This was the first week of harvest in the field, and first week of our CSA and market cart. There is a lot of anticipation in the air, as we write out the harvest lists and prepare boxes for our harvest. All of our boxes and ties are pre-counted and pre-labeled before we go into the field to harvest. Everything in the field is about timing, and have things organized ahead of time. Most of the time, prepping to do a task takes much more time than actually doing the task (prepping for harvest, prepping the seeder to seed at the correct rate, setting up tractor implements). We’ve really felt the important of timing particularly in relation to our weed management. On most organic farms, weed competition is the largest issue. I’ve come to understand, that on a large scale, weed management can be fairly simply and painless if all the steps are timed exactly right. One of the most important things that we do here is to pre-irrigate, flush weeds, and then plant into moist soil without another irrigation for as long as possible.
The CSA boxes are full of delicious greens this week, lettuces, choi, spinach, chard, kale. Working with a harvest knife is new for me, and I’m struggling with the strokes, learning to build muscle memory of exactly where to cut so the bunches of greens stay neatly together.
Strawberries are in full swing this week, and we harvested berries for hours. The variety of strawberry is “Albione”.
I’m harvesting Rainbow Swiss chard, “bright lights”. Some of the larger leaves have been affected by leaf-miner, and a few by the cucumber beetles, which are especially attracted to the light yellow and greens of the yellow ribbed swiss chard. We try to keep the plants picked hard to prevent cucumber beetles from sleeping in them at night.