What do you folks use to was your produce? The commercial units I found are around $2200. I was wondering it there isn't something cheaper that will work as well.
I use a rain barrel and an old receiving blanket. With 5 grandkids, I have plenty of them. If they are stained, the yards sales can't sell them, and their soft. I also use a soft mesh potato bag, without labeling, to dip and shake my lettuces. I don't wash my beans or most of my veggies, unless very dirty.
A former vendor at my market had a SARE grant to work on a produce washer that did not cost alot. I will give you his site. www.cooleyfamilyfarm.com. He has alot of ideas. Kudos to you, Kevin.
I second the question. We tend not to wash our greens. It seems to make them limp and clump together. I'll have to look at the commercial units. Do they spin to get rid of the excess water.
Here is a crazy thought. Go pickup a used clothes washer. Strip it down so it only does the rinse and spin cycle.
The aggitator may have to be modified also. This is probably not an original idea.
Chester, take a look at this link. I like it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Washing Machine salad spinner
I like the washing machine idea. However I think it would be a little hard on the washing machine running onions,peppers and potatos thru it. But it is something to think about.
You wash your onions and potatos? I think that is a bad idea. Storage life would be shortened considerably.
The dirt from root vegetables would probably destroy the drain pump on the clothes washer.
This will be my first year for potatos. Yes, I wash the onions. Most of the stuff goes to auction and thats the way the buyers want it. If it is clean it brings a better price. I would like to have a stand of do markets, but I have that pesky day job that gets in the way of progress.
The washing machine for the greens is a great way to go, if you want to go on the cheap. Wash your greens, put in a mesh bag, put in the washer and turn on spin. Don't try to use the rinse cycle.
I don't wash my potatoes, unless I have to dig them in the mud (which I try to avoid like the plague!). Onions, I would dry them and brush off with a vegetable brush. If you pull them when it is muddy, I would wash off and then set out to dry.
I have a rectangle made of 2 by 4's with a piece of galvanized screen attached to it. It is sitting on some saw horses. I set my root vegetables on that then spray them off with a hose. This way the dirt gets washed off, and they can dry on the same screen. Usually very fast!
Just an idea!
Jay, I like the screen idea. I have a roll of new chicken wire. I think I will give it a try. Simple is usually a good way to go.
The potatoes at the auction I go to, washed and dried potatoes will bring 2x-4x as much. Most "new" potatoes should be washed, IMO, while if you are selling 'keeper' potatoes, they should be brushed clean.
Yes, washing potatoes DOES reduce the keeping life of potatoes, but most of my customers buy them new and only buy enough for 1-2 weeks at the most.
Jay, I've seen the screen frame. I can image several sizes of screen being used to sort the sizes of potatoes. Run them across the largest holed screen, then the ones that fall thru run across a smaller holed screen. That will give you 3 sizes of potatoes without alot of work.