Thursday has become my harvest day here on the farm. I’m trying something new, focusing my harvesting here during greens season on one day a week instead of just going out there randomly for a salad or two. Sure, the other way is the most fresh ever, but I really don’t have a sense of how much I’m harvesting.
I’ve formalized my distributions a bit. One couple on the farm has agreed to go on a “modified CSA model” with me. Because the greenhouse isn’t up, I won’t have the variety or quantity I want, but instead of giving them the leftovers or letting them know when they can come and pick, I’m doing weekly deliveries, such as I am able. The other couple is offering me free eggs until my chickens start laying.
I started early (most CSAs around here start mid-June). This was the third week of greens. The goal was to have 10 oz of either mixed greens, spinach, or lettuce in a lovely plastic clamshell, clean and dry and delivered.
The first week I only had 6 oz of greens, but I also had a half pound of asparagus to offer. The second week I could offer an option of mixed greens or mixed greens + lettuce. This week she took 6 oz of mixed greens and 4 oz of young kale. I love the greens mix, which has baby kale, arugula, red mustards and some ferny things. It also has tatsoi, which I didn’t like when I grew it by itself as a “winter” crop the first season of the cold frame. It is an Asian green with dark green, little round leaves. I’m finding it’s especially good in this mix for braising and topping off a stir fry. I pretty much love all these greens better as a mix than individually.
I don’t have nearly as much spinach as greens, so the other couple has received two 4-6 oz packages of spinach, and this week and last week also some of this gorgeous, tender, speckled lettuce. My brother-in-law is the only other person besides us who will eat radishes, so he has received 2 10-radish bunches.
I have to say I love putting rubber bands on the radishes (5 bunches this week, but now I’ll be between crops for a week or two– I have to learn the timing as well!) and kale, and putting the beautiful produce in the clam shells. I’m getting produce pride!
Also, it really is nice to see what I have in weight. Aside from harvesting the asparagus as it comes up and some spring onions as needed, I now have my washed produce in the fridge and can pull out handfuls of greens for sautéing or salads as the week goes by. Steve likes it, too, because he’ll have a salad when he’s home for lunch and otherwise he doesn’t know what veggies are available.
It’s clearly going to be nothing but these combinations, with maybe some Swiss chard and a few other types of lettuces on offer, for the next three weeks. Next up is beets, followed closely by peas, but shockingly my broccoli plants (started very early in the basement) are also heading, so that might come along sooner than I think. (Meanwhile, I’ve rushed more into production in the basement!)
I still don’t have an ambition to sell at the farmer’s market or provide large quantities to the local food co-op. If I could regularly feed these three families and maybe sell some now and then to a couple friends, that would be quite nice! And it would make the garden truly self-sufficient by paying for my inputs as well.