The summer crops are just beginning to be harvested.
With last week’s arrival of cucumbers and blackberries, I went out to survey the tomato patch. As I walked all of the 800 row feet I found a few ripe cherry tomatoes, just enough to fill 2 pints. The tomato plants are filled with tons of fruits and flowers, it is only a matter of time before the rows are bursting with glowing colorful spheres of orange, pink, yellow, mahogany, and of course red.
I know its summer when my harvest day starts at 7am and finishes at 9pm. There is a lot to harvest in the field and lots of orders to fill from CSA shares to Murphy’s Irish Pub to the Friday farmers’ market.
Harvesting and packaging vegetable takes longer than most people expect. For example when harvesting kale to fill an order, you must look at every leaf to make sure it is tender with good color and that there is minimal insect damage then you need to make a standard sized bunch, put a rubber band around the bunch, evenly trim the ends, rinse it in a bucket of water and pack it into a container to head off the farm. Just yesterday I did this series of tasks literally a 105 times to harvest all the greens and herbs.
After that I still had to harvest cucumbers, summer squash, beans, and carrots. Growing vegetables commercially is more than just planting and caring for the crops, you have to be able to get your vegetables to market while retaining their quality and freshness, that makes for some very long days.