were more vining than bush type 
plants.  In the future I will trellis them.

In hot, hot Alabama

> A customer at the market asked if I could bring squash blossoms. I haven't
> checked any of the post-harvest charts yet, but I'm wondering if anyone 
> has
> experience and what kind of treatment/handling you'd recommend. I tried a
> few and they seem pretty delicate and wilt easily. I'm thinking maybe 
> they'd
> fit in egg cartons.
> Other packaging ideas?
> Should I keep them cool?
> Pricing?

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