The crew starts cutting on harvest days at 6am, at least until the lack of light pushes the time forward, and this am was our first really cold morning. Standing at the farmhouse the thermometer read 36 before we all loaded into the trucks and headed down to the fields. The usual routine is to divide the crew of 7 into groups by crop and jump in, today we had chard, lettuce mix and kale to work on right off. Five of us cut 125lbs of lettuce in less than 15 minutes and with chilly hands we moved into the next crop. Three folks broke off to head to another field to cut lettuce heads while the rest of us jumped into chard. Almost as soon as the lettuce crew drove off they came back -frost was blanketing all of the heads they planned to cut. This happens alot in October and we have to postpone the morning cut to let the crops thaw. Lettuce, chard, kale and most of our greens generally handle light frosts very well. The sun comes up, they thaw and are good as new. The tough part for us is that we can’t touch them until they are completely frost free. Any movement at all and those frozen cells in the plant break and in a short time turn to green mush. Waiting for frost is expected a month from now, but I can’t remember a mid-September morning in the last ten years that has had a frost.
The crew diverted from lettuce heads to other crops in the first field where we had started with the lettuce mix and cut for another 20 minutes or so until we started to notice the chard and kale in our hands was looking different. It was beginning to freeze up right in front of us. We call this a harvest frost. When the temperature is just above freezing as the sun comes up the air above the field is warmed and pushes a mass of concentrated cold air below it down upon us and the greens -freezing them right before our eyes. Needless to say we all stopped cutting, loaded up the trucks and headed back up to wash what we had cut, have some breakfast and wait while the morning warmed up.
Last week for Freezer Pork….
Our own pigs, raised with care on pasture. Know your food. If you have been thinking about a whole of a half for your freezer this is the last week. Talk to us at pick-up for more info….
What’s In Upic?
What’s In The Share This Week?