As I did my early morning tour of the crops last Thursday morning it became urgently inevitable that the first delivery couldn’t wait.  The vegetables were growing before our very eyes and our only option was to harvest them a week earlier than planned.  When the full time crew arrived Thursday morning they joined David and me outside of the greenhouse to discuss the reality of the situation.  We no longer had a week to prepare and organize before the first delivery; we were just going to do it now!  We kicked into high gear (or maybe ‘higher gear’ is more appropriate).  We have done many deliveries and have 17 seasons behind us, we knew what needed to be done and our new employees were going to learn quickly.  The plan was laid, the packing shed cleaned and we had Monday to look forward to.  Several of us spent the weekend at computers.  I’m not sure what other people did on Memorial Day, but I took a few pictures to show you what we did.

Harvesting Radishes. Salad mix in the foreground.

Banding radishes.

Salad Mix Washing:

We layer the different varieties of cut lettuce onto a conveyor. The conveyor gives it a ride to the water.

The lettuces dropping into the tub of water.

A conveyor continues to move the lettuces through 3 tubs of water, up and down like a roller coaster, getting sprayed the entire way. The spray helps it circulate it through he water. It is here that it becomes ‘salad mix’; the lettuce varieties become all mixed together.

The salad mix drops into a large basket. The basket gets placed into a giant ‘salad spinner’. The spun salad mix and is then dumped into waiting crates. We weigh it all, divide by the number of bags we will fill and get to work bagging salad mix.

We did more on Memorial Day that isn’t photo documented.  We harvested turnips.  Then we washed and bunched the turnips.  The picture would look similar to the radish washing table, except turnips are white.  Then we washed potatoes.

The next two days were similar.  Tuesday brought lettuce head harvest and washing.  We harvested and washed spinach.  The spinach is washed the same as the salad mix.  We bagged salad mix and began to bag spinach.  We harvested rhubarb.

Wednesday started with scallion harvest, washing and banding.  We finished bagging spinach, banded rhubarb and bagged potatoes.

We squeezed in several other tasks during the week.  Celeriac, lettuce heads and cucumbers were transplanted.  Several crops were seeded into flats in the greenhouse.  The phone rang and e-mails poured in.

When we left the packing shed Wednesday evening all of the produce for the delivery was neatly bagged and bunched and tucked into a cooler.  The containers will be all lined up ready to be filled with produce for shares.

Thursday morning we will pack up 1185 shares, load them into 4 trucks and drive around the city delivering shares to all of you.  Thanks for letting us do this for you!

Barb