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Friday, April 20, 2007

Harvest Day

Tomorrow we have a farmers market so today I spent harvesting, cleaning and packaging greens, radishes and chives. I got started later than I wanted to due to life interference. Let's see, I got a call from L saying she could not come out to help today (due to life interference). The dogs had to be fed and that means someone has to stand between Danny and Arlo so Danny doesn't chase Arlo off and than eat Arlo's food, while they eat (Arlo is too wimpy to stand up to Danny even though he is a lot bigger and has all his teeth). I put in laundry when I got up at 6:30 and figured it would better to hang it on the clothes line before I started work rather than hanging it up in the afternoon or completely forgetting about it and letting it get moldy and rewashing it all.

Finally at 8:45am I got up to the gardens with bins, towels to cover the greens so they do not get flaccid and a sharp pocket knife for cutting. I walked around removing row covers from beds that had havestable things for about 15 minutes and than started in on cutting spinach than moved on to cilantro, than spring mix, than mustard, than lettuce and I was done around 10:45am.

The next step was to wash everything which meant getting the wash tub (a 30 gallon Rubbermaid tub), The giant salad spinner and salt and white vinegar which I add to the wash water to kill slugs, rehydrate greens and kill any pathogens. Since we put in a new water line last fall I can now set up my wash station behind the store under the apple trees instead of behind the barn which means I do not have to go up any steps to get produce into the 3 door commercial fridge in the upper level of the barn (which should be moved into the store this Sunday-yay!).

Anyhoo I got the equipment together and the hose where I needed it and filled the tub and spent the next 2 hours cleaning up leafy greens and dumping them into the water to cool, rehydrate and get any dirt off. Than I would put them into the salad spinner to remove excess moisture than dump them into a towel lined bin and put that into the fridge so the produce could cool off for a couple of hours. I was done with that around 1pm.

Next was lunch (chicken sandwich and yogurt and bananas) and a needed break. Than I decided to transplant some germinating pepper and eggplant seeds from tiny soil blocks to larger soil blocks while I waited on the produce to get cold and than I made some labels for the bags and finally I was almost ready to bag up what I had harvested and cleaned.

So I started putting spinach labels on produce bags and than brought out the two bins full of fresh, sweet, crisp spinach and bagged up 10 1/2 pound bags. I repeated this with the spring mix, Mustard greens, lettuce and cilantro and put the d'avignon radishes and chives into bunches secured with rubber bands and put everything back into the fridge.

Tomorrow morning we will put everything into coolers and haul it to Oxford for market. If all goes as planned we will sell everything and not feel so poor (the weeks before the regular season starts-May 5th-are the nadir of the year financially for us).

I figure for every hour we spend at market selling we spend 8 hours growing the food and getting prepared

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