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Book Reviews

Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs

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Sandie Shores, owner of Herb’s Herbs, Rochester, Minnesota, from 1985?1994 brings together the many and varied components of running a wholesale herb business providing herbs to restaurants, supermarkets, caterers and others. Readers will find this a comprehensive book for gardener entrepreneurs starting an herb business of growing and selling fresh cut herbs. The most valuable section of the book, the first 300 pages, leads the reader logically though the process of starting an herb business.

Shores recommends the all-important business plan and conducting marketing research. In finding potential buyers, she provides tips for approaching chefs and produce managers in supermarkets, selling at farm markets and setting prices. Efficient methods of establishing terms of payment, bookkeeping and managing employees are enumerated. Shores’ harvesting, special handling, packaging and delivery tips will keep the reader from making costly mistakes.

Growers in all but the most southern regions will find the chapter on greenhouses of special value. Eight different styles of greenhouses are illustrated and discussed as well as heating, ventilation, cooling systems and lights. The critical concern of regulating carbon dioxide levels in the greenhouse during winter months is included. Equal treatment is given to the design of the interior-benches, beds and watering system-and to operation and maintenance. Charts are included with spacing, height, temperature preferences, soil type and light requirements for 23 herbs. Information on nutrition, pest management and control of plant diseases completes the segment on greenhouse growing.

While the information in the final chapter on growing more than 20 herbs will be familiar to growers, the harvesting and packaging information for each herb is of special assistance. Glossary of terms and a resource list are included.

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