First winter harvest

First winter harvest: salad greens

Yesterday’s harvest that went to today’s farmers’ market, my earliest market start by almost two months! From the unheated greenhouse: kale, green and red mustard, and lettuce mix times two. Harvest conditions: -2°C outside, a perfect-working-weather 10°C inside. At the end, the sun came out and it started to get sweatingly hot under a T-shirt, shirt and fleece. But, already done! No rinsing, just covered and into a cool room for a 6 a.m. pick-up this morning. It felt a little odd, starting the year’s Saturday markets so early, and indoors—this fall, if all goes as intended, weekly market will cease to end for winter and become instead a fully year-round thing…

Farmers’ market tool

Last One sign: farmers' market stand

Blogged about before, still in service (no dirt streaks or coffee spills so far), it’s the original, the very first Last One sign (I’m pretty sure it is), brilliant sales tool (nearly 100% successful!), now part of the Almost Gone collection, Last 1-2-3-4-5 and Not Many Left. This one is on some near-perfect unheated greenhouse spinach. Fun with signage at the winter farmers’ market.

Salad kale!

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[From 10-Sep-2013] Salad kale! Tiny, tender leaves, it’s our finest kale!! Production is simple: fast-growing Red Russian flat leaf kale is direct seeded, plants tightly crowded in-row, restricting growth and producing an abundance of baby leaves that keep coming back, week after week. I’ll try tightly seeding some other varieties, though I don’t expect they’ll do nearly as well, they don’t grow fast enough to make repeated harvests practical. We still transplant Red Russian and other kale varieties at our standard 18″ spacing, but end up taking more and more of this small stuff every week (first tried this direct seeding approach last fall). Calling it “salad kale” was kinda tongue-in-cheek (I think Ashley came up with it, or maybe it was me), some tiny farm marketing action that also happens to totally fit!

Salad box planning

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Rise of the Salad Box: First meeting, with Rochelle and artist Shannon, on design details for our salad box project. Yes, it’s simple coolers, to be converted into standalone salad dispensers, with an honor system cash box and helpful signage built in, and cool graphics on the outside. The Plan: fresh, same-day-harvested salad and cooking greens, EVERYWHERE! We’ll see how it goes.