truck farming, horticultural practice of growing one or more vegetable crops on a large scale for shipment to distant markets. It is usually less intensive and diversified than market gardening. At first this type of farming depended entirely on local or regional markets. As the use of railroads and large-capacity trucks expanded and refrigerated carriers were introduced, truck farms spread to the cheaper lands of the West and South, shipping seasonal crops to relatively distant markets where their cultivation is limited by climate. The major truck-farming areas are in California, Texas, Florida, along the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and in the Great Lakes area. Centers for specific crops vary with the season. Among the most important truck crops are tomatoes, lettuce, melons, beets, broccoli, celery, radishes, onions, cabbage, and strawberries.
See L. C. Peirce, Vegetables (1987); O. A. Lorenz and D. N. Maynard, Handbook for Vegetable Growers (3d ed. 1988).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.