What’s a farm crew to do when it’s 87 degrees and humid and it’s only May 10th?  Harvest watercress!!  Watercress grows in spring fed waterways.  We have one such waterway just down the hill from the greenhouse.   The harvest is a challenge and a true test of creativity.  Streams where watercress grows typically have very soft, mucky bottoms, at least ours does.  One step into the water and down you sink, water above your rubber boot, rubber boot stuck in the muck.  So we have had to become creative over the years and figure out just how to reach the beautiful watercress without getting pitifully stuck.  

On Tuesday afternoon we stacked four wooden pallets into the back of the pick up truck and headed down the hill.  We strategically placed them into the water so we could stand on them and reach the cress.  Of course when all of the cress within reach was harvested we needed to move the pallet, without stepping in the water.  We were doing OK and having a bit of fun figuring it out.  But as it became more and more tiring ejecting pallets from gooey muck and relocating them to areas where there was more gooeyness we decided to try other options.  Jonnah headed to the greenhouse to get the large plastic tub we use to hold soil when we are planting flats.  It became a small boat just right for the job.  Barb took two black harvest crates, placed one on top of cut watercress, stood in it and had a perfect position, of course until she could reach no more, then took another crate, put it in front of the one she was in and stepped into that one.  It worked perfectly.  Eric, Chris and Deb continued to flip flop pallets around.  Shanna, the dog, just stood in the water watching whatever it is dogs watch in the water.  When we felt satisfied that all good watercress was successfully harvested we loaded all muddy objects back into the pick up truck, carefully placed clean crates of watercress along side the pallets and headed back to the packing shed.  I don’t think there could have been a better harvest job for an 87 degree day.    

Jonnah in her "boat"


Barb balancing in her crates


Eric, Jonnah, and Deb harvesting watercress while balancing on pallets


Is Chris hovering on top of the water?