Developing Oregon’s Winter Vegetable Market project fills need

Winter squash

Oregon’s mild winter climate is well-suited to storage crops and over-wintered field vegetables for local and regional markets. However, there are currently few locally-grown winter vegetables in produce markets from January through April. Growers, chefs, wholesale buyers, seed suppliers, and consumers are interested in developing robust winter vegetable production and marketing systems in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

The Developing Oregon’s Winter Vegetable Market project aims to address this need. The OSU Extension Small Farms Program has grown seven crops and 52 varieties for the winter vegetable project at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in Aurora. Selected varieties are high-performing in yield, quality, winter hardiness, storability, and have good market potential in past vegetable variety trial research projects.

The overarching goal of this project is to increase the production and consumption of locally-grown winter vegetables in Oregon, including eight crops: winter squash, celeriac, garlic, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli and radicchio. Vegetables grown at the NWREC trials were used at three outreach events to connect farmers, seed growers, chefs, produce buyers and consumers in a fun and educational way. Field trials and outreach events will continue through winter 2021.