First harvest 2008!

Mesclun and spinach

Tomorrow’s farmers’ market, the third of the season, will be the my first. This is the usual timing, although I made it on the second market day last year (our market starts on the first Saturday of May). The earliest harvest for field crops will probably be all-lettuce mesclun in a couple of weeks. But I do have the mesclun in the unheated greenhouse, a small quantity grown specifically for getting to the market as early as possible. So, today’s harvest-for-show: around 20 lbs (9kg) of lettuces-and-arugula mesclun. Not much. But, we also gathered about 10lbs (4.5kg) of “found” spinach (tasty new growth from spinach that made it to baby-leaf stage last year, overwintered, and started again this spring; green onion was last year’s early market found crop). Spinach and salad mixes are sold by the bag, and weight varies slightly depending on what and when: for this round, it was all 400g bags (just under a pound), around 35 units total. Also, collected an assortment from the herb garden: sage, thyme, oregano and chives. Plus, around 20 lbs (9kg) of Jerusalem artichoke. Enough to for a tiny spread! I love the market, for me, it’s as much part of veggie gardening as anything that happens in the field, certainly not a tacked on “business” end… Although cold, rainy weather is in the forecast, people always come out, and tomorrow should be fun!

5 thoughts on “First harvest 2008!”

  1. How do you prepare your salad greens for farmers’ market? Do you wash the leaves first, or leave it fresh-picked and allow the buyer to do the washing, so as to not risk doing any damage to the leaves before sale?

  2. Deborah: Thanks! It went well!! The market is lots of fun. The day-before harvest can be a bit of trip when the main season crops are in, but when you’re at the market, it’s always worthwhile and great!

    Ryan: So you’re gonna be tiny farming, too! One minute you’re building a root cellar in town, a few months later, and you’ve decided to go for the whole farm! That’s so excellent!!!

    Tracy: Most of the time, salad greens are rinsed post-harvest. This is mainly to cool them. The big harvest day is Friday for Saturday use, and although we wait to cut mesclun until late afternoon, it’s usually still fairly warm. We take in a bag every 20-25 minutes of cutting and dump it into cold water (the barn well water is really nice and cold) for a couple of minutes, then spin it to get rid of most of the water. Once in a while, after a heavy rain, dirt will splash up on the leaves, and then rinsing is more for cleaning.


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