I wanted to share some comments about how we harvest our veggies. Since we are following the SPIN method, we harvest using our garden cart right over the rows. We generally each take a side and put the produce into a plastic tub placed in the garden cart. It is hard to believe, but we actually got 25 lbs of lettuce from one of our bins earlier this season. The more amazing part is that we actually managed to sell all of it and people asked for more! Sadly, our latest bed had to be composted (actually, we fed it to some local chickens, one higher option on the food chain than composting it). I think we left it out in the hot sun too long and it got bitter and tough. Lettuce is a cool weather crop and hot sun just doesn’t make for a good crop.
Since it’s been so hot, we try to harvest early in the morning before the sun starts beating down. We also hydrocool our veggies, which is basically a process of plunging the items into cold water to keep them fresh and crisp until they are washed, bagged and put in the fridge for storage.
We lifted this design for a wash screen from our friends at Urban Growth Farms. It is totally awesome for washing root veggies! Behind that you can see the basin sink we use for washing the greens. Spink built a table from an old counter top that we picked up on Craigslist, which serves as a great weigh and pack area. And, for storage, we bought an old fridge (gotta love Craigslist), which is meeting our needs currently. When we got that 25 lbs of lettuce, the fridge was packed to the gills with greens…pretty sweet!
Tomorrow morning (at 6 am!) we will be harvesting green onions and carrots for the first time. We will probably employ the pitch fork or broad fork to help uproot both of those. Will post some pics of that later. Open to any harvesting tips you have to share!