When do you harvest perishable produce?

Slimy_Okra(2b)June 10, 2014

By that I mean anything besides root vegetables.

Do you store it in a cooler at the farm? Is it also in a cooler at the market?

If you have multiple markets, do you bring the same (unsold) produce to subsequent markets or do you harvest fresh?

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randy41_1

i store it in a cooler on the farm. no cooler at the market. i only go to the market once a week so there is no carryover of left over perishable stuff.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:50PM
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barrie2m_

Every crop is different . Berries and most small fruits are best if chilled relatively soon after picking. A cooler is almost a "must" unless you have a cool cellar or other means to keep produce cool. Picking early morning, or late evening in some cases where time doesn't come easy are best for leafy greens. I set up a routine for what needs to be picked the night before a market and what I absolutely need to harvest fresh the morning of a market. For market morning greens I pack containers with bases in water; further at market I sprinkle ice over them and then continue to mist with cold water throughout the day. Some regulations say to handle otherwise but if you have wilted greens you might just as well have left them in the garden.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:40PM
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barrie2m_

Every crop is different . Berries and most small fruits are best if chilled relatively soon after picking. A cooler is almost a "must" unless you have a cool cellar or other means to keep produce cool. Picking early morning, or late evening in some cases where time doesn't come easy are best for leafy greens. I set up a routine for what needs to be picked the night before a market and what I absolutely need to harvest fresh the morning of a market. For market morning greens I pack containers with bases in water; further at market I sprinkle ice over them and then continue to mist with cold water throughout the day. Some regulations say to handle otherwise but if you have wilted greens you might just as well have left them in the garden.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:41PM
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grow_life(6A OH)

I just got done loading up some coolers to bring to my Restaurant customer. Ice in bags in the bottom, covered with a towel. greens bunched, herbs wrapped in towels (paper or fabric) and bagged, gel packs on top. I do this the night before, put the coolers in my truck in the morning, and leave them there while I go to work. I deliver in the late afternoon, and everything stays crisp til I get there, almost 24 hours later. More wholesale delivery than market, but it shows how well coolers can hold leafy produce.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:36PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

If your lettuce heads are wilting, drop them in a plastic bag, they will keep much better and they are easier to handle, that is what I do. All heads are cut, trimmed (pull off any bad lower leaves), dunked, rinsed, turned upside down to dry off and then put in gallon sized bag and it is left open on the top.

We harvest most all our greens the morning of, for an afternoon market or the night before for a morning market. I have got away from mixed lettuce. It isn't worth it to me anymore. Way to much time involved. I just sell loose leaf head lettuces, exclusively the Summer Crisp Varieties.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:32AM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

I have invested in refrigeration and have a couple of 3-door produce fridges (I would love a walk-in cooler) and that is where all the perishable produce goes after it is hydrocooled and spun dry.

I harvest greens early in the morning, preferably it is all done a couple of hours before the dew dries

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 4:52AM
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whfpa

I harvest the morning of market or if the weather looks iffy the day before then bag and put in a fridge thats in my garage at home.

I'm in the process of turning a 10x12 metal shed into a walk in cooler/tool storage combo at the farm. The shed will be divided in half with the back half being insulated and fitted with a window AC unit and coolbot powered by a small genny or the inverter. I think a 10x6 cooler should be large enough for my 2 acre farm. Plus I sell at 3 markets a week so the veggies wont be in there that long. Just need a space to put the right after harvesting to get them out of the sun and heat.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:38AM
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whfpa

I harvest the morning of market or if the weather looks iffy the day before then bag and put in a fridge thats in my garage at home.

I'm in the process of turning a 10x12 metal shed into a walk in cooler/tool storage combo at the farm. The shed will be divided in half with the back half being insulated and fitted with a window AC unit and coolbot powered by a small genny or the inverter. I think a 10x6 cooler should be large enough for my 2 acre farm. Plus I sell at 3 markets a week so the veggies wont be in there that long. Just need a space to put the right after harvesting to get them out of the sun and heat.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Thanks for the answers!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:28AM
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