The peppers were harvested weeks ago from a small research plot at the Panhandle Center where a type of fabric mulch is being tested for potential use in USDA certified organic produce fields.
During the off season, researchers are checking to see what becomes of the biodegradable mulch, an experimental product from 3M that is being tested to see if it is suitable for USDA-certified organic vegetable production.
Last spring, six rows of peppers were planted through 3-foot-wide strips of mulch. Two different types of mulch, one black and the other white, are being tested. Recently, workers were busy in the plot setting up six different treatment regimens for the harvested plots, to see if the fabric mulch will disintegrate differently under different conditions.